Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng Book Summary

The #1 New York Times bestseller!

Now a Hulu original series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

“I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting.” —Jodi Picoult

“To say I love this book is an understatement. It’s a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears.” —Reese Witherspoon

“Extraordinary . . . books like Little Fires Everywhere don't come along often.” —John Green


From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned—from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren—an enigmatic artist and single mother—who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town—and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood—and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

Named a Best Book of the Year by: People, The Washington Post, Bustle, Esquire, Southern Living, The Daily Beast, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Audible, Goodreads, Library Reads, Book of the Month, PasteKirkus ReviewsSt. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many more...


Perfect for book clubs! Visit celesteng.com for discussion guides and more. 

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Little Fires Everywhere (Celeste Ng) Book Reviews

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- Not what I expected2 star

Too much detailed to no point. And the ending was not good at all.

- Intriguing and Confusing4 star

Loved the book, I was hooked the whole time, however I felt the ending was flat and left me wondering 🤔

- Left wanting more4 star

The story consumed me and was well written. However, the ending felt rushed.

- Twists and Turns5 star

I love all the plots twists and the conflict that keeps these characters in motion. This book got me into drama, mystery, and thriller books, and it is definitely one you’ll want to read again and again. The way Ng connects every little fire is outstanding.

- United4 star

United

- Thin storyline1 star

Just could not get interested. Read nearly all and gave up. Found it a snooze.

- Little Fires Everywhere3 star

Liked the book…except for the ending. There were so any loose ends and the story was cut off and left to the imagination of the reader. Disappointed!

- Little Fires Everwhere4 star

Thoroughly enjoyed the story and the storytelling. There were moments of greatness in the prose. I saw a one star rating and have to believe that person was reading a different book!

- Love this book5 star

Relatable and a page turner.

- Little Fires Everywhere5 star

Such a great group of stories intertwined together in a way that is both simple and complex all at the same time. Excited to see the Hulu miniseries that’s due to be released sometime in 2020 based on this book. Highly recommend!

- The ending...really?!3 star

This book I thought was a great read until the end. It’s almost as if Celestes just decides “Ok. I’m done.” I wanted more details on where these characters end up. I feel like there are too many story lines that are left open. Extremely disappointing!

- What was NYT thinking?1 star

How did this get a good review from NYT? I read, more like skimmed over, and finished the book. I was bored by the upper white class mentality with a few challenges encountered. The first chapter had promise but lost me after that. Light read . Boring.

- Quick read - a little basic4 star

Good, quick read although felt a little too dramatic and like I was watching a Hollywood TV series

- Perfect.5 star

Great and easy read.

- What was the point??3 star

This book would have gotten a 2 star if it wasn’t for all the awesome 90’s references. I kept waiting for the book to get better, but unfortunately it didn’t. The author shares a lot about each character and then the book is over. I kept thinking, what is the point of this book? So many different storylines for no reason. Not my cup of tea.

- Little Fires Everywhere5 star

Excellent read! It was hard to put down.

- Top Read5 star

This is one of my favorite books I read in 2018 and I read a lot! Every detail of this book was spot on down to the descriptions of Cleveland suburbs. The only thing missing was a sequel.

- I want to be MIA!4 star

Great read! I enjoyed the character build ups and I have a new found fondness for photography. Only reason for 4 out of 5...if I tell, I’ll give a piece away.

- Good read4 star

Lots of twists and turns

- Disappointed!2 star

Very disappointing ending. Book was TOO wordy. I found myself skipping a lot of pages. Don’t recommend!

- Thoughtful and engrossing5 star

I couldn’t put this book down. When it ended, I was so sad that I had to leave the characters and Shaker Heights behind. There is a dreamy realism to each character, they’re all somehow larger than life, yet everyone you’ve ever known. I highly recommend this book!

- Don’t waste your time.1 star

Each development is more unrealistic than the last. This book does not contain a single likeable character. I am incredulous at the acclaim that this book has received. It was a waste of my time and my money.

- So descriptive and boring!!1 star

I had to force myself to read this, because I had spent the money to read it I felt obligated and that’s the only reason why. It was unnecessarily descriptive and incredibly boring.

- Flat and Contrived2 star

I’m 75% of the way through this book and really wanted to enjoy it, but it’s time to throw in the towel. A tiring series of impossible coincidences only barely resembling real life, meandering it’s way across 600 pages (I hung on for as long as I can, but the author seems to often confuse detail for depth). The characters are as one dimensional as it gets—of COURSE the artistic rebel has Parents Who Don’t Approve and a tragic past and is identified as a genius her first day at one of the top art programs in the country, of COURSE things play out in bizarre ways that just happen to perfectly serve the narrative purpose (e.g. the locks incident at the school), of COURSE the main plot happens to echo the lessons were meant to learn from the mains characters past and various side plots. The book doesn’t so much reveal truths about motherhood as force feed them into your mouth saying “see??”. All not to mention the surprising inelegant treatment of race in an entirely contrived trial where one side is so completely devoid of sympathy (or any legal precedence for that matter) that the characters’ anguished responses are only comical at this point. But more than that, one of the central conceits of the book makes implications about minority babies bring raised by a white families that I find downright regressive as an asian American, and I can’t even imagine how it would come off to an actual adoptee. And I’m supposed to just blindly accept that as a good point? What I’m saying is, I don’t think I’ll finish this book.

- Horrible1 star

Such a gigantic let down... 600 pages of over descriptions and no end.

- Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng3 star

Not up to her first novel, but very good, easy to read. A bit formulaic. Not enough exposure of the characters’ interiority for this reader.

- People need to read good books2 star

Couldn’t get through this, it became very boring. Written at a high school level. Sad that I payed for it.

- Hey3 star

Hey i was a great time

- Writer was unable to leave her own biases2 star

She obviously hasn’t been back to her hometown in a while, and she didn’t as much explore motherhood as she did infuse her own values in a non self-aware manner.

- Slow and tough to get into2 star

The book took a long time to develop the story. I was at the very end and kind of became interested.

- Littte Fires everywhere5 star

Great Book

- Little Fires Everywhere4 star

I really enjoyed this book - not my usual read but it was thought provoking- reminding me of the times of the late 50’s and early 60’s.

- Overrated2 star

The book started out slow and never really picked up. I felt it was too long winded and found myself scanning paragraphs. It wasn’t horrible but I probably would not recommend it.

- Truth5 star

My favorite thing about this book is the family secrets. With today’s social Media obsessed world, everything appears perfect. Like a Disney fairytale. Not true. This story hits closer to home then any social media post I’ve ever read. Thank you!

- Mmm3 star

I’m not quite sure why everyone is in love with this book; it didn’t grab me. I just don’t get the hype.

- Just ok2 star

This book was rated so highly I was excited to read it. I really struggled to get through this book. It was so slow! There seemed to be a lot of back story and I kept thinking when are we going to get to the good part?

- Great5 star

I read this one on a road trip. Traveling, while diving into this story was perfection.

- Terrible1 star

This book is awful. I am not sure why it has any good reviews. I had to force myself through the book and for a very anti-climatic ending. Don’t waste your time!

- Little Fires Everywhere5 star

An excellent read. Totally involved with each and every character and their stories.

- Little Fires Everywhere5 star

A great read. I enjoyed this book from the first to the last page. I look forward to reading more of the author’s writings. Thank you for a great page turner.

- Fantastic.5 star

Fantastic squared.

- Little fires everywhere2 star

Eh, like an after school special, but somewhat overwritten

- Great read5 star

Captivating - couldn’t put it down - each character is deeper than they realize growing throughout the book !

- Great book5 star

Insightful and spellbinding. Really enjoyed it and will seek out Ms. Ng's other books!!😀😀

- Good read4 star

Loved the book but not the ending. I hope she writes a part 2 because it ended with to many questions.

- Didn’t love it3 star

Just seemed kind of blah and boring. Not a deep emotional read by any means but it was well written. Just quick and easy.

- Started out good3 star

Then dragged out unrealistically. Sounded a little like peyton Place..mrs richardson would not be so mean nor would mia have been so stupid and uncautious. She was so careful her entire life witth Pearl. I was bored at the end and wish i hadnt paid so much for this book on ebooks.. Much ado about nothing..

- Disappointing!2 star

I read the reviews and was anticipating a great deal more than I received. I got bored with hearing about Shaker heights and how wonderful it was and the only place to live yada-yada went on and on. This book certainly is no classic. The book got to be interesting once t Mia and Pearl got to "wonderland “ i.e.Shaker Heights, but only slightly. Very predictable and found the families pretentious, selfish and uncaring.

- Excellent family drama4 star

I became completely engrossed with the families in this book and very quickly I might add. There are so many lessons about life to take away from this novel. It was funny, sad, scary and realistic in so many ways. I will definitely be waiting for the next work from this wonderful author.

- Best book I’ve read in awhile!!!!!5 star

If you haven’t read this book yet, what are you waiting for?! It’s truly one of the best books I’ve read in sometime! There are so many twists and turns that kept me from even wanting to put it down! Awesome!!!

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- A Must Read from a Gifted Author5 star

This book touched me so deeply I cried in my darkened hotel room in Shanghai, China at 3 in the morning! I read it through almost non stop. It wove into a captivating story the intricacies of family life and that everything we do has so many further consequences down the road like a stone being thrown in a pond or dominoes knocking each other over! Great read, great plot line and great characters especially the children. It will be a movie someday. And to my two grown sons, I did my best

- Heartfelt5 star

This was a great story, easy read, over too fast. Hope for a sequel

- Little Fires Everywhere5 star

Great read. I read until my eyes grew blurry. It was like watching a train wreck. The title certainly fit the book.

- For example5 star

I'm not sure

- EXCELLENT!5 star

I became so engrossed with the characters that I didn’t want it to end. One of the best books I have ever read.

- Not good1 star

Just finished this book and bought it due to the high praise. Don’t be fooled by positive reviews. This book is poorly written, the characters are flat, and the story itself is flimsy. Plot points change oddly with new characters coming into the story awkwardly. Don’t waste your time.

- Overrated.3 star

This book had great potential. The characters were all given lots of depth. Unfortunately the ending was hurried and not given a lot of clarity. Some may argue that the ending is for the reader to interpret.

- Great read4 star

Really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend

- Little fires everywhere5 star

Superb character development in this richly webbed story of an American family with all the scars and beauty showing all at the same time. Within the pages are several opportunities for good discussions and lessons to be learned about ourselves. I highly recommend this read.

- B4 star

By Her

- Slow2 star

Very slow at first!!! Only the last third of the book was good.

- Little Fires Everywhere5 star

What a great read! Could hardly put it down! Highly recommended! Made me really think about the facade that we put out there and the affect it has on our children. As a mother it encouraged me to appreciate the differences in my children.

- UI’m bthas4 star

GAO n🐗🐸🦊so HBUhh

- Loved it!!5 star

I took a chance and bought this book on a whim after seeing it on a top sellers chart and I’m soooo happy I did!! I’ve stayed up waaayyyy past my bedtime reading it, because I couldn’t put it down. I loved the characters, and it made me question what I would do in some of the situations that were presented in the story. As another person mentioned, I would love a sequel!!

- Deep, complex moral and familial issues4 star

Told masterfully with love, finesse, and understanding. Shaker Heights, Ohio the perfect setting, so well described. Too many tangential characters, examples and events, to give it a 5, but quite a masterpiece of writing.

- I wanted to like it, but...1 star

I picked it up and put it down twice. I haven't hit 100 pages yet and was bored to death with slow, agonizing development. The teenage drama of was so long ago for me that I just couldn't relate. I felt like this book is best for young adults or at least the beginning of it is and like I said, despite my trying, I could not get past 100 pages.

- Little Fires Everywhere4 star

I loved this book, although there were a few areas that I think were overwritten, the character development and deep dive into what motivates people to be either good or evil was well done!

- Nice read4 star

This book was very poignant, the under belly of the realities of the American dream gone awry. An engaging drama with mystery and intrigue

- The best5 star

Though I could put this book down for a few days at a time, it was there waiting for me, like a friend when I picked it up again. I loved the story, the full characters & contrasts. I loved the writing itself, different from most books I read. I will watch for more from this author. A 10. I only hope the story has a series to come

- Little Fires Everywhere4 star

Great read.

- Eloquent and written with great care4 star

Celeste takes us into the hearts and souls of numerous characters through storytelling and experience. Both characters and storyline develop with carefully chosen words, leaving the reader engaged and wanting more.

- All the alittle fires4 star

Good read.

- Little Fires Everywhere5 star

Thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. Good character development and great flow to the story.

- Don’t waste your time1 star

After reading “Everything I Never Told You”, I had high hopes for this novel. I’m nearing the end and trying to finish is brutal. My mother and I are reading it simultaneously and continue to look up at one another rolling our eyes. The archetypical suburban upper middle class family and “wild artist vagabonds” Are such flat, unoriginal characters. The ideas are cliche and so shallow. This entire book is an utter disappointment and such a waste of time. I had to skip entire chapters because they were so horribly written and boring...

- Not that great2 star

The story was boring, I could skip 2-3 pages at a time and not miss a thing!!!! Much to say about nothing. Terrible ending. I really don’t understand why some think this is the best book they have ever read. They must not read that much. Don’t waste your money.

- I couldn’t sleep5 star

I do most of my reading in the middle of the night since it normally puts me back to sleep. However, this book kept me up for three nights straight. It was so good and moved so quickly that I couldn’t stop reading. Also the fact that I’m a yinzer born and bred and that she mentioned eat n park made my heart sing.

- Little Fires Everywhere5 star

Unstoppable! Could not put this down. An expose into the family, into the realities of life...as we don't see them until it is sometimes too late.

- Great Read5 star

This book sets up great anticipation. By starting with the end of the story, NG leaves you wondering how things would turn out the entire novel. I looked forward to picking up this book and reading it... now I’m sad it’s over.

- The Art of Putting Out The Fires in Life5 star

There is so much more to this novel than just a good read debating adoption - the book is about the choices we make in life as we attempt to extinguish the many fires that arise no matter our illusions of control. We are all forced to live with the consequences of our decisions, and rarely are the options black and white. There are no uniform answers in life. The author has created complex yet familiar characters who make the reader reflect whether or not we chose our lifestyle or merely conformed to the culture we were born into This was a fabulous novel about a suburban family ignited by outliers.

- Page Turner4 star

This was a well written, easy to read book that was hard to put down. I liked the characters...well most of them...you'll figure out the one I didn't like when you read it! The author provided great insight into what it feels like to be a teenager. Glad we read this one for Book Club! Would absolutely recommend!

- Loved every page!5 star

This is a must read!! Didn't want it to end!

- So good5 star

A beautiful, complex story. The writing is visceral. Highly recommend...

- Loved it5 star

Such a pleasure to read, I love the character development and how we get to know each character. I didn’t want it to end

- Beautiful5 star

This book is absolutely outstanding. It is thought-provoking, creates complex and nuanced characters, and is extremely engaging.

- Mediocre2 star

Not bad, but definitely wouldn't highly recommend

- Ini meg b4 star

IoIyit

- Excellent read and great character development!4 star

Just a rare good read! The characters were so well thought out and their psychological motives explained and implied that I found myself actually caring for them. This just doesn’t happen much these days as the old pros turn to pumping out their predictable banal pros. So move over Patterson, Gresham and Brown. There’s a real author in town and it’s a whole new show. Thank you.

- Amazing book!5 star

This was truly one of the best and well written books I have ever read and I have read hundreds of books! It was almost impossible to put down! I will now read everything this author writes!

- Pretty good4 star

I loved C. Ng’s last book so when this one came out, I trusted her enough to not even read the description. Like the last book, some loose ends were never tied and that kills me!! Lol. Other than that, bravo! Intriguing til the last page.

- Little Fires Everywhere5 star

I have a difficult time finding books I like. The story is either missing something or falls apart. This book was perfect. Thank you!

- Amazing. Period.5 star

So well written.

- Disappointing2 star

The character development was decent, a quick read, but I never felt engaged. Dull.

- Great Book4 star

Just finished this book- great read! The last half went so fast. The characters are well developed and the way their lives intertwine is beautifully written. Highly recommend!

- Wow5 star

I will read every book that this author writes. Page turner. Loved the characters, loved the writing, loved the content. Amazing!

- Loved this Book5 star

This book was fantastic. Strongly recommended.

- Such an engaging, interesting story5 star

With so many variables and characters. I loved reading every word

- So satisfying5 star

Ms. Ng’s writing is superb. The characters are beautifully developed. I could not put it down. Please write a sequel and let us learn what happens to these characters. Highly recommend.

- Little fires in my heart5 star

Celeste Ng provides a window into a fascinating microcosm in late 90s America with this arresting novel. I was astonished by the depth and development of each character, in a cast of many unique perspectives. The ending left me wanting more, but in the best way. Incredible book!

- Overwhelming!!5 star

Might be the most emotionally overwhelming book I have ever read, simply stunning and magnificently crafted. This is a family story that pierces the soul, not with overwrought drama or violence but with an internally driven, psychological character studies. An absolute classic, not to be missed!

- R😆😆😆🚥🚥 y5 star

Rffrtrttmrvtttkm

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5 star

New episode of little fires everywhere is what i only look forward to ☹️

5 star

@joeyaff7: Little fires everywhere soundtrack is the tits

5 star

Movie: The Invisible Man Series: Hunters, Katy Keene, The Bold Type & Little Fires Everywhere Book: Into the Water…

5 star

Experimenting with my popcorn, tried a rosemary and brown butter recipe! It was niiiiice! May make another batch th…

5 star

Little fires everywhere is so good 😭 I even started reading the book

5 star

3/28 -Little Fires Everywhere -SVU -Random scenes of The Leftovers which left me with bad dreams 😢

5 star

@spencermweiss Hiya — Hulu here! New episodes of Little Fires Everywhere are made available as early as 12AM ET on…

5 star

I miss pretty little lies 🥺 so I’ve been watching little fires everywhere to scratch the itch but it’s just not the same !

5 star

When I was watching Little Fires Everywhere and these grown ass bitches said they don’t know what their vaginas loo…

5 star

comecei a ver little fires everywhere ontem e viciei real. tempos que uma série não me pegava assim, acho que big l…

5 star

Petition for little fires everywhere to release all at once due to everyone needing something to live for

5 star

6 shows, 6 friends Succession Great British Baking Show (for when the news gets heavy) McMillions Sanditon Little…

5 star

every day that passes is one day closer to a new little fires everywhere and i'm okay with that

5 star

@___phenomENA: I can’t stand Mia in little fires everywhere which means Keri is playing this out of this role

5 star

@sofieg27 Are you watching little fires everywhere on Hulu? That shit dope

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