Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Book - 2017
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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
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2017
ISBN: 9780735224292
0735224293
Characteristics: 338 pages ; 22 cm
Call Number: NG, C

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DCLbookclubs Oct 24, 2016

The book club will discuss this title on June 4, 2020.

The book club meets on October 17, 2019 to discuss this book.

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kkoenigc Apr 04, 2018

A good read. I found it interesting getting to know each character and what makes them tick.

Comment
RGHanna Jan 27, 2018

Thinking of how to sum up this novel, I landed on the word “challenging”. Ng sets out to challenge the beliefs of her characters as well as her readers. If you’re like me, you don’t want an author to tell you “cry now,” “laugh now,” “turn the page now,” “believe everything this character says,” e... Read More »

Comment
lindab1111 Nov 03, 2017

Well written story of motherhood, class, cultures, and some teen angst thrown in. The teen characters were written with the most depth. More than the adult characters. This book could be a great YA read because of the issues addressed. There were also some surprise twists in the end. Overall a ve... Read More »


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g
gloria1330
Nov 03, 2019

I was disappointed with this book. It started out very slowly & didn't grab my interest until I was 1/3 into it. Then, it became very interesting, until the end, which was very disappointing - it just fizzled out! Celeste's 'Girl on the Train' was an excellent read, so I don't know what happened with this one, unless she had to end it suddenly. Too bad!

h
hollymsellers
Oct 26, 2019

338 pages

p
pirate66
Sep 18, 2019

Really good read. Highly recommend it.

d
dagny49
Sep 18, 2019

Ellen half way thru

_McGeek_ Sep 09, 2019

I found this book to be an entertaining page turner, both quick to read and engrossing, with an interesting plot and cast of characters. In saying that though, I felt like there was a lot of build up for a somewhat unsatisfying ending. It's soon becoming a miniseries with the book to TV adaption queen Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington playing the leads.

1
10000mefest
Sep 08, 2019

I opted for the audio format of this book.
I must confess, I don't read much fiction. But this is a great premise for a story. The mother-daughter dynamic was poignant. And I like the way Ng builds up and fleshes out her primary characters, creating deep and meticulous backstories.
That may be why I was expecting a bit more in the way of tying up the loose ends of this story.
There doesn't seem to be much in the way of character arch or development here. Most if not all of the characters here end up pretty much where they began---no real, movement or lasting lessons learned for these characters, in my opinion.
That said, Ng creates characters masterfully and her plot points, if not always plausible, are moving, relate-able and exciting enough to draw you in and keep you till the end. I might add that it was read beautifully by Jennifer Lim, very talented.

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MoonBeamz11
Sep 05, 2019

This is an interesting story, and I was completely engrossed in unraveling the mystery for the first half of the book. But after that, you pretty much have it figured out, and I became less interested in the characters’ endings after a few problematic elements. For example, one young character gets an abortion and the most progressive character, known for her non judgmental attitude, is telling her she’ll always carry this with her, the sadness will never go away... It felt like the author and overall message of the book is that motherhood is ALWAYS sacred, and beautiful and to be treasured. And any deviation from this is a loss. I don’t think it was posing questions and multiple sides as much as it thinks it was, it felt a little too regressively preachy.

a
aamcgrath
Sep 05, 2019

An absorbing story, with interesting themes of motherhood and identity. Kind of a "chick book", which for me is a good thing! Serena Wong was a sort of shadow character -- I wondered if she would get more "page time", but she did not. Was she the author/narrator?

k
kristadarling
Aug 30, 2019

This is one of the best books I've ever read. I think the characters all have some relatable quality that really resonated with me. I just finished it and have to let my thoughts soak about the "rights" and "wrongs" presented by the author.

ArapahoeTiegan Aug 07, 2019

Two books in a row whose endings will stick with me? I wasn't prepared for this.. Such a cool novel that switches between points of view and tells a story I was not expecting from the way the book started. Man, I want more of these characters! I feel like there's so much more to be said!

Mia and Pearl have moved so many times, but Mia promises her daughter that Shaker Heights is their stopping point. They'll make a home here. They immediately become entangled with the Richardson family, from whom they rent their duplex. And drama ensues as a local couple tries to adopt a baby who was abandoned at a fire station, but now the birth mother wants her back. This divides everyone in town, and their experiences cause their feelings on the matter to fluctuate over time.

However, the book opens with a fire that Izzy Richardson sets, but I dont feel as if she got enough page time. She seemed like such an interesting character, but not a whole lot is ever said about her and her point of view happens so much less than anyone else's.. *fingers crossed* that was a bit intentional and we'll get more of Izzy somewhere in the future from Ng.

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Quotes

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a
ambdizzle
Aug 23, 2019

If a soul could leave a body, she thought, this is the sound it would make: like the screech of a nail being pulled from old wood.

t
TheresaAJ
May 07, 2019

"But the problem with rules, he reflected, was that they implied a right way and a wrong way to do things. When, in fact, most of the time there were simply ways, none of them quite wrong or quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure which side of the line you stood on."

t
TheresaAJ
May 07, 2019

"Like after a prairie fire. I saw one, years ago, when we were in Nebraska. It seems like the end of the world. The earth is all scorched and black and everything green is gone. But after the burning the soil is richer and new things can grow."

TheBookWitch Apr 14, 2018

"To a parent, your child wasn't just a person: your child was a place, a kind of Narnia, a vast eternal place where the present you were living and the past you remembered and the future you longed for all existed at once. You could see it every time you looked at her: layered in her face was the baby she'd been and the child she'd become and the adult she would grow up to be, and you saw them all simultaneously, like a 3-D image. It made your head spin. It was a place you could take refuge, if you knew how to get in. And each time you left it, each time your child passed out of your sight, you feared you might never be able to return to that place again." p. 122

ArapahoeMaryA Mar 15, 2018

Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.

c
cknightkc
Jan 30, 2018

“…his life had been divided into a before and an after, and he would always be comparing the two.” - p. 21

c
cknightkc
Jan 30, 2018

“All her life, she had learned that passion, like fire, was a dangerous thing. It so easily went out of control. It scaled walls and jumped over trenches. Sparks leapt like fleas and spread as rapidly; a breeze could carry embers for miles. Better to control that spark and pass it carefully from one generation to the next, like an Olympic torch. Or, perhaps, to tend it carefully like an eternal flame; a reminder of light and goodness that would never - could never - set anything ablaze. Carefully controlled. Domesticated. Happy in captivity. The key, she thought, was to avoid conflagration.” - p. 161

c
cknightkc
Jan 30, 2018

“Rules existed for a reason: if you followed them, you would succeed; if you didn't, you might burn the world to the ground.” - p. 161

c
cknightkc
Jan 30, 2018

“One had followed the rules, and one had not. But the problem with rules... was that they implied a right way and a wrong way to do things. When, in fact, most of the time they were simply ways, none of them quite wrong or quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure what side of the line you stood on.” - p. 269

c
cknightkc
Jan 30, 2018

“Sometimes, just when you think everything’s gone, you find a way… Like after a prairie fire… It seems like the end of the world. The earth is all scorched and black and everything green is gone. But after the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow… People are like that, too, you know. They start over. They find a way.” - p. 295

Age

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Kristen MERKE
Mar 25, 2019

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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coxkelsey72
Feb 27, 2019

coxkelsey72 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Mya614
Mar 04, 2018

Mya614 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Notices

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coxkelsey72
Feb 27, 2019

Sexual Content: Teenage encounters, abortion

c
coxkelsey72
Feb 27, 2019

Coarse Language: Mild swearing

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