Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng

fiction Contemporary
emotional reflective slow-paced

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Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours 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 teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

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

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.

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summary of 6093 ratings (see reviews)

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Infertility (2 reviewers), Racism (2 reviewers), Miscarriage (1 reviewer), and Sexism (1 reviewer)


emotional 75%
reflective 60%
mysterious 44%
tense 35%
challenging 21%
sad 21%
dark 15%
hopeful 9%
inspiring 7%
adventurous 3%
funny 3%
informative 3%
lighthearted 1%
relaxing 1%


medium 58%
slow 26%
fast 15%

Strong character development?

Yes: 68% | It's complicated: 21% | No: 9% | N/A: 0%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 46% | Yes: 34% | No: 17% | N/A: 0%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 75% | It's complicated: 11% | No: 11% | N/A: 0%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 88% | It's complicated: 7% | No: 3% | N/A: 0%

Average rating


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