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No.
1


 
Interesting,
Dramatic,
Insightful

35 reviews

Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng

Published: 2019-05-07
Paperback : 368 pages
268 members reading this now
809 clubs reading this now
69 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 30 of 35 members
The #1 New York Times bestseller!

Soon to be a Hulu limited series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

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, ...
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Introduction

The #1 New York Times bestseller!

Soon to be a Hulu limited series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

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...
 
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.

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

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

1. Shaker Heights is almost another character in the novel. Do you believe that “the best communities are planned”? Why or why not?

2. There are many different kinds of mother-daughter relationships in the novel. Which ones did you find most compelling? Do mothers have a unique ability to spark fires, for good and ill, in us?

3. Which of the Richardson children is most changed by the events of the novel? How do you think this time ultimately changes Lexie’s life? Trip’s? Moody’s? Izzy’s?

4. The debate over the fate of May Ling/Mirabelle is multilayered and heartbreaking. Who do you think should raise her?

5. How is motherhood defined throughout the book? How do choice, opportunity, and circumstances impact different characters’ approach to motherhood?

6. Mia’s journey to becoming an artist is almost a beautiful novella of its own. Mia’s art clearly has the power to change lives. What piece of art has shaped your life in an important way?

7. Pearl has led a singular life before arriving in Shaker, but once she meets the Richardsons, she has the chance to become a “normal” teenager. Is that a good thing?

8. What ultimately bothers Elena most about Mia?

9. The novel begins with a great conflagration, but its conclusion is even more devastating. What do you think happens to Elena after the novel ends? To Mia and Pearl? To Izzy? Do you think Izzy ever returns to Shaker and her family? Why or why not?

10. Celeste Ng is noted for her ability to shift between the perspective of different characters in her work. How does that choice shape the reader’s experience of the novel?

11. We see how race and class underline the experiences of all the characters and how they interact with one another. In what ways are attitudes toward race and class different and the same today as in the late 1990s, when the book is set?

12. What does the title mean to you? What about the book’s dedication?

Suggested by Members

Mother/ daughter relationships
Adoption
Which character changes the most.
by judithecampbell@gmail.com (see profile) 11/28/17

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Little Fire everywhere is a surprisingly good read. "by lizblair (see profile) 10/22/19

From the beginning you never know where this book will take you. It starts with the end and brings you back again, hopping from place to place, and person to person, child to child. Towards the middle... (read more)

 
by rieckermann@sympatico.ca (see profile) 10/21/19

 
by dreaquinn (see profile) 10/16/19

 
by jkpbones@aol.com (see profile) 10/14/19

 
by teribehar66@gmail.com (see profile) 10/12/19

 
by myjulie@gmail.com (see profile) 10/08/19

 
by eshasson@gmail.com (see profile) 10/03/19

 
by laureensa (see profile) 09/29/19

 
by abbysaunders@yahoo.com (see profile) 09/27/19

 
by otoolem9@gmail.com (see profile) 09/27/19

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