42 reviews

Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng

Published: 2019-05-07
Paperback : 368 pages
468 members reading this now
1185 clubs reading this now
102 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 37 of 42 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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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,� Paste,� Kirkus Reviews,� St. Louis Post-Dispatch,� and many more...
â??I read� Little Fires Everywhere� in a single, breathless sitting.â?� â??Jodi Picoult

â??To say I love this book is an understatement. Itâ??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.â? â??Reese Witherspoon

â??Extraordinary . . . books like Little Fires Everywhere� don't come along often.â? â??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 plannedâ??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 Warrenâ??an enigmatic artist and single motherâ??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 townâ??and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.�  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Miaâ??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 motherhoodâ??and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

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

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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
Which character changes the most.
by [email protected] (see profile) 11/28/17

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