Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

What readers think of Little Fires Everywhere, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng X
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2017, 352 pages

    May 2019, 368 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Erin Szczechowski
Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 1 of 1
There are currently 7 reader reviews for Little Fires Everywhere
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Power Reviewer
Cathryn Conroy

This Is a 10-Star Book: Read It!
This is a 10-star book. But it comes with a serious warning: Do not read it unless you really have time to read. Because this book will suck you in and not let go. It is one of those rare accomplishments in literature: an ingeniously plotted page-turner that is written with sympathy, intelligence and keen insight into the human condition.

Written by Celeste Ng, this is the story of the Richardson family of upscale Shaker Heights, Ohio. Mr. Richardson is a wealthy, successful attorney. Mrs. Richardson is a reporter for the local newspaper. They have four children, each one year apart and all in high school. They also have new tenants, single mom Mia and her 15-year-old daughter, who rent the upstairs apartment in a home the Richardsons own on the other side of town. This is the story of these two families and their unexpected interactions. Mia is a freewheeling, gypsy-type artist with closely-guarded secrets, while Mrs. Richardson is a buttoned-down perfectionist who is a stickler for following the rules—but they are both passionate mothers. Mix in hot-blooded teenage hormones with the pressure to excel, and we have a stunning exploration of what it means to live and thrive (or not) in suburbia.

I loved everything about this book, and I am in awe of Celeste Ng's ability to spin a story that fully engages the reader.

Bonus: If you have ever lived in any of the Cleveland suburbs—east or west—reading this book is like going back again. The Cleveland details are perfect.
Power Reviewer

A book club's dream
Wouldn't I love to be a fly on the wall listening to the animated discussion in book clubs following the reading of this superb novel. This is a novel that demands a book club and is destined to be one of the hottest picks for 2017.The Richardson family live an ordinary planned and privileged life in Shaker Heights, Ohio where the lawns are mowed, the gardens beautifully planted and neighbors are people you can count on. Mrs.Richardson dwells in this "perfect" existence with her four children and lawyer husband counting her harmony with a morally elitist sense of right vs wrong. Enter non materialistic Mia, an avant garde artist and photographer who lives life outside the box , and her teenage daughter Pearl.They roll into town and rent an apt from the Richardsons. However, Mia carries a deep dark secret that will upend both families' lives when unearthed. As Mia and Pearl become deeply insinuated in the Richardson's lives, issues of motherhood arise. Is someone defined as a mother by virtue of birth or by love or both? Ng provides a fairly conventional plot with quick pacing but the characters and questions drew me in. Jump in people and let's discuss..

Maybe this rates just 3 - average or maybe 4
LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE, by my estimation, rates three or four stars out of five. I’ll give it four.

It starts out dull, a book about suburban teenagers. I’m an adult; teenagers bore me nowadays. But this book eventually turns out to be about adults, too. So it gets better.

As a matter of fact, it’s hard to say who the main characters are; there are several possibilities. LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE is a mystery told from the points of view of different characters, both teenagers and adults.

Blurbs I read call this book a thriller, but it’s not. I think some people use the words “thriller” and “mystery" interchangeably. LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE is a mystery: Who lit the little fires everywhere? And the phrase ”little fires everywhere" is treated both literally and nonliterally in this book.

The story starts out with the fire, then it’s flashback. Different mysteries go on then, all leading up to the fire.

The flashback begins with Mia and her teenage daughter who come to Shaker Heights, Ohio with all their belongings fit into their VW Rabbit. (There’s another mystery for you: that VW Rabbit is 20 years old, and they’re still driving it cross country. Really?) The landlady of their apartment they settle in also lives in Shaker Heights in a beautiful home and has four teenagers of her own. If I had to pick the main characters, they would be these six people.

Everyone has secrets from one another, and sometimes the secrets are mysteries to the reader, too. Some of the secrets come out and the mysteries are resolved. My criticism of this book, though, is that I had too many questions in the end. At least we learn who lit the little fires everywhere.

waste of time
I have tried reading this book several times for my book club. It is like trying to walk through sludge. I just don't care enough about any of the characters and the story line(s) leave me cold and indifferent but also annoyed. I would not recommend this book. Cheers!

hurry up and finish it
I had to read this book for my book club's sake.
The story itself is alright; it could have been really good. The writing style made it hard to follow the story lines. At one point it seemed that the writer simply threw in any and every idea and name and street corner and time frame that came to her/his mind. It was hard to get connected to one story line as a new one kept opening up.
I was relieved to have finished reading it.

Waste of time
I tried reading this book 3 times, as it was on the list of books for our community book club. The book labors along, not really offering the reader anything new in terms of plot, or characterization. This book might be more appropriate for high school girls, or for someone, who has never read Patchett, or Donna Tartt, authors that really deliver a masterful book. Total waste of time.

1. As I read, I felt as if I were slogging through deep water. Too many words were unnecessary to the plot, or to the setting. I kept wanting the author to get on with it, because I was so tired of treading water.
2. I didn't really believe any of the characters in the book. They were figures designed by the author to meet her plot demands, rather than robust human beings.
3. Often I didn't understand either their motives or their actions, because they seemed to interfere in the lives of others without justification.
4. Most of all, I was bored out of my skull. It's all Donald Trump's fault. I keep telling folks that he is making a MEAN person out of me!!!
  • Page
  • 1

Beyond the Book:
  Books on Adoption

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Change
    by Edouard Louis
    Édouard Louis's 2014 debut novel, The End of Eddy—an instant literary success, published ...
  • Book Jacket: Big Time
    Big Time
    by Ben H. Winters
    Big Time, the latest offering from prolific novelist and screenwriter Ben H. Winters, is as ...
  • Book Jacket: Becoming Madam Secretary
    Becoming Madam Secretary
    by Stephanie Dray
    Our First Impressions reviewers enjoyed reading about Frances Perkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Bloodcarver
    The Last Bloodcarver
    by Vanessa Le
    The city-state of Theumas is a gleaming metropolis of advanced technology and innovation where the ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
A Great Country
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
A novel exploring the ties and fractures of a close-knit Indian-American family in the aftermath of a violent encounter with the police.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The House on Biscayne Bay
    by Chanel Cleeton

    As death stalks a gothic mansion in Miami, the lives of two women intertwine as the past and present collide.

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Home
    by Crystal Hana Kim

    A moving family drama and coming-of-age story revealing a dark corner of South Korean history.

Win This Book
Win The Funeral Cryer

The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu

Debut novelist Wenyan Lu brings us this witty yet profound story about one woman's midlife reawakening in contemporary rural China.



Solve this clue:

M as A H

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.