Review of ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ by Celeste Ng

After being very impressed by Celeste Ng’s debut novel Everything I Never Told You, I had high expectations of Little Fires Everywhere. It didn’t disappoint. Expertly crafted, the story examines the complex relationships between siblings and parents. It asks what motherhood is and also engages with race, privilege and art.

The adoption of a Chinese baby by a white family is the issue which divides the community of Shaker Heights in Ohio and ultimately sets off a chain reaction of events. However, this does not occur until a third of the way through the story. The main focus is the wealthy, wholesome Richardson family and their tenants, unconventional artist Mia and her daughter Pearl. Much of the story is actually a flashback, as it begins with the Richardsons’ house on fire and then the narrative explores what happened leading up to this. I thought it was a really fascinatingly told story with well-drawn characters, most of whom are teenagers.

The story is set in 1997-8. I’m not sure if there’s a reason for this, other than a little nostalgia (the author graduated high school that year). Maybe she wanted to write teenagers without having to include the smartphones which now dominate their lives. The setting of Shaker Heights, with its aura of suburban perfection, is actually real – the author grew up there.

Little Fires Everywhere is an excellent read and I look forward to whatever Ng writes next.

First published in 2017.

17 thoughts on “Review of ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ by Celeste Ng”

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it too! I don’t know if I will get to see the TV series but hopefully it will be a good adaptation. I’m OK thank you, I hope you are too โ™ฅ

    1. Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜€ I was impressed with both, they may not be for everyone, but I liked them a lot more than I thought I would. If you read her books, I hope you enjoy them ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I was seeing it everywhere too! Yes do move it to the top of your list ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for reading my review!

    1. Thank you! I already knew you liked this one ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet you’re looking forward to her next book.

  1. Brilliant review! I keep seeing this book everywhere and it looks like everyone is really pleased with it so I’ll have to consider adding it to my TBR.

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