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Little Fires Everywhere

Written by: Celeste Ng
Narrated by: Jennifer Lim
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,064 ratings)

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, September 2017

I loved Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You, so when I found out she was releasing a new novel, I immediately called dibs on the advance copy (sorry team!). Little Fires Everywhere is set in an idyllic town in Ohio in the '90s. We're introduced to Elena, the matriarch of the Richardson family - a picture-perfect family with strong ties to the community. When Mia, a struggling artist, and her 15-year-old daughter move in to one of the split houses the Richardsons own, an infatuation (or you could call it an obsession) develops between the two families, and the line between the tenant-landlord relationship is crossed. Narrator Jennifer Lim makes her Audible debut with Little Fires Everywhere, and I can’t wait to hear what she does next. —Laura, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

The runaway New York Times best seller! 

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! 

"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)

“I am loving Little Fires Everywhere. Maybe my favorite novel I've read this year.” (John Green)

From the best-selling 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 teenage 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.

©2017 Celeste Ng (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"Witty, wise, and tender. It's a marvel." (Paula Hawkins, New York Times best-selling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Just drags on and on

It's not a bad story, a thought provoking concept and a plethora of symbolism, but they're diluted by the fact that the story just keeps hitting you over the head with them over and over again.
A lot of the novel is drawn out a lot more than it needs to be, so much so that it just gets boring. The story doesn't even start to get interesting until a quarter of the way through, and it has one of the least satisfying endings I've come across.

If you like overly dramatic stories about philosophical discussions towards motherhood, go for it, but if not, save your money for something else, because you'll get bored pretty quick. Not sure why this is so highly rated, but oh well. At least the reader was good.

12 people found this helpful

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  • CRA
  • 2019-03-14

Did not enjoy.

I found the book too slow. I got to chapter 7 and had to return it for a refund.

2 people found this helpful

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it's like Jerry springer in a novel

worst book ever. no writing style took 10 chapters to setup the main story and the ending is shit. like an episode of Jerry springer strached 21 chapters. do not buy. I want my money back. Bad Asian accent(I am Asian).

7 people found this helpful

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Worth the Read

Beautiful story. Extremely engaging. You will not want it to end. The narrator's voice was perfect.

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Fun romp

This is a soapy tale of complicated mother and daughter relationships. Easy to listen to and has a few good twists. I found it slow to start but got hooked eventually.

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So captivating!

Loved it!! I couldn't stop listening to this book. Totally reccomend it. I want to read more books of the author.

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Enjoyed the Whole Listen

A captivating story well-defined. Enjoyed the Whole Listen even though it deals with ages and people not usually on my reading list. I have nothing else to add.

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Solid novel marred by poor performance

This novel built slowly but was worth the wait. Unfortunately, the narrator made the overall experience suboptimal, although her voice was pleasant to hear. Throughout, she would emphasize the wrong word in 90% of the sentences. Of course, that affected the meaning and made the recording almost impossible to listen to.

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Great Book!

I loved listening to this book. Was drawn to it after watching one episode of the HBO series. Jennifer did an amazing job narrating and drawing the listener into the very words written. My first book by Celeste and lets just say it won't be my last.

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Great Book

Makes you think about how you perceive the world around you. Highly recommend the read

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • jaycon
  • 2019-08-06

"Little Whiny People Everywhere"

I also am not entirely sure what this book was about. What are the take home points? What is the moral of the story? Truly, the only thing I was certain of is that Celeste Ng has made enemies out of the entire population of Shaker Heights, Ohio!

Throughout the book I found myself not warming up to any of the characters. I think I know which ones I was SUPPOSED to like -- or at least the ones I was supposed to have sympathy for -- but, jeez, they all just seemed so very hard to like.

But I think what really got in the way of my enjoyment of the book the most was the narrater. As listeners we rely so much on the narrater's interpretation of the characters. But I was finding myself re-saying sentences of the book in my head in a different way than the narrater to see if a different prosody would work better for me. There were so many times when she would read a character's dialogue, for example, as though the character were whining, but that just didn't seem to fit -- it didn't make sense given what was happening in the book. When I re-said those lines in my head in a less whiny, more desperate way, it all seemed to make more sense to me. Lim makes ALL of the characters whiny, hence my renaming of the book -- "Little Whiny People Everywhere."

175 people found this helpful

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  • D. Bouchard
  • 2018-07-21

Scattered story

This book should be renamed ‘small scattered stories’. There were some decent characters and an attempt at the end to pull it all together but it was unsuccessful.

84 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • APersonWhoBuysStuff
  • 2018-09-17

meh, not worth the hype

This book starts out as a very promising drama but abruptly becomes tedious almost exactly half way through. I stuck with it for as long as I could but it just kept getting more and more eye-roll worthy and....honestly, tedious is just the best word for it.
Everyone I know was raving about this book, but it just didn't hit the mark for me. If you like suburban drama, I guess this book is for you? Narration is okay.

69 people found this helpful

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  • Andria
  • 2019-02-20

I’m surprised this had such good reviews

The story line was OK at best. It was an easy read because it was
sort of teenybopper. I listened to it in my car during my drives but by the end of the book was extremely disappointed with the ending. The end was so anti-climactic, insignificant, and left the readers with a bunch of loose ends. The book was not at all thought provoking and was just a random story to be told that ended on the mild note. Would not read from this author again.

62 people found this helpful

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  • Shanni
  • 2018-04-04

Lots of eye rolling

Any additional comments?

Meh. Didn't love it or hate it. It was entertaining enough during my commute but I found myself rolling my eyes many times and even occationally blurting out loud "Oh come on!" or "Really???". Lots of cliches and predictable moves by the characters. The narration was good, I just didn't love the story or the characters. I especially didn't like Mrs. Richardson. Not sure what all the hype was about for this book.

56 people found this helpful

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  • R. Collins
  • 2018-10-04

Awful. Should be in the YA section.

This book is terrible. Should be in the YA section. It's teenage angst, stereotypical moms -nomad, cool, artist mom and uptight, rich privileged mom- and every hot-button topic the author could cream into the book: teenage abortion, secrets, teenage sex, troubled youth, broken familial relationships, surrogate parenting, adoption etc.. Evenstill, it has little depth and is poorly written as well. Your teenage daughter might enjoy it, but I wouldn't waste your money. Also, thre ending is predictable and devoid of imagination. Don't waste your time or money on this book.

41 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Brittney
  • 2018-07-17

Just ok

The story here is not very fascinating more like a simple look into the lives of pretty average suburban families. Story comes and goes fast without much of a plot.

32 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Ryder
  • 2017-10-05

Boring and Drawn Out!!!

Kept falling asleep while listening, but was determined to finish it, especially due to all the hype over this audiobook. The story never got any better, and the ending was ridiculous! Really wish I could understand why there are so many great reviews. What are people seeing, that I just don't? As for the narration, J.L. did a pretty good job of performing each of the characters, though she did not use different voices or inflections for them. She basically used the same voice during the whole story. Sadly, I would definitely recommend passing this one up, and not wasting your time on it. 👎🏼

687 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-06-25

I kept Waiting for it to get good...it never did.

I don't really understand the point of this book. It followed many different characters which I have found I am not a fan of. I like books that follow a main character but regardless of that, this book I found, didn't really have a point. I was bored throughout the book but finished it hoping it would get better or all the story lines would somehow come to this awesome ending...I was sadly disappointed. It was predictable and didn't leave me wanting more. I would pass on this one.

97 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robin
  • 2017-10-17

little epiphanies everywhere

Another thoughtful and thought-provoking book by Celeste Ng. I loved her first book, and didn't imagine that this one could be as good, but it is. This is a sensitive and nuanced look at motherhood, social class and race. She does not let her characters or her plot off with easy answers, or with good guys and bad guys. Even though each character seems to be somewhat of a "type" initially, as the narrative deepens we see how multifaceted each participant in this story is and I found myself feeling more and more empathy for each of them as the story developed. Lovely and evocative book that I didn't want to end. I listened to this as an audiobook (from Audible) and thought the narrator was perfect.

138 people found this helpful