Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is a gripping tale of two very different families with two very different backgrounds. The novel is a fantastic quick read for anyone that enjoys a story filled with mystery, anger, art, identity, family, love, secrets, humor, and everything in between.

The book was published in 2017 by Penguin Press. It was later picked as the book of the month for Reeses Book Club. Then in 2020 Hulu published a tv show about the book starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.

The novel takes place in Ng’s hometown, Shaker Heights Ohio, a seemingly idyllic location where doors remain unlocked and the grass is always perfectly mowed. A place untouched by hatred, fear, and discrimination, at least until Mia Warren and her daughter, Pearl, move into town.

Mia Warren, a single mother raising her daughter through a constant pattern of new schools, new jobs, and new towns. They live minimally, on part-time jobs and income from Mia’s art. However, their simple life couldn’t have gotten any more interesting as decades old secrets are revealed and families conspire against each other.

Then there are the Richardsons, your perfect picket fence American family. Their lives could be described as the American dream. A large home filled with four teenagers, two boys and two girls, each with their own distinct personalities and passions. A generous and loving couple, a lawyer and a journalist, that support their family, community and local charities. But not everything is as it seems behind the smiling family portraits, they too have secrets.

The small world of Shaker Heights is turned upside down as war is waged between the birth mother and adoptive parents of a baby. The town is divided in a fight never seen before, and the Richardsons and Warrens are right at the heart of it.

These two families once united by their children are at odds as they embark on a thrilling journey where  secrets are uncovered and more are made. The story explores the pasts of the characters slowly revealing a different aspect that will leave you wanting more. As their families are torn apart they must find a solution before everything goes up in flames.