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Available copies

  • 24 of 34 copies available at BC Interlibrary Connect. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Prince Rupert Library.

Current holds

11 current holds with 34 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Holdable? Status Due Date
Prince Rupert Library Ng (Text) 33294002049237 Adult Fiction - Second Floor Volume hold Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780735224292
  • Physical Description: print
    regular print
    338 pages ; 24 cm
  • Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2017.

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.: 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 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 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.
Subject: Single mothers -- Fiction
Female friendship -- Fiction
Adoption -- Fiction
Family secrets -- Fiction
Mothers and daughters -- Fiction
Dysfunctional families -- Fiction
Neighbors -- Fiction
Genre/Form: Domestic fiction.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2017 July #1
    *Starred Review* Shaker Heights, Ohio, is a by-the-books kind of town. Longtime residents know the well-established rules of conduct. Newcomers, such as itinerant artist Mia Warren and her teenage daughter, Pearl, must find out for themselves what is acceptable and what is not. Renting an apartment from city-native Elena Richardson should give Mia and Pearl a leg up. Instead, it throws them into the midst of a fraught custody battle concerning a Chinese American baby; engenders fierce rivalries between brothers Moody and Trip Richardson for Pearl's attention; and casts Mia as the unlikely confidant of the Richardson daughters, popular Lexie and outcast Izzy. There are secrets upon secrets within the families: Mia's past is hidden from Pearl, just as Pearl conceals her love affair with Trip. Lexie's abortion must be kept from her family, while only Izzy knows the subterfuge her mother is using to undermine Mia and Pearl's happiness. Ng's stunning second novel is a multilayered examination of how identities are forged and maintained, how families are formed and friendships tested, and how the notion of motherhood is far more fluid than bloodlines would suggest. Ng's debut, Everything I Never Told You (2015), was a book-group staple. Laden with themes of loyalty and betrayal, honesty and trust, her latest tour de force should prove no less popular. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
  • BookPage Reviews : BookPage Reviews 2017 September
    The pleasure of watching it burn

    At first glance, Celeste Ng (pronounced “ing”) may look unassuming, but make no mistake, this petite, bright-eyed writer is a veritable fireball. She starts her books with a bang.

    Ng’s narratives reveal families plagued by delicately interwoven secrets and misunderstandings that ultimately yield tragedy. Her debut bestseller, Everything I Never Told You (2014), begins with devastating news for a Chinese-American family. Her latest novel, the mesmerizing Little Fires Everywhere, starts with an equally provocative lead: “Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.”

    “That was fun,” Ng says with a grin, referring to her new novel’s incendiary beginning. “In literary fiction, you don’t often get to have explosions. If you think about action movies, Michael Bay gets to blow everything up. And then there are the quiet indie films, and that’s what literary fiction is. So it was fun to get to do that.”

    As we talk on a hot summer morning, Ng sits in the corner of a dark cafe near Harvard University, her alma mater. She lives near Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and soon-to-be 7-year-old son. The initial idea for Little Fires Everywhere was sparked by a church fire in Cambridge in 2009. “That gave me the idea of a literary fire that might burn everything to the ground,” Ng recalls. She speaks crisply and quickly, her mind overflowing with ideas and enthusiasm.

    While Everything I Never Told You takes place in 1970s small-town Ohio, Ng sets her latest novel in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a wealthy, planned community that prides itself on educational achievement and diversity. Ng spent most of her childhood there, experiencing “that kind of blissful childhood that people think of, where you ride your bike and there are lots of parks and everybody has a front lawn.”

    It’s hardly a haven for family arsonists, however.

    “I had the idea of a dysfunctional family,” Ng explains. “I started thinking that there’s this one black sheep who is at odds with everything that the family and the community are aligning themselves with. What’s going to happen? How far is that tension going to go?”

    Ng’s saga takes place in 1997-98, when Ng herself was a senior in high school, making her the same age as her studious, Yale-bound character, Lexie, the oldest of the four Richardson children. Lexie’s siblings include handsome athlete Trip (a junior); quiet, reflective Moody (a sophomore); and wild Izzy, the fire starter.

    Both of Ng’s novels focus on the roles of mothers and daughters and the relationships between the two, but her new book includes a twist. “A lot of times I feel that mothers are supposed to be peacemakers who put out all of the fires,” Ng says, “but in this book, they’re inciting all of the fires.”

    At center ring of these mother wars are Mrs. Richardson—a frustrated career woman, local reporter and busybody—and Mia Warren, an artist and single mother who lives hand to mouth and moves into a rental property belonging to the Richardsons. Mia and her teenage daughter, Pearl, soon befriend and infiltrate the Richardson family, with everyone helping to stoke the oncoming firestorm. Ng sees no heroes or villains in the story, just women acting “out of fear of losing their children, especially their daughters.”

    The result is a deftly woven plot that examines a multitude of issues, including class, wealth, artistic vision, abortion, race, prejudice and cultural privilege. While all of this could be handled in a heavy-handed way, rest assured that in Ng’s talented hands, the issues arise organically.

    “Mothers are supposed to be peacemakers. . . but in this book, they’re inciting all of the fires.”

    Ng’s parents, both scientists, emigrated in their early 20s from Hong Kong to the United States, where they married, pursued graduate studies and raised two daughters. The family moved from Pittsburgh to Shaker Heights just before Ng turned 10, when her father began working at NASA’s Lewis Research Center and her mom began teaching chemistry and conducting research at Cleveland State University. The move proved to be transformative for Ng.

    “It was the first time that I had been in a place that wasn’t basically completely white, where I was the only nonwhite person,” Ng says. “Before, in my elementary school, there was one black girl, one girl who was Jewish and one Asian girl, who was me.”

    A woman ahead of her time, Ng’s mother tried to broaden her daughter’s cultural perspectives through books. “If there was a book that came out in the ’80s or ’90s that has to do with anything in East Asia, I probably had it,” Ng says, laughing.

    While race was at the forefront of her first novel, it’s also an important subplot in Little Fires Everywhere, concerning a legal battle between a young Chinese immigrant mom who abandons her baby and a white couple who tries to adopt her child.

    Ng, who describes her husband as a “tall white guy,” says she didn’t plan to write about this topic. “But because I’m in a mixed-race marriage and have a biracial child, these issues are just things that are on my mind,” she says. “In Little Fires Everywhere, I wanted to write about it from a different angle. I wanted to show the ways that race is not just an issue for nonwhite people; it’s an issue for everybody.”

    As for her next novel, Ng is contemplating two “wildly divergent ideas” and has yet to settle on one. “The best analogy I have is that if you’re walking around a big walled city, you need to keep going around it until you can find a gate. I’m kind of walking around and trying to find where the gate is.”

    No doubt she’ll find it, and readers will follow her in.


    (Author photo credit Kevin Day Photography.)

    This article was originally published in the September 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

    Copyright 2017 BookPage Reviews.
  • Kirkus Reviews : Kirkus Reviews 2017 July #1
    This incandescent portrait of suburbia and family, creativity, and consumerism burns bright.It's not for nothing that Ng (Everything I Never Told You, 2014) begins her second novel, about the events leading to the burning of the home of an outwardly perfect-seeming family in Shaker Heights, Ohio, circa 1997, with two epigraphs about the planned community itself—attesting to its ability to provide its residents with "protection forever against…unwelcome change" and "a rather happy life" in Utopia. But unwelcome change is precisely what disrupts the Richardson family's rather happy life, when Mia, a charismatic, somewhat mysterious artist, and her smart, shy 15-year-old daughter, Pearl, move to town and become tenants in a rental house Mrs. Richardson inherited from her parents. Mia and Pearl live a markedly different life from the Richardsons, an affluent couple and their four high school-age children—making art instead of money (apart from what little they n eed to get by); rooted in each other rather than a particular place (packing up what fits in their battered VW and moving on when "the bug" hits); and assembling a hodgepodge home from creatively repurposed, scavenged castoffs and love rather than gathering around them the symbols of a successful life in the American suburbs (a big house, a large family, gleaming appliances, chic clothes, many cars). What really sets Mia and Pearl apart and sets in motion the events leading to the "little fires everywhere" that will consume the Richardsons' secure, stable world, however, is the way they hew to their own rules. In a place like Shaker Heights, a town built on plans and rules, and for a family like the Richardsons, who have structured their lives according to them, disdain for conformity acts as an accelerant, setting fire to the dormant sparks within them. The ultimate effect is cataclysmic. As in Everything I Never Told You, Ng conjures a sense of place and displacement and s h ows a remarkable ability to see—and reveal—a story from different perspectives. The characters she creates here are wonderfully appealing, and watching their paths connect—like little trails of flame leading inexorably toward one another to create a big inferno—is mesmerizing, casting into new light ideas about creativity and consumerism, parenthood and privilege. With her second novel, Ng further proves she's a sensitive, insightful writer with a striking ability to illuminate life in America. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
  • Library Journal Reviews : LJ Reviews 2017 April #2

    Ng follows up the uber-best-booked, New York Times best-selling Everything I Never Told You with a story set in classy Shaker Heights, OH, where the diamond-perfect Richardson family are upended by the arrival of single-mom artist Mia Warren and her teenage daughter, to whom they rent a house. When friends attempt to adopt a Chinese American baby, all hell breaks lose. With a national tour.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal.
  • Library Journal Reviews : LJ Reviews 2017 June #1

    The morning after Mia and daughter Pearl return the rental key in the Richardsons' mailbox, the youngest Richardson, Izzy, sets "little fires everywhere," destroying the family home. Following her magnificent debut, Everything I Never Told You, Ng's spectacular sophomore work again manipulates time (revealing the implosions backward) and perspectives (privileging the reader through multiple narrators). In Shaker Heights, OH, a pristine suburb where "there were rules, many rules," wealthy wife and mother of four Elena Richardson writes "terribly nice" articles for the local paper. Her tenants, Mia and Pearl, nomads who finally plan to "stay put," are soon integrated into the Richardsons' sprawling lives: teenager Pearl becomes like a fifth child, artist Mia something more than a part-time housekeeper. When Elena's close friend adopts an abandoned Chinese baby whose birth mother's return causes a community rift over custody, Elena and Mia find themselves on polarizing sides. "Everything…beautiful and perfect on the outside" crumbles, observes Izzy, the family's barometer of truth about identity, parent/child bonds, and most of all, love. The consequences will be devastating and illuminating. VERDICT Shaker Heights native Ng writes what she knows into a magnificent, multilayered epic that's perfect for eager readers and destined for major award lists. [See Prepub Alert, 3/27/17.]—Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal.
  • Publishers Weekly Reviews : PW Reviews 2017 July #3

    This novel from Ng (Everything I Never Told You) is both an intricate and captivating portrait of an eerily perfect suburban town with its dark undertones not-quite-hidden from view and a powerful and suspenseful novel about motherhood. When the eccentric and itinerant artist Mia Warren and her 15-year-old daughter, Pearl, move into a rental house in Shaker Heights, Ohio, one summer, neither they nor their more conventional, affluent landlords, the Richardsons, have any reason to anticipate how dangerously enmeshed the two families will become. Before long, Pearl, enthralled by her first shot at a "normal" life, is spending every day with three of the four Richardson children, Lexie, Moody, and Trip, finding a best friend, a suitor, and a lover in turn. Meanwhile, Isabelle, the youngest Richardson teenager, starts heading over to see Mia, offering to work as her assistant but really looking for an escape. As both Mrs. Richardson and Mia Warren overstep their boundaries, Ng explores the complexities of adoption, surrogacy, abortion, privacy, and class, questioning all the while who earns, who claims, and who loses the right to be called a mother. This is an impressive accomplishment. Agent: Julie Barer, the Book Group. (Sept.)

    Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.
  • School Library Journal Reviews : SLJ Reviews 2017 November

    Shaker Heights, a wealthy suburb of Cleveland, is home to the mostly content Richardson family of six. Mia, an artist, and her teenage daughter, Pearl, decide to settle down and rent an apartment from the family. Pearl bonds with the Richardson teens, and life seems idyllic until a custody battle erupts. Elena Richardson's friend is adopting a baby whose biological mother, a friend of Mia's, regrets her decision to abandon the child. Ng sensitively examines adoption, privilege, and race as the well-off white couple and the child's biological mother, a Chinese immigrant who initially gave up the child out of financial necessity, fight for parental rights. Through Mia, the author also explores the sacrifices that artists must make and the tension between passion and parenthood. An unwanted teen pregnancy and long-held secrets add to the impact of this emotional story peopled by sympathetic characters. VERDICT For fans of thought-provoking literary works, especially those who enjoyed Ng's first novel, Everything I Never Told You.—Karlan Sick, formerly at New York Public Library

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

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