“Little Fires Everywhere” Review:


Photo courtesy of Anna Goodbee

The cover of the novel Little Fires Everywhere.

Little Fires Everywhere – Written by Celeste Ng – Fiction
Little Fires Everywhere – Screenplay written by Liz Tigelaar – Produced by Celeste Ng

“Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground and start over.”

Two families living picture perfect lives in a picture perfect town, what could go wrong? The story Little Fires Everywhere written and produced by Celeste Ng tells an engaging story that proves that secrets are easy to cover up and nothing is as it seems.

This fascinating story takes place in Shaker Heights, Ohio and it talks about many controversial topics. The stories are all weaved together through the lives of two very different families.

The Richardson family has four children all living what seems a perfect life, but behind closed doors, each child is dealing with their own issues. Mother, perfectionist, and town busybody, Elena Richardson, will go to extreme lengths to make everything perfect and uncover the truth about any situation even if that puts her relationships at risk.

Living in the Richardosn’s rental house, is single mother Mia Warren, an artist, and her teenage daughter Pearl. The Richardsons and the Warrens are brought together by the circumstance of renting and living near each other, and they have a peculiar relationship that only gets more tangled as the story continues. Between custody battles, fake miscarriages, racism, and sexism, this story will not disappoint readers.

Celeste Ng wrote the novel in 2017. Even though the story takes place in the same town where she grew up, it is not about her life, just how the culture of this town impacted her. In an interview with Indiewire, Ng states “[growing up in Shaker Heights] really shaped me into the person that I am, and I wanted to unpack that.”

The book was turned into a popular TV show. The more recent version of the story was filmed in 2019 and was released to Hulu in 2020. The show is eight episodes long and stars Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

The book is full of captivating twists and turns and being able to see them on screen is a very cool experience. Surprisingly, the show takes a deeper dive into the plot and into the lives of the characters. If the book were turned into a movie instead of a show, the plot might be less deep and the characters would also feel more shallow. Since the show takes place over 8 episodes, it feels as if the story is being stretched out more and turning it into a show was a really smart move. Being able to take a closer look at the characters and their feelings is a really interesting contrast with the book.

The book feels very straight forward in the sense of how the characters are laid out and how everything fits together. The show almost gives the viewer the feeling like the characters are more up for interpretation and the show also includes more twists that are not originally written in the book. Even though not everything that happens in the show happens in the book, the things that got added to the show give another perspective and a deeper meaning to the characters. To contrast this, everything that happens in the book, the audience will see again in the show. This can give the viewers a piece of mind in knowing that their favorite part will not be left out.

Fans of the iconic book can rest assured knowing the show will live up to their expectations because the plot is only expanded upon and nothing is left out. The characters are explored deeper and the way the show was filmed alone will leave the views feeling satisfied.