Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Little Fires Everywhere: Context
Little Fires Everywhere: Plot Summary
Little Fires Everywhere: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Little Fires Everywhere: Themes
Little Fires Everywhere: Quotes
Little Fires Everywhere: Characters
Little Fires Everywhere: Symbols
Little Fires Everywhere: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Celeste Ng
Historical Context of Little Fires Everywhere
Other Books Related to Little Fires Everywhere
- Full Title: Little Fires Everywhere
- When Written: 2014-2016
- Where Written: Cambridge, MA
- When Published: 2017
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Literary fiction; realism
- Setting: Shaker Heights, OH, USA
- Climax: Mia Warren is revealed to have agreed to act as a surrogate in college for a wealthy couple unable to conceive, only to change her mind and run away with the baby, who is now her daughter Pearl. The reason for their transient, on-the-lam-like lifestyle is revealed, as are Mia’s motivations for helping Bebe.
- Point of View: Third-person omniscient
Extra Credit for Little Fires Everywhere
Baby Jessica. In 1993, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Roberta DeBoer and her husband Jan were forced to return their adopted daughter Jessica, whom they had raised nearly from birth, to her adoptive parents in Iowa. The story featured in the national media, with articles in People and Newsweek detailing both the DeBoer’s fight to keep the child they’d come to love as their own and the joy the Schmidt family—Jessica’s birth parents—felt at welcoming her home after a long legal battle. Ng reverses the outcome of the Baby Jessica case—Bebe Wong is denied custody of her daughter—but complicates the already difficult moral debate by ending the novel with Bebe’s retaliation against the McCullough family, and her triumph over them. Mirabelle, or May Ling, just like Baby Jessica, is the object of tensions, debates, and moral grey areas, though as an infant she has no agency of her own. Ng uses the complicated precedent set in the original case to delve deeper into themes of motherhood, ostracism, assimilation, and altruism.