Favorite Quotes from Little Fires Everywhere

A fellow blogger and dear friend of mine, Hunida, writes posts where she pulls her favorite quotes from the recent books she has read. I always love reading the quotes she chooses and she has inspired me to do one of my own posts.

You may recognize the title since Little Fires Everywhere is now a show on Hulu based upon the novel by Celeste Ng. I think I have a particular affinity for this book because I grew up near where the story takes place. She mentions various places, restaurants, suburbs that I have a very personal connection to in various ways. She also has a brief portion of the book located in San Francisco. So am I bias toward this book? Yes, objectively I would say so. However, her writing was what captivated me the most, I admired her perspective and portrayal of her characters that resonated in a visceral, nearly Freudian, manner.

I tried to find a way to sum up the story, but there is no great way that captures the intricacies of the tale at hand: I’ll say this- it’s about two families and their children. The story explores the depths of relationships, ethics, pride, desire, choices, regret and youth.

I have been watching the Hulu series, although I am a bit behind. The one thing that does not translate to the screen is the brilliance of Celeste Ng’s writing. The story seemed to be changed slightly in order to create more of a visually dramatic effect where the book rolls you through the various tumultuous emotions you inevitably experience in a much more placated manner. The beauty of her writing almost provides a sense of awe that cushions the intensity of coming to grips with your own lived experiences being mirrored vaguely through the layered plot- at least it felt this way for me.

So without further adieu, I hope to highlight some of the absolute genius that is the author Celeste Ng. Of course, without context it will be difficult to truly appreciate the words in all their glory- but hopefully this lends a taste.

“At that moment Moody had a sudden clear understanding of what had already happened that morning: his life had been divided into a before and an after, and we would always be comparing the two”

“She could see the similarities between the two lonely children, even more clearly than they could: the same sensitive personalities lurking inside both of them, the same bookish wisdom layered over a deep naïveté.”

“But the thing about portraits is, you need to show people the way they want to be seen. And I prefer to show people as I see them. So in the end I’d probably just frustrate us both”.

“Peters felt a brief pang of irritation at their youth, their frivolity, their ease.”

“I don’t have a plan, I’m afraid,” she said lifting the knife again. “But then no one really does, no matter what they say”. 

“Everything she thought she’d forgotten- her body remembered on a cellular level”.

“Though she could never quite articulate it this way, resentment began to sheathe concern. ANGER IS FEAR’S BODYGUARD…”.

“…she found everything had nuance; everything had an unrevealed side or unexplored depths. Everything was worth looking at more closely”.

“…one day crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in a fog so dense she could hear, but not see…The fog mirrored her state of mind so perfectly she felt as if she was walking through her own brain: a haze of formless, pervasive emotion, nothing she could grasp, but full of looming thoughts that appeared from nowhere, startling her, then receded into whiteness again before she was even sure what she had seen.”

“Parents, she thought, learned to survive touching their children less and less…It was like training yourself to live on the smell of an apple alone, when what you really wanted was to devour it, to sink your teeth into it and consume it, seeds, core, and all”

“It terrifies you. That you missed out on something. That you gave up something you didn’t know you wanted” 

“All her life she had learned that passion, like fire, was a dangerous thing. It so easily went out of control. It scaled walls and jumped over trenches. Sparks leapt like fleas and spread as rapidly; a breeze could carry an ember for miles. Better to control that spark and pass it carefully from one generation to the next, like an Olympic torch. Or perhaps, to tend it carefully like an eternal flame: a reminder of light and goodness that would never-could never- set anything ablaze. Carefully controlled. Domesticated. Happy in captivity.”

“She didn’t care, Mrs. Richardson realized, what people thought of her. In a way, that made her dangerous.”

<3

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32 thoughts on “Favorite Quotes from Little Fires Everywhere

  1. why did I never know that ‘without further ado’ is actually ‘without further adieu’, loool opsss!

    Anyway, this book sounds really good, I trust your opinion anyway but I loveee how this holds such personal ties, it must have felt so sweet to read it! How special.

    I especially love this quote – “Parents, she thought, learned to survive touching their children less and less…It was like training yourself to live on the smell of an apple alone, when what you really wanted was to devour it, to sink your teeth into it and consume it, seeds, core, and all” – Made me want to hug my parents a little tighter and appreciate them even more. Thank you so much for sharing beauty.

    I’m definitely going to add this to my tbr list <3

    1. hahah well I could be spelling it totally wrong too! I have a tendency to do that for a while and not realize I’m spelling the word wrong- like the first two years of my blog I spelled “y’all” like “ya’ll” lol.

      It was special for those personal ties for sure!! <3

      YES, exactly! (about the quote). I had the same reaction. I texted my mom immediately after reading it, and I said I felt like it described closer to how it feels to be a parent.

      I hope you enjoy if you read, love! Thanks for stopping in 🙂 xx

      1. Omg I never even knew about “y’all”, lol. So interesting isn’t it how we all have our own ways, at least we still understand what we mean haha.

        Aww I love that you texted your Mum straight after (I love how we have Mom and Mum too), that is so sweet. It’s a wonderful quote.

        Thanks hun, I need to remember to add this to my tbr along with Eleanor Oliphant! xx

      2. Haha it really is sooo interesting how we all have our lingo- I loveeee the way y’all talk by the way ☺️ it sounds so classy to me! I have learned a lot about these nuances since beginning blogging! It’s too fun. Hope you have a wonderful Friday, m’dear! 💜

      3. Ooh I love it! To be fair when I was in New York my cab driver did say I sounded posh 😂 I was like it’s just the accent (well in my head, irl I totally lapped it up haha)! It’s so fun! You too lovely ❤️

  2. How much do we love Hunida and her posts? I’ve been inspired by her book reviews to include as many dang quotes as I want to in my own book reviews. Not that I’ve read or reviewed many books LATELY.

    Thanks for sharing your favorite quotes from Little Fires. I read that book awhile ago and did NOT jot down quotes so it’s nice to see them again here. Such a good book and I also enjoyed the series. And you’re so right about the brilliance of Celeste Ng’s writing not translating to the screen, although I’m sure Reese tried her hardest since she is a reader.

    1. Yesss!!! I adore her blog & her in general- she’s so genuine. And Jinjer- I thought I was following your blog, but I just went and it had the “follow” button- but I just fixed that so I can read your book reviews (& other posts) too!!

      Aw I’m glad you enjoyed the book & quotes!! And yess, I really think the TV show would be entirely enjoyable if you haven’t read the book- but Celeste Ng’s writing had such a profundity that just didn’t seem to quite get all the way on screen. Still, I’ll be watching the whole thing 🙂 Maybe I’ll watch some tonight! Thanks for reading, Jinjer. Hope you are doing well!

    1. Aw I’m glad you enjoyed this, Dr. Dinardo! That means so much- Wishing you the same 🙂

  3. I love love love Little Fires Everywhere, and this post! My favourite you have included in this post is: “…she found everything had nuance; everything had an unrevealed side or unexplored depths. Everything was worth looking at more closely”. I can’t remember it in the context of the novel but love the idea of constantly exploring/learning. Hope you are well, Mack! Xxx

    1. Aw I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Kat!! <3 Right?!?- I just love the way she articulates profound truths we experience. Hope you are doing so well too, love!

    1. So glad you enjoyed this roundup of quotes- hope you enjoy the book, Ashleigh!! Thanks for stopping in 🙂

    1. My thoughts with the show : I think it’d be really great if you hadn’t read the book. Having read the book, I don’t think the beauty and profundity of Celeste Ng’s writing translates as much as I wish it would- but they did translate the actual story very well. It’s also a little cheesy at times, but I say it’s worth a watch!

  4. I really appreciate this!! You have reminded me that now that we have finished watching Ozark, I want to start Little Fires Everywhere. I do need to start reading novels again, too. Beautiful quotes!

    1. Glad you enjoyed this, Kori 🙂 I hope you enjoy this novel if you get a chance to read! And you have reminded me…. as soon as I get home I want to watch the third season of Ozark!! So excited!

  5. Oh! I’d been thinking about watching this series. Definitely want to read the book first then! I watched Big Little Lies before reading the book and while they stay very close to the story line, there’s definitely some changes that they make. And you know I love a good quote!! Hope all is going well! xx

    1. Yess definitely read the book first!! I wish I had read Big Little Lies first too. Little Fires Everywhere and Big Little Lies have a very similar vibe to them, so I bet you’ll enjoy it! Hope all is going well with you too 🙂

  6. Very expressive writing and I’ll bet the phrase about the Golden Gate Bridge resonated with you – how the fog enveloped the bridge and the Bay.

  7. I am so happy I was able to inspire you to share this post! I enjoyed it so much! ♡ Also, so cool how you know a lot of the exact locations mentioned. Is the book based in Ohio?!

    Ever since it came out, I constantly read great reviews about it & now that the show has been released, even MORE people are talking about how amazing it is.

    All these quotes you pulled out were beautiful. My favorite one was: “I don’t have a plan, I’m afraid,” she said lifting the knife again. “But then no one really does, no matter what they say.” ♡

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