Little Fires Everywhere’s Fiery Ending: The Biggest Changes From Book to Screen

Little Fires Everywhere…and big changes everywhere, too. 

There’s a reason that Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington wanted to tackle the tale of Elena, a wealthy mother of four, and Mia, a single mother always on the move, both as executive producers and stars: the novel by Celeste Ng spent 48 weeks on the New York Times’ hardcover-fiction best-seller list, thanks to its complex characters and nuanced take on race, socioeconomics, motherhood and more delicate topics.

But that doesn’t mean the Hulu adaptation—which is up for three awards at the 2020 Emmys on Sunday, including Best Limited Series—followed every beat of the book, with Little Fires Everywhere undergoing some pretty major tweaks for the small screen, including one major one even before the series began: making it clear Mia is black, with the novel never specifying the Warren women’s race.

“Initially, I had wanted to write [Mia and Pearl] as people of color,” Ng, who’s Asian-American, told The Altantic. “…but I didn’t feel like I was the right person to try to bring a black woman’s experience to the page.”

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