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The Gypsy Moth Summer: A Novel Hardcover – June 6, 2017
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"This novel shakes and stirs family saga and summer romance upside down. The irresistible story-telling brings to life each character and Fierro doesn't just observe, she knows. She gives us a particular and narrow neighborhood, and like all great novelists, she gives us the world."
- Amy Bloom, bestselling author of Away
- Francine Prose, author of Mister Monkey
―Matthew Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves
- Joanna Rakoff, author of the international-bestselling memoir My Salinger Year
"Masterpiece is often a word that is casually tossed around, but it fits Fierro's work, which is so richly alive, so poetic, it is truly Shakespearean tragedy. I had a sense of wonder that someone could craft a novel as perfect as this one, but then I remembered this is a Julia Fierro novel, so the only answer to that wonder is of course, of course, of course, she could―and she did."
- Caroline Leavitt, author of the New York Times Bestsellers Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow, and Cruel Beautiful World
Julia Fierro's The Gypsy Moth Summer is a deeply satisfying tale of family, first love, and home. The world of Avalon Island is lush, inviting, and deeply complicated, full of the same contradictions that we grapple with day to day. It's a meditation on what makes a community and a reminder that the past is never past and home is a place that is both beautiful and heartbreaking.
- Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman
"Julia Fierro weaves a riveting, tragic novel of place from an Island's unspoken past. Vividly drawn characters and startling scenes of joy, confrontation and regret are set against the surreal background of Gypsy Moths devouring trees, Clinton-era racial tensions, a deeply ingrained military industrial complex, and the conflicted societal and familial need to belong at all costs. Fierro's masterful second novel draws us close, makes us its confidante, and then delivers hard and violent truths about the Island's legacy of denial."
- Scott Blackwood, author of See How Small
"Julia Fierro's second book is a luminous, urgent novel about the forces that shape us all: where we grow up; whether we are loved by our parents or understood by our peers; how class, power, and money may cast our fates. With gathering awe, I found in Avalon Island's richly depicted society a microcosm of our own. I rooted for the lovers at the thrumming heart of The Gypsy Moth Summer with the hungry turn of every page."
- Sophie McManus, author of The Unfortunates
About the Author
JULIA FIERRO is the author of the novels The Gypsy Moth Summer and Cutting Teeth. Her work has been published in The Millions, Poets & Writers, Buzzfeed, Glamour, and other publications, and she has been profiled in The Observer and The Economist. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Julia founded The Sackett Street Writers' Workshop in 2002, a creative home to more than 3,500 writers in NYC, Los Angeles and Online. SSWW was named “Best Writing Classes” by The Village Voice, Time Out NY, and “Best MFA-Alternative” by Poets & Writers. Julia lives in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.
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I was so caught up in the story and the depth of the characters both young and old. Even with my intense aversion to bugs of any kind, and nervous just at the thought of reading about them, I loved how the gypsy moths were placed throughout each chapter and simultaneously woven into the story.
The elder statesman and his wife Veronica have come back to Avalon Island to tend to company business, that he, the Colonel, was in charge of. His daughter and son in law, both a wreck in their separate ways, are clueless as to why they are back in town. As are the rest of the island residents. The Colonel is a mean son-of-a-gun and his wife is a force to be reckoned with. Their grandchildren, Maddie and Dom, are each trying to escape from their own demons. Enter the daughter of the Admiral who was the Colonel’s predecessor, and her African American husband, along with their two children. Upon their first appearance in town, their presence is not welcome in this all white island that is frozen in time, a time in the way back, where lawn jockeys are commonplace and racism is on full display.
Without giving too much away, THE GYPSY MOTH SUMMER is a bit Romeo and Juliet, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and West Side Story. There is much more familial dysfunction, which makes it that much more disturbing, as well as that much more interesting to read.
Your summer won’t be complete without reading this book.