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The Gypsy Moth Summer

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It is the summer of 1992 and a gypsy moth invasion blankets Avalon Island. Ravenous caterpillars disrupt early summer serenity on Avalon, an islet off the coast of Long Island--dropping onto novels left open on picnic blankets, crawling across the T-shirts of children playing games of tag and capture the flag in the island's leafy woods. The caterpillars become a relentles It is the summer of 1992 and a gypsy moth invasion blankets Avalon Island. Ravenous caterpillars disrupt early summer serenity on Avalon, an islet off the coast of Long Island--dropping onto novels left open on picnic blankets, crawling across the T-shirts of children playing games of tag and capture the flag in the island's leafy woods. The caterpillars become a relentless topic of island conversation and the inescapable soundtrack of the season. It is also the summer Leslie Day Marshall—only daughter of Avalon’s most prominent family—returns with her husband, a botanist, and their children to live in “The Castle,” the island's grandest estate. Leslie’s husband Jules is African-American, and their children bi-racial, and islanders from both sides of the tracks form fast and dangerous opinions about the new arrivals. Maddie Pencott LaRosa straddles those tracks: a teen queen with roots in the tony precincts of East Avalon and the crowded working class corner of West Avalon, home to Grudder Aviation factory, the island's bread-and-butter and birthplace of generations of bombers and war machines. Maddie falls in love with Brooks, Leslie’s and Jules’ son, and that love feels as urgent to Maddie as the questions about the new and deadly cancers showing up across the island. Could Grudder Aviation, the pride of the island—and its patriarch, the Colonel—be to blame? As the gypsy moths burst from cocoons in flocks that seem to eclipse the sun, Maddie’s and Brooks’ passion for each other grows and she begins planning a life for them off Avalon Island. Vivid with young lovers, gangs of anxious outsiders; a plotting aged matriarch and her husband, a demented military patriarch; and a troubled young boy, each seeking his or her own refuge, escape and revenge, The Gypsy Moth Summer is about love, gaps in understanding, and the struggle to connect: within families; among friends; between neighbors and entire generations.

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It is the summer of 1992 and a gypsy moth invasion blankets Avalon Island. Ravenous caterpillars disrupt early summer serenity on Avalon, an islet off the coast of Long Island--dropping onto novels left open on picnic blankets, crawling across the T-shirts of children playing games of tag and capture the flag in the island's leafy woods. The caterpillars become a relentles It is the summer of 1992 and a gypsy moth invasion blankets Avalon Island. Ravenous caterpillars disrupt early summer serenity on Avalon, an islet off the coast of Long Island--dropping onto novels left open on picnic blankets, crawling across the T-shirts of children playing games of tag and capture the flag in the island's leafy woods. The caterpillars become a relentless topic of island conversation and the inescapable soundtrack of the season. It is also the summer Leslie Day Marshall—only daughter of Avalon’s most prominent family—returns with her husband, a botanist, and their children to live in “The Castle,” the island's grandest estate. Leslie’s husband Jules is African-American, and their children bi-racial, and islanders from both sides of the tracks form fast and dangerous opinions about the new arrivals. Maddie Pencott LaRosa straddles those tracks: a teen queen with roots in the tony precincts of East Avalon and the crowded working class corner of West Avalon, home to Grudder Aviation factory, the island's bread-and-butter and birthplace of generations of bombers and war machines. Maddie falls in love with Brooks, Leslie’s and Jules’ son, and that love feels as urgent to Maddie as the questions about the new and deadly cancers showing up across the island. Could Grudder Aviation, the pride of the island—and its patriarch, the Colonel—be to blame? As the gypsy moths burst from cocoons in flocks that seem to eclipse the sun, Maddie’s and Brooks’ passion for each other grows and she begins planning a life for them off Avalon Island. Vivid with young lovers, gangs of anxious outsiders; a plotting aged matriarch and her husband, a demented military patriarch; and a troubled young boy, each seeking his or her own refuge, escape and revenge, The Gypsy Moth Summer is about love, gaps in understanding, and the struggle to connect: within families; among friends; between neighbors and entire generations.

30 review for The Gypsy Moth Summer

  1. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Let me start with what I liked. The setting, the gardens, plants, mazes, flowers all beautifully described. Liked the character Julian, his son Brooks and young daughter. The chapters narrated but Julian were my favorite. Killed the young teen, Mandy but the rest of those outrageous, catty girls were just maddening. This book tries to cover too much, adds in almost everything someone could find unappealing, objectionable. Animal cruelty, profanity, drug use and alcohol abuse, sexual situations, Let me start with what I liked. The setting, the gardens, plants, mazes, flowers all beautifully described. Liked the character Julian, his son Brooks and young daughter. The chapters narrated but Julian were my favorite. Killed the young teen, Mandy but the rest of those outrageous, catty girls were just maddening. This book tries to cover too much, adds in almost everything someone could find unappealing, objectionable. Animal cruelty, profanity, drug use and alcohol abuse, sexual situations, racial prejudice, an abused wife, entitled, wealthy, obnoxious people and Probably more that I can't think of right now. To be honest, if I wasn't committed to reviewing this book I would have put it down much earlier, and in fact could have done without reading chapter nine at all. As it was, I skimmed the last third of the book and put it down with a great feeling of relief. The writing is good, this book just wasn't for me but as I always say, the subject matter may not hold the same trigger for you. Possibly you may see something in this that I didn't. ARC from bookbrowse.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    The fact is, I'm not a fan of bugs. I recognize they're all God's creatures, I know that some bugs actually help the environment, and the demise of certain bugs can spell peril for our world, but that doesn't change the simple fact that (most) bugs creep me out. And don't even get me started if I see/feel one crawling on me. I probably should have considered this when I decided to read Julia Fierro's The Gypsy Moth Summer, which takes place in the summer of 1992, when gypsy moths invade Avalon I The fact is, I'm not a fan of bugs. I recognize they're all God's creatures, I know that some bugs actually help the environment, and the demise of certain bugs can spell peril for our world, but that doesn't change the simple fact that (most) bugs creep me out. And don't even get me started if I see/feel one crawling on me. I probably should have considered this when I decided to read Julia Fierro's The Gypsy Moth Summer, which takes place in the summer of 1992, when gypsy moths invade Avalon Island, off the coast of Long Island. So many times in the book these bugs were crawling on people, landing in inopportune places, swarms of them were making noise, and I cringed the whole time. The preface of each chapter even had information and drawings of the caterpillars and moths. I can't stop itching... Okay, moving on now. The Gypsy Moth Summer is about a community under siege from natural and unnatural, human and insect causes. Avalon Island is ground zero in the battle between the haves and the have-nots—the perfectly manicured, coiffed, and bred citizens of East Avalon versus the tougher, working class residents of West Avalon, which also is home to the island's main source of income, Grudder Aviation, birthplace of planes and bombers that fueled the nation's victories when at war. But suddenly, Avalon residents are getting sick with unexplained cancers, and people are wondering: is Grudder to blame? When prodigal daughter Leslie returns to Avalon with her African-American husband and biracial children in tow, it turns the island upside down. While the more progressive residents are thrilled at Leslie's happiness, even her devil-may-care attitude, the welcoming, accepting spirit isn't shared by everyone on the island. And while the resident group of teen mean girls from East Avalon have nothing but disdain, one of them, Maddie, whose family background straddles both sides of the island, finds herself falling head over heels for Brooks, Leslie's son. But there are many not content to let that happiness be. I felt many times while reading this that Fierro was trying to capture the spirit of Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies, with a little bit of Mean Girls thrown in. All of the elements were there—those living with privilege and those without, secrets, scandals, mysteries—but it didn't quite capture either the suspense or the camp of Moriarty's book. Fierro is undoubtedly a talented storyteller, and she did a terrific job evoking the imagery of the island as well as the different personalities which made up the cast of characters. But I felt in trying to create drama, she threw everything she could into the plot—disease, racism, abuse, animal cruelty, sex, even class warfare. Between all of that and the shifting narration, it became a little confusing at times. I've seen a lot of great reviews of this book, so if the elements of the plot appeal to you, I'd encourage you to read it. You certainly won't be disappointed by Fierro's writing ability—as long as you can stomach the bugs. NetGalley and St. Martin's Press provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available! See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julia Fierro

    I've read it 20 times. At least.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !! ”Before that summer of ’92, when the gypsy moths swarmed Avalon Island and Leslie Day Marshall, golden-headed prodigal daughter, returned with her black husband and brown children to claim her seat as First Lady, the island’s crimes were minor.” The fictional Avalon Island, an islet off the coast of Long Island, is home to Grudder Aviation, where virtually all of those who call Avalon Island home are employed. It looms overhead of all on the island, like an ever-watchful paren !! NOW AVAILABLE !! ”Before that summer of ’92, when the gypsy moths swarmed Avalon Island and Leslie Day Marshall, golden-headed prodigal daughter, returned with her black husband and brown children to claim her seat as First Lady, the island’s crimes were minor.” The fictional Avalon Island, an islet off the coast of Long Island, is home to Grudder Aviation, where virtually all of those who call Avalon Island home are employed. It looms overhead of all on the island, like an ever-watchful parent, knowing your every move. Within Grudder, there are those known by their military rank, the executives, and then there are the factory workers. They all know, though, that the money that pays for those mansions in East Avalon, or the tiny homes in the less wealthy neighborhood, West Avalon all centers around Grudder Aviation. ”Grudder was the islanders’ fraternity, tribe, and church – every islander had heard tales of F6F Wildcat airman swearing they had more faith in Grudder than in God.” And then the graffiti began appearing in the spring: “GRUDDER IS CANCER. GRUDDER KILLS.” And now the gypsy moth caterpillars are everywhere, they hang from the trees, dropping in shoes and hair, under feet. The sound of their devouring the trees is the background hum they can’t escape. Nature’s composition for the Summer of ’92 - an annoying, never-ending sound that gets under everyone’s skin. It is this summer when Leslie Day Marshall returns to Avalon with her husband, Jules, who graduated with honors from the Harvard School of Design, ”Landscaping architecture”, and their two children, Brooks and Eva. A return to a life of privilege to live in “The Castle,” or at least in the guest cottage on the property until the necessary repairs can be made. The return brings out some questionable behavior / comments in a neighborhood not used to the idea of mixed-race marriages or the children born of those marriages. Summer, time for teens to spread their wings outside of the prying eyes of adults, celebrations, and falling in love. Young love, with all the emotional upheavals, add in some drugs, and some abuse, all along with a cacophony of sounds brought by the ever growing population of gypsy moths. Tensions rise, connections fray. Gaps that were barely noticeable before that summer are now glaring. Some relationships benefit by this, become more understanding, and others become more explosive. Prejudice and trust – or lack of trust between the races, between the generations, between those that seemingly have everything and those who struggle to have enough. As the summer goes on, as the tensions rise, the aura leads some to draw closer and some to push others away. They are all so busy wrapped up in this fight that has somehow turned into a competition where what is right is forgotten and the answer is simply to win. At all costs. Sometimes, in the most unexpected places or people, somehow, someone recognizes a truth, and become equally determined that some of the past must be left behind for the future to hold any promise. Pub Date: 6 Jun 2017 Many thanks for the ARC provided by St. Martin's Press

  5. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)

    Leslie Marshall returns to Avalon in the summer of 1992 with her African- American husband and their two children. Leslie has inherited her parents estate on the island and her father was once a key executive at Grudder Aviation. Grudder is the island’s biggest employer but environmental issues have tarnished its’ reputation. The Marshalls immediately attract attention from folks on the island because they are perceived as different. Prior to their death, Leslie’s own parents did not accept her Leslie Marshall returns to Avalon in the summer of 1992 with her African- American husband and their two children. Leslie has inherited her parents estate on the island and her father was once a key executive at Grudder Aviation. Grudder is the island’s biggest employer but environmental issues have tarnished its’ reputation. The Marshalls immediately attract attention from folks on the island because they are perceived as different. Prior to their death, Leslie’s own parents did not accept her husband, Jules, which kept them from visiting Avalon. Jules feels uncomfortable living on the island, encountering prejudices from many of the residents. Maddie Pencott LaRosa is a teenager living on the island and is the granddaughter to the patriarch of Grudder Aviation. She is being raised by an abusive father and an absentee mother. Maddie falls in love with the Marshall’s son, Brooks, and tries to shield him from her racist father. As tensions build over the summer, so does the population of gypsy moths. This story explores the judgements that divide people into social classes due to wealth and racial stereotypes. It also shows how parents can attempt to push their own biases onto younger generations. This is Julia Fierro’s second book. 1 copy giveaway on my blog until 6/15 https://www.facebook.com/suzyapproved...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Makkai

    Hey Julia, STOP CHECKING YOUR REVIEWS. Go back to work. Get out of here. xoxo

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris Wolak

    This novel has SO MUCH IN IT, but it didn't seem crowded to me. It seemed messy like life. Fierro is a beautiful writer. I love the way she conveys the best and the worst that we humans can be. There's violence (against women, kids, dogs, and gypsy moths) that at times is hard to take, but not gratuitous and never excruciatingly detailed. I didn't see some things coming and am disappointed how other things turned out -- again, like in life -- but in the end, I finished the book with a sense of s This novel has SO MUCH IN IT, but it didn't seem crowded to me. It seemed messy like life. Fierro is a beautiful writer. I love the way she conveys the best and the worst that we humans can be. There's violence (against women, kids, dogs, and gypsy moths) that at times is hard to take, but not gratuitous and never excruciatingly detailed. I didn't see some things coming and am disappointed how other things turned out -- again, like in life -- but in the end, I finished the book with a sense of satisfaction of having been on an epic journey. An excellent summer read for those who like family drama, well-wrought tragedy, and historical fiction. Full review on my blog: https://wildmoobooks.com/2017/06/15/r...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Note to self: Don't book a trip to Avalon Island, off the coast of Long Island, especially when there is a gypsy moth invasion. Yuck and double yuck! I learned a bit more about gypsy moths, their habits, noise, and their unending excrement than I really wanted to in this book--although it certainly helped to build a tense and seething atmosphere for the story. If you think that the gypsy moths sound bad, you haven't met the citizens of Avalon Island, a community full of dark secrets and neighbor Note to self: Don't book a trip to Avalon Island, off the coast of Long Island, especially when there is a gypsy moth invasion. Yuck and double yuck! I learned a bit more about gypsy moths, their habits, noise, and their unending excrement than I really wanted to in this book--although it certainly helped to build a tense and seething atmosphere for the story. If you think that the gypsy moths sound bad, you haven't met the citizens of Avalon Island, a community full of dark secrets and neighbors who are comprised of the haves and the have-nots and who all have some very racist views and prejudices in common. Tensions are already high when Leslie Day Marshall moves back to town with her biracial family after her mother's death. There's the gypsy moths covering every surface, trouble with Grudder Aviation--the main employer of the community, and a rash of cancers that have struck both young and old. Leslie's husband Jules, is an African-American landscape architect who is leery of being on the overtly WASP-y island and concerned about the safety of his children--teenage Brooks and little Eva, but also anxious to get his hands on the garden around Leslie's family home, known as "The Castle." The Gypsy Moth Summer is set in 1992 and the author pulls in many of the signs of the times with the foods, music, movies, styles, and current events that I found enjoyable to read and think back on. The story is told primarily from five points of view--Leslie and Jules, Maddie, a local teen and their neighbor, Veronica, Maddie's grandmother, and Dom, her brother. There are also quite a few secondary characters--Maddie's circle of friends, Leslie and Jules's son Brooks, Maddie's parents and cousins, and The Colonel--Veronica's husband and Maddie's grandfather. Everyone seems to be dealing with something or keeping something secret--from domestic violence and abuse, health and mental health issues, drugs and addiction, bullying, and sexuality. Combine all that with battling the rampant caterpillars and the environmental issues caused by the aviation factory and Avalon Island is pretty messed up. It's also a lot of people and issues to keep track of, but the author does a good job in weaving everything together. I found myself immediately attaching to and liking Maddie and Jules, however the other main characters are not as deeply drawn, or as likable and their motivations are not as clear. With some of the characters and situations (and the gypsy moths), the book is a bit like a train wreck--you want to look away but you just can't, and while I may not have liked them, I did want to know what happened to everyone. This made the 400 pages fly by rather quickly--the pacing mostly worked for me although I found the ending to be somewhat abrupt. The Gypsy Moth Summer is not a light and happy summer read, it covers some dark subjects, is thought provoking, and it made me uncomfortable at times. It won't appeal to everyone--there is sex and drug use and some instances of violence, but if you like a deeper read for your summer book stack, it's a worthy addition. You can see my full review and a recipe inspired by the book (and enter to win a copy through 630/27) on my blog post here: http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20... Note: A review copy and a giveaway copy of "The Gypsy Moth Summer" was provided to me by the publisher, St. Martin's Press, and TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne (It's All About Books)

    Finished reading: June 2nd 2017 "What good are the rules," Jules asked, "the laws, moral this and that, when you can't follow them and protect your family at the same time?" *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[ Ever since I first heard about The Gypsy Moth Summer I've been intrigued by this story. I've heard lots of interesting things about it since I first added it to my list, but Finished reading: June 2nd 2017 "What good are the rules," Jules asked, "the laws, moral this and that, when you can't follow them and protect your family at the same time?" *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[ Ever since I first heard about The Gypsy Moth Summer I've been intrigued by this story. I've heard lots of interesting things about it since I first added it to my list, but somehow it has taken me months to actually pick it up. One of the reasons is probably that I tend to have mixed reactions when it comes to literary fiction... And unfortunately The Gypsy Moth Summer ended up being one of those books where the genre just didn't work for me. I really wanted to like this story and the plot is without doubt both intriguing and well developed. I liked the idea behind the island of Avalon, its history and all events leading up to its 'climax' during the summer of 1992. Why wasn't my reading experience better then, would you wonder? First of all, during the whole length of this story I found myself unable to connect to the characters OR get used to the writing style, which put a mayor damper on things. I'm not saying this story isn't well written, but it's what you call an acquired taste or at least doesn't appeal to everyone. It just all felt a bit too chaotic to my taste and I personally struggled with this story. I understand the gypsy moth information bits are used to bind the plot together and these insects play a both a literal and symbolic role in the story, but unfortunately they mostly ended up distracting from the plot. And as for the characters: like I said before I found it impossible to warm up to them and I couldn't really appreciate the liberal use of sex, drugs and alcohol in the story without consequences either. It might be that those elements are used to symbolize the chaos unfolding on the island, but it mostly made me dislike the characters even more. All in all The Gypsy Moth Summer definitely wasn't for me... But if you enjoy reading literally fiction and like the sound of this story, don't let my review discourage you. It's the summer of 1992 on Avalon, a small islett off the coast of Long Island. The normally quiet island is being invaded by gypsy moths, the caterpillars eating everything that they can find and becoming a true plague. The insects are becoming one of the main topics of conversation on the island, but that is not the only thing the islanders talk about. Leslie Day Marshall, the daughter of Avalon's most prominent family, returns to the island with her husband and children. Nothing special would you say, but the fact is that Leslie's husband Jules is African-American and the island is packed with predominantly white conservatives quick to form their opinions about the family... And than there is the topic of the factory and the graffiti. I really wanted to enjoy this story and I still think the plot itself is both rich, provoking and fascinating, but unfortunately The Gypsy Moth Summer ended up being one of those titles that just isn't for me. Literary fiction can go either way with me in general, so that might just have been the problem here; if you enjoy the genre I would suggest still giving this story a go. That said, I couldn't ignore the chaotic feel of the storytelling, my lack of connection to the characters, certain elements that bothered me or the fact I couldn't warm up to the writing style. (hide spoiler)] P.S. Find more of my reviews here.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel León

    (3.5 stars, rounded up because this book is in my wheelhouse) Gypsy Moth Summer takes place in the summer of 1992 on Avalon Island, where there is a gypsy moth invasion. But it's not only the gypsy moths during things upside down on the island, there's a new family. Leslie Day Marshall grew up on the island, but left and has now returned with her new family. Her husband, Jules, is African-American, and their children are biracial, and racism abounds on this very white island. Teenager Maddie fall (3.5 stars, rounded up because this book is in my wheelhouse) Gypsy Moth Summer takes place in the summer of 1992 on Avalon Island, where there is a gypsy moth invasion. But it's not only the gypsy moths during things upside down on the island, there's a new family. Leslie Day Marshall grew up on the island, but left and has now returned with her new family. Her husband, Jules, is African-American, and their children are biracial, and racism abounds on this very white island. Teenager Maddie falls for Leslie's son Brooks and their relationship is intense and full of passion and urgency. Her grandparents are visiting and their presence adds another level of tension on the gypsy moth-infested island. I'm a sucker for literary family dramas, and this one is pretty great. It's funny, smart, and deeply tragic. It explores themes of friendship, love, family, race, connection, and refuge. Overall it's a beautiful novel and a great summer read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kristina Hunter

    With six different points of view, The Gypsy Moth Summer reminds me of an overgrown garden, where characters’ lives are like tangled roots that weave in and out of one another, desperate to feed and bloom. Fierro’s prose is thick with detail; I often had to reread sentences several times, not an easy feat for a novel so long. Deconstructing her heavy sentences was worth it, however; I was transported back to the 90’s, mostly through the young and impressionable Maddie, ripe with the culture of h With six different points of view, The Gypsy Moth Summer reminds me of an overgrown garden, where characters’ lives are like tangled roots that weave in and out of one another, desperate to feed and bloom. Fierro’s prose is thick with detail; I often had to reread sentences several times, not an easy feat for a novel so long. Deconstructing her heavy sentences was worth it, however; I was transported back to the 90’s, mostly through the young and impressionable Maddie, ripe with the culture of her decade. At times the vernacular felt forced, but not enough to detract from the story. Fierro’s robust descriptions made me I feel like I could pick each of her characters out in a crowd of millions. Not that I would want to; each of them with their own buried secrets, some deeper and darker than others. At times the novel barely crept along, like a newly sown seed. At other times it seemed rushed, blooming overnight. And so much, maybe too much, happened in those last pages; as if someone took a weed wacker to the garden, hungry and merciless. In the end, I wouldn’t mind rereading The Gypsy Moth Summer and spending more time in Fierro’s fine, albeit dense, garden.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Caeli Wolfson

    The rare book that reads deliciously as a perfect summer cocktail, yet confronts big, complex ideas headlong with bravery and grace. Avalon Island is dreamy, but it's also poisoned by racism and environmental toxins. Kids are falling in love while they're falling apart. It's 1992 and Kurt Cobain's voice is everywhere. The sand is hot and the waves are bucking. Every night, illicit parties pulse on the grounds of a certain mansion. You're invited. You won't be able to resist. The secrets of Avalo The rare book that reads deliciously as a perfect summer cocktail, yet confronts big, complex ideas headlong with bravery and grace. Avalon Island is dreamy, but it's also poisoned by racism and environmental toxins. Kids are falling in love while they're falling apart. It's 1992 and Kurt Cobain's voice is everywhere. The sand is hot and the waves are bucking. Every night, illicit parties pulse on the grounds of a certain mansion. You're invited. You won't be able to resist. The secrets of Avalon are deep and dark. Watch out. Immersive, compassionate, nuanced, disturbing and sexy, you'll need THE GYPSY MOTH SUMMER both in your beach bag *and* front-and-center on your library shelf.

  13. 5 out of 5

    r.b.

    I can't stop thinking about the characters of this novel. Told from several different points of view, The Gypsy Moth Summer is the story of summer 1992 on Avalon Island. From the gorgeously written prologue this book held me hypnotized with superb writing and a cast of characters that are all fascinating in their own way. This is Fierro's second novel and you can see her growing as an author in leaps and bounds!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Pensive, poignant and undeniably tragic! In this latest novel by Fierro, she transports us to Avalon Island, an islet infested by not only the gypsy moth but small-town, small-minded politics, economics, and environmental consciousness. The prose is vivid and exquisitely descriptive. The characters are destructive, materialistic and damaged. And the plot, which is ultimately about love, life, loss, cruelty, deception, familial dynamics, and vengeance has too many subplots and tackles too many issu Pensive, poignant and undeniably tragic! In this latest novel by Fierro, she transports us to Avalon Island, an islet infested by not only the gypsy moth but small-town, small-minded politics, economics, and environmental consciousness. The prose is vivid and exquisitely descriptive. The characters are destructive, materialistic and damaged. And the plot, which is ultimately about love, life, loss, cruelty, deception, familial dynamics, and vengeance has too many subplots and tackles too many issues, including industrial pollution, social and class division and strife, abuse, racism and emerging sexuality to not get a little bogged down and awkward. I have to admit this was a really hard one for me. There is no doubt that Fierro can write and write well and some readers will love the dark, somber feel of this story, but for me, I couldn't quite connect with the characters and the story had too much misery and not enough redemption. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Julia Fierro for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. All my reviews can be found on my blog at http://whatsbetterthanbooks.com

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lily S.

    3.5 stars. This book is really unique and atmospheric. Set on the island of Avalon told from different point of views. I wanted to write 'story' but it's more like scenes pinned together to draw out a picture about racism and what really drives people deep inside. Leslie Day returns to the island with her black husband and their two kids, that is the main theme but it feels more like an excuse to put several pont of views in action. It's more about character development than anything else and di 3.5 stars. This book is really unique and atmospheric. Set on the island of Avalon told from different point of views. I wanted to write 'story' but it's more like scenes pinned together to draw out a picture about racism and what really drives people deep inside. Leslie Day returns to the island with her black husband and their two kids, that is the main theme but it feels more like an excuse to put several pont of views in action. It's more about character development than anything else and different POVs complete each other perfectly. In this books actions speak instead of words and the gypsy moths evolve in perfect unison with the storyline. It's set at the point of life where multiple ruined, broken lives collide and crash changing everything in the end. Fierro writes beautifully which makes this book stand out but despite that I felt like she left the readers in the dark too many times about major happenings. I know it was on purpose but sometimes I didn't see any sense in it. Often she only let people in on the aftermath of the event. Overall I think it's worth reading because it's very well written and has a unique structure. * I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. *

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    (3.5) It’s the summer of 1992 and a plague of gypsy moth caterpillars has hit Avalon Island, a community built around Grudder Aviation and packed with magnates’ mansions on the East side and factory workers’ accommodation on the West. But the creatures are just one of many threats to this would-be fairy tale world. For Maddie Pencott LaRosa, it’s not just a simple Sweet Sixteen time of testing out drugs and sex at parties. Her grandfather “The Colonel,” the Grudder president, is back in town with (3.5) It’s the summer of 1992 and a plague of gypsy moth caterpillars has hit Avalon Island, a community built around Grudder Aviation and packed with magnates’ mansions on the East side and factory workers’ accommodation on the West. But the creatures are just one of many threats to this would-be fairy tale world. For Maddie Pencott LaRosa, it’s not just a simple Sweet Sixteen time of testing out drugs and sex at parties. Her grandfather “The Colonel,” the Grudder president, is back in town with her ill grandmother, Veronica, and they’re eager to hide the fact that he’s losing his marbles and hardly fit to lead a company. Also recently returned to the island is Leslie Day Marshall, daughter of the previous Grudder president; she’s inherited “The Castle” and shocked everyone with the family she brought back with her: Jules, an African-American landscape architect, and their two mixed-race children. Depending on when you were born, you might not think of the 1990s as “history,” but this novel does what the best historical fiction does: expertly evoke a time period. From the uproar over the possible election of Bill Clinton to the slang and pop music, reading this will make you feel like you are (back) in the early ’90s. Moving between the perspectives of six major characters, the novel captures all the promise and peril of life, especially for several of them who love the ‘wrong’ people. I especially loved small meetings of worlds, like Maddie and Veronica getting together for tea and Oprah. My main criticism would be that there is a lot going on here in terms of issues – racism, homosexuality, domestic violence, miscarriage, alcohol and prescription drug abuse, cancer, teen sex (a whole lotta sex in general) – and that can make things feel melodramatic. If you’ve read her debut, Cutting Teeth, you’ll know Fierro doesn’t always write likable characters, and there will likely be one or two here you hate. But in general I loved the atmosphere of the book: a sultry island summer of Gatsby-esque glittering parties and garden mazes, a time dripping with secrets, sex and caterpillar poop.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    The Gypsy Moth Summer places Julia Fierro firmly in the realm of writers like Larry Brown, Khaled Hosseini, and Ann Pancake -- a writer so capable of evoking a time and a place that there is little else to say on the matter. In layer after layer, she develops a deep, immersed sense of this strange island. Her prose, always measured, deft, and distinctly beautiful, wreaths an ornate and fascinating story, laureating her the unquestioned voice of Long Island in the 1990s. The Gypsy Moth Summer is The Gypsy Moth Summer places Julia Fierro firmly in the realm of writers like Larry Brown, Khaled Hosseini, and Ann Pancake -- a writer so capable of evoking a time and a place that there is little else to say on the matter. In layer after layer, she develops a deep, immersed sense of this strange island. Her prose, always measured, deft, and distinctly beautiful, wreaths an ornate and fascinating story, laureating her the unquestioned voice of Long Island in the 1990s. The Gypsy Moth Summer is a fairy tale reminiscent, decidedly and determinedly so, not of the ilk of The Great Gatsby, but of Midsummer Night's Dream, one where the thickness of the humidity, the plague of caterpillars, and the lust of adolescence (and the unspoken, dizzy lust of a country), concatenate into a circus where love, danger, and identity are always a question looming and never answered. Nothing is certain, except that this is a place I didn't want to leave.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelli Innis

    This was a huge disappointment. I was honestly angry at myself for finishing it. The writing was okay at best and irritating at worst. I found the whole thing to be very contrived. And I felt we were building towards something that never really materialized. Initially, I did enjoy the character development, but then I felt that we spent 99% of the book on that, and in the last chapter tried to make it look like something happened in only a couple of pages. And way too much sex. Teenager sex--cre This was a huge disappointment. I was honestly angry at myself for finishing it. The writing was okay at best and irritating at worst. I found the whole thing to be very contrived. And I felt we were building towards something that never really materialized. Initially, I did enjoy the character development, but then I felt that we spent 99% of the book on that, and in the last chapter tried to make it look like something happened in only a couple of pages. And way too much sex. Teenager sex--creepy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Different, interesting but crass. I'm still uncertain about how I feel about this book. I didn't love it but I wanted to find out what would happen. The ending left a lot to be desired.

  20. 4 out of 5

    La La - Everyone's Crazy Aunt

    4.5 stars on the blog. I am not a fan of multiple POVs past two, and this book has five! I have been known to tolerate three, but above that it has always been bye bye for me. So, for this author to keep me reading enthusiastically until the end was a feat unto itself. Each POV has its own unique voice, so it isn't difficult to remember whom you are listening to. The character voices are: a teenage girl, a middle aged man, an older woman, a middle aged woman, and a sixth grade aged boy. I found t 4.5 stars on the blog. I am not a fan of multiple POVs past two, and this book has five! I have been known to tolerate three, but above that it has always been bye bye for me. So, for this author to keep me reading enthusiastically until the end was a feat unto itself. Each POV has its own unique voice, so it isn't difficult to remember whom you are listening to. The character voices are: a teenage girl, a middle aged man, an older woman, a middle aged woman, and a sixth grade aged boy. I found the use of such a wide scope of ages engaging and refreshing. The story is multi-layered and it is done seamlessly. It is one of those books that a person can read again and again and come to a realization about something new each time. I also loved the way the Gypsy Moths and their reproductive cycle played into the storyline. This is a story about how class structure, race, religion, generational beliefs, and economics can negatively bend a person's perception of others; especially outsiders, and it was done exceptionally well. The .5 star Drduction was for what I felt was a bit of a rushed ending. I thought I would also mention that there is a substantial amount of sexual content in this book. I don't care for this type of content, but in this story it was not gratuitous. I was approved for an eARC, via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: Penny had been far beyond the margins of Bitsy’s clique when a seizure in sixth-period chemistry led doctors to the tumor in her brain. A status that had scored Penny overnight popularity, and an invitation to join Bitsy’s crew — penned in Bitsy’s own bubbly script on her personalized stationery. Good for one official membership in the FRESHEST DOPEST gang of bitches at East High! He knew he played that game to give his ego a charge when it felt like a dead battery, and while it f Favorite Quotes: Penny had been far beyond the margins of Bitsy’s clique when a seizure in sixth-period chemistry led doctors to the tumor in her brain. A status that had scored Penny overnight popularity, and an invitation to join Bitsy’s crew — penned in Bitsy’s own bubbly script on her personalized stationery. Good for one official membership in the FRESHEST DOPEST gang of bitches at East High! He knew he played that game to give his ego a charge when it felt like a dead battery, and while it felt good to hold people’s prejudices up to their faces like a mirror, he always felt shitty after. A self-righteous hangover. The Colonel’s favorite afternoon snack was a beer and chunk of Limburger cheese, which made the fridge at the big house smell like diarrhea farts. Maddie had given her a gift. A book filled with inspirational quotes from Miss Winfrey. The kind of thing people read on the toilet. She’d memorized all of Queen Oprah’s words. They were the kind of boys people didn’t trust. That was why she’d had to pick them. She had counted on their anger, their frustration, their pent-up lust for power, which, she’d known, since she was a girl, burned brighter in boys than even their need for sex and money. My Review: The Gypsy Moth Summer contained an ambitious, well-crafted, and busy storyline that was hip-deep with compelling, eccentric, and unusual characters, characters who were not always likable or even admirable but were unfailingly intriguing and well embellished. The plot was highly nuanced and sneaky; it was full of tricks and twists that held me captive, stole my breath, interrupted my sleep, and also had me cringing on several occasions. A variety of physical and social ills had befallen Avalon Island, a small island off the coast of Long Island; an antiquated microcosm of society populated by the powerful country club member/war-mongering/factory executives on the East Side, and their working class factory employees on the West Side; all intent on continuing their proud history of creating aerial war machines despite peacetime and the despised liberal political landscape of 1992. Various narrators took turns providing us with their insights and observations, each with their own mysterious agendas – which were often at odds with the other characters. Each one holding tight a multitude of dark secrets, profound fears, longings, regrets, and long-held and well-earned hatreds. In addition to an uncomfortable and highly distracting insect infestation of moths, were the more deeply seated and long-term issues that plagued the population such as various cancers, substance and domestic abuse, bigotry, neglect, mental illness, an unknown vigilante tagger stirring up trouble and inciting unrest, as well as inbred corporate greed and corruption. I was enthralled, physically tense, chewing my lip, and more than a bit anxious as I read, which is typically what occurs when I fall into an exceptionally well-written tale. It may have broken off a few pieces of me by the end, but hours after finishing I find I remain firmly entrenched in their story and continuing to ruminate over their words. Julia Fierro has mad skills and a new fangirl!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Penny Dunn

    What did I just read?! A rambling and superficial story with lots of (undeveloped) characters and unresolved issues. It's like the author has a check list of topics to touch on character types to include and went "check, check, check...". The moth connection could have been more developed. The book could have been so much more with much less.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Author Julia Fierro garnered critical praise for her debut novel, Cutting Teeth, about a group of preschool parents and a weekend they spend together on Long Island. She managed to corral a large group of characters and make them believeable and interesting. In her new novel, The Gypsy Moth Summer, we once again get a multi-character saga, this time set in 1992 Avalon Island, a stand-in for Long Island. Leslie has been estranged from her wealthy parents since she married Jules, an African-America Author Julia Fierro garnered critical praise for her debut novel, Cutting Teeth, about a group of preschool parents and a weekend they spend together on Long Island. She managed to corral a large group of characters and make them believeable and interesting. In her new novel, The Gypsy Moth Summer, we once again get a multi-character saga, this time set in 1992 Avalon Island, a stand-in for Long Island. Leslie has been estranged from her wealthy parents since she married Jules, an African-American man. Leslie and Jules have two children- handsome, sensitive teenage Brooks and toddler Eva. When Leslie inherits her parents' large estate in Avalon, she moves her children and a reluctant Jules back to her now-crumbling family home. Jules is less than excited, but he is a landscape architect and the beautiful gardens on his in-laws' estate seduces him. What he could do with those gardens! But he fears Leslie is hiding something from him too. Jules is also concerned about his son Brooks. There aren't many black families on Avalon, and when Brooks becomes involved with Maddie, a 16 year-old with an alcoholic mother, and a father who berates (and beats) her and her brother Dominic, Jules' antenna is raised. Maddie's grandfather is the Colonel, a man who holds an important position at Grudder Aviation, a company that made its upper echelon millionaires off the many years of government contracts they procured. The effects of aging are taking its toll on the Colonel, and his wife Veronica can't hide his condition forever. Veronica doesn't trust Leslie, believing that she has come home to cause trouble for Grudder, so she intends to use Maddie's relationship with Leslie's son to uncover Leslie's plans. Once again, Fierro writes multi-faceted characters, and each person's point of view is distinct. We understand why they do the things they do. Fierro creates such empathy for each of her characters, even the ones you may not particularly like. You'll be transported back to your own teenage summer romances as Fierro gets those feelings and the 1992 atmosphere pitch-perfect. (The 1992 presidential race, the clothes and the food will bring back memories.) Fierro has many balls in the air here, and she juggles them all with admirable skill. The Gypsy Moth Summer deals with family issues, class distinctions, race issues, summer romance, the military complex, corporate pollution and yes, a gypsy moth invasion that overshadows everything happening in the summer of 1992. I highly recommend The Gypsy Moth Summer, it will be one of the most-talked about books of the summer.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mushy

    There's a reason people have preconceived notions about eccentrics on private islands. It's because they are usually distant and safely removed from our day to day. I am always delighted when an author inserts a subculture (moth character) which in this case flits in and out of this tale mirroring the cocoon people surviving the edges of their desperate lives.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Philip Bailey

    Little bits of big issues, sex, bigotry, pollution, drugs and the character portrayals make for a great story. The people are upper class and lower class and some with no class at all. Picture an island populated with WASPs, some living in mansions and some living in the mansion’s caretaker’s cottage. Most of the characters are high school kids, some from uptown and some from the other side of the tracks. The antics remind me of my own high school days, although drugs were mostly unheard of then Little bits of big issues, sex, bigotry, pollution, drugs and the character portrayals make for a great story. The people are upper class and lower class and some with no class at all. Picture an island populated with WASPs, some living in mansions and some living in the mansion’s caretaker’s cottage. Most of the characters are high school kids, some from uptown and some from the other side of the tracks. The antics remind me of my own high school days, although drugs were mostly unheard of then with booze being the recreational forbidden fruit. The story spins along with inserted bits of info about Gypsy moths whilst the adult characters go about their business of underhanded treachery, backstabbing, envious of each other and mostly living in the past striving towards dementia. The younger adults go about their fun times filled with booze, bongs and other mind altering paraphernalia while testing the limits of newly found and overly energized hormones. When a new family shows up on the island most adults see a white woman (and previous childhood resident) married to a black man with two children. The younger folks just take the black people in stride and continue with their fun times and even when a white girl starts dating the black boy it’s mostly the adults who raise their eyebrows, except for the girl’s father, who raises his fists. The town history and future center around the lone factory turning out war planes and if you were not one of the factory executives you really did not count. The factory also quietly turned out pollutants, poisoning the water. Trichlorethylene is some nasty stuff, banned in this country many years back. All in all, this a well woven tale about anywhere, any town and any group of the younger generation living amongst the older generation. It is a great and enjoyable book and the insertion of the gypsy moth facts add a dose of fun and facts. Nice job by the author.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    4.5 stars During the summer of 1992, gypsy moths invade Avalon Island. Grudder Aviation factory is the main source of employment on the island. Leslie Day Marshall inherits "The Castle" from her deceased parents and moves back to the island with her husband Jules and their children, Brooks and Eva. They become the talk of the town because Jules is African-American which doesn't go over well in the upscale, snobby community. Maddie Pencott LaRosa might be the granddaughter of a prominent family an 4.5 stars During the summer of 1992, gypsy moths invade Avalon Island. Grudder Aviation factory is the main source of employment on the island. Leslie Day Marshall inherits "The Castle" from her deceased parents and moves back to the island with her husband Jules and their children, Brooks and Eva. They become the talk of the town because Jules is African-American which doesn't go over well in the upscale, snobby community. Maddie Pencott LaRosa might be the granddaughter of a prominent family and run with the popular crowd, but her working class father is abusive and her mother spends all of her time in bed. Maddie and Brooks strike up a friendship but there are so many obstacles on their path to finding happiness. So many things going on this book. Racism, social class struggles, young love, cancer, abuse, and addiction to just name a few. Oh, and gypsy moths. Lots and lots of gypsy moths. Despite everything going on and told from the different perspectives of characters in the book, it all just fits together well. One of the things that ties the characters together is the feeling of not belonging or having a strong connection with others. My only criticism of the book is the ending seemed rushed. There are so many events that happen one after to another but it just felt crammed into the last few pages. I'm still digesting everything that happened a week after I finished this book because it is a lot to take in all at once. All in all, this is the type of book you just can't put down and certainly makes you think long after you finish reading. I received an ARC from the publisher and that is my honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelegg

    I can still hear the caterpillars crunching their way around the island. Ugh! But in a good way. The imagery of this story will stay with me for a long time, such was the stunning, superb writing. There were a host of characters in this book, each so well developed and some became so dear to my heart, especially Maddie and Brooks who I was rooting for. Their young love was sweet and powerful and I loved watching it unfold. Others I didn't come to love as much but they had a specific purpose in t I can still hear the caterpillars crunching their way around the island. Ugh! But in a good way. The imagery of this story will stay with me for a long time, such was the stunning, superb writing. There were a host of characters in this book, each so well developed and some became so dear to my heart, especially Maddie and Brooks who I was rooting for. Their young love was sweet and powerful and I loved watching it unfold. Others I didn't come to love as much but they had a specific purpose in the book and they were fascinating to watch as well. Everyone has their own agenda during this summer interlude and in the end some of those agendas clash and the results are stunning and unexpected and tore at my emotions. I recommend this book to lovers of drama of all kinds, but especially the family kind. There is some sexuality so beware if you're offended by that, but this is a fabulously written book and one that will stay in my mind for a long time.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ “He’d wanted to hate Avalon, to feel the same disgust he’d reserved for her parents, who lived as if Jules were dead and her children never born.” The islanders can hear the feeding mouths of the voracious gypsy moth caterpillars that have invaded Avalon Island. Their bodies, and excrement covering their clothing, the grounds, and the people are left to wonder if the insects will eat every bit of vegetation on the island, leaving nothing behind bu via my blog https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ “He’d wanted to hate Avalon, to feel the same disgust he’d reserved for her parents, who lived as if Jules were dead and her children never born.” The islanders can hear the feeding mouths of the voracious gypsy moth caterpillars that have invaded Avalon Island. Their bodies, and excrement covering their clothing, the grounds, and the people are left to wonder if the insects will eat every bit of vegetation on the island, leaving nothing behind but skeleton trees and dead plants? Or is it more likely the people themselves will devour each other with their racism and superiority? When Lesile Day Marshall, daughter of one of the most prominent family’s who own a home known as ‘The Castle’ returns to the island with her husband Jules, an African American botanist and their bi-racial children the people are turned upside down. Everyone is curious, and not all are open or accepting of their marriage. The bigotry on the island is both loud and quiet, despite the resentment Jules feels, the island’s native species of plants has him mesmerized. He and Lesile may well be King and Queen of the castle now, and to hell with the darlings of Avalon. Their son, Brooks has fallen hard for Maddie Pencott LaRosa, whose stuck between two worlds from birth. Her mother, daughter to the Colonel that fathered Grudder Aviation and his wife Veronica, married a man from the working class side of the island. Maddie’s father has held tight to the grit of his origins, Veronica and the Colonel have kept their distance from their disgraced daughter and her family but as the Colonel begins to lose his mind, Veronica seems to find her own. With the arrival of Jules, Veronica’s true self seems to be splitting out of her body, much like the caterpillars covering and devouring the island. She has always been just like the women of island and yet by falling in love with her granddaughter, her clouded perception of the world is clearing. Watching as Maddie has trysts with Brooks, their forbidden love allows Veronica to long for life again, despite the sickness inside of her. She finds herself charmed, and drawn to Jules and his passion for plants. That he is witness to her husband’s vulnerability bonds the two, but is it dangerous for Jules and his family to let down their guard, giving the islanders benefit of the doubt? Graffti covers war memorials alerting people that ‘Grudder Kills’, and the cancer that it spreads is evident in the sickness that tears through the island’s residents, including young Penny, Maddie’s friend. Too, something is causing barren wombs in women. This is a military island, Grudder is an aviation company that for generations has been feeding the war effort. The island is an Eden for the wealthy whites and a hell for the workers that support their riches. There is animosity beneath the surface, everything has come to a head as Veronica’s husband, The Colonel is losing his mind to dementia and truly is no longer fit to run their company. She takes fate into her hands, with the strict, controlling man now as confused and lost as a weepy child Veronica feels a strength she never knew existed inside of her. It’s not too late to set things right for her family, before exiting the earth. A pity she has just now begun to live, no longer under the watchful controlling eye of her husband. Brooks is a city boy and hasn’t even seen so much stardust. He is street wise and yet has a tender gentleness that the rough boys Maddie dates lack, as fed by pornographic treatment of women as they are. Their forbidden love must be hidden from her father, and she even fears telling her friends. Lesile, Brooks mother, encourages her son to bring the aggressive kids they first encountered to their grounds to party. Jules is less enthusiastic about the arrangement, and knows because of his skin color that they must remain far more distrustful and vigilant yet just what will happen when he lets his guard down? Maddie’s brother Dom is confused sexually, has been bullied to the point of breaking and wants to prove himself worthy of the family name. As his grandfather says “Sometimes, you’re the mouth. Sometimes, you’re the meal.” With that on his mind, he will become the protector of his family, but what does it mean for Maddie and Brooks love affair? There are a lot of characters in this story, and not all of them are likable. The author has sent a plague of moths unto the people, who are already plagued by their narrow minds and greed. People are plotting, and one character that has ‘lost his marbles’ is polluting an already confused mind with his own poisonous nature. Is it a surprise when he has already polluted the island and it’s residents with toxins from his company? They are hungry, brutal, drugged out, sexed up, vengeful, manipulative… I can’t think of anything Fierro’s characters aren’t struggling through. Family strife, racism, disease, dementia… did I mention racism. It is as smeared throughout the novel as the caterpillars guts. Who knew a lawn jockey statue could so disturb? Well, who didn’t? There is a lot of stereo-typical behavior, but one has to ask how does something become stereo-typical? It’s a hell of a story, and a part of me thinks the racism serves its purpose and another part of me thinks it was laid on a bit too thick. No one can write about racism with a light pen, and Fierro doesn’t. With the arrival of Lesile and her family, everything ugly about the people of Avalon grows into a beast. Lesile has her own agenda and Jules can’t resist his wife’s desires and needs but it may cost his family more than he ever imagined. As far as character’s go, his relationship and conversations with his son were moments I enjoyed. He adores his wife, and their passion is fiery. He is an intelligent, loving family man but should he have so much faith in Leslie, rather than wonder at her reasons for returning to the very place she turned her back on? Veronica and Maddie’s growing bond reveals who Veronica should have been, before wealth and society’s expectations corrupted her. How she feels about men, after being with the Colonel for so long is a hell of a reason to be so bitter now, ” I’m sorry, my dad’s always telling me to think before I speak.” “Yes, “Veronica said. That sounds just like the kind of advice men like to give women. Especially young women.” Don’t say or think anything important, edit yourself, keep yourself in check, be a good little lady- that sort of sexism is rampant in all social classes. Is there a lick of hope for any of these seemingly doomed characters? Will anyone escape being eaten? I think this novel is engaging, but at the same time it is a tough read. Times are ugly, that it’s set in the 90’s doesn’t make the bigotry any easier to take. Was it really this bad? I don’t know, open your eyes today and ask that same question. Publication Date: June 6, 2017 St. Martin’s Press

  29. 4 out of 5

    BabeOBooks

    Fierro's GYPSY MOTH SUMMER is a beautiful exploration of racism, nationalism and class. Set in a small eastern seaside town whose industry revolves around the manufacturing of aircraft for the defense department, the story of one poignant and tragic summer is told through the eyes of a moneyed matriarch, her teenaged granddaughter, and the African American husband of a prodigal daughter returning to the town with a hidden agenda. Each voice rings true and Fierro's grasp of language will want to Fierro's GYPSY MOTH SUMMER is a beautiful exploration of racism, nationalism and class. Set in a small eastern seaside town whose industry revolves around the manufacturing of aircraft for the defense department, the story of one poignant and tragic summer is told through the eyes of a moneyed matriarch, her teenaged granddaughter, and the African American husband of a prodigal daughter returning to the town with a hidden agenda. Each voice rings true and Fierro's grasp of language will want to make you slow down and savor every word even as you want to push forward to find out what comes next. Excellent book

  30. 4 out of 5

    Patty D

    "On an island, time can freeze, but that summer the islanders felt a change coming. East and West agreed: there was a yawning divide between old and young. Yesterday and tomorrow. The new generation of Avalonians worshipped at the altar of MTV; didn’t fear the Bomb; heard the slogan “Be All You Can Be” and thought not of defending his or her country but, instead, imagined their future selves waiting to hatch like the moth eggs tucked in the crook and bend of every tree on the island."

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