THE GYPSY MOTH SUMMER (St. Martin’s Press)

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“The Gypsy Moth Summer plunges the reader into a hazy, hot daydream of hidden truth, scandal, and racial prejudice. With bold strokes, Julia Fierro creates a vivid world where privilege and class are merely a veneer to distract from the cracks beneath the surface.”
– Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author of Small Great Things and Leaving Time

“In her hugely engaging novel, The Gypsy Moth Summer, Julia Fierro brings a light touch to bear on the most important subjects: social class, race, family, generational conflict, anger and forgiveness. It is a sterling example of how fiction can entertain us and at the same time inspire us to think about the things we urgently need to consider, now more than ever.”
– Francine Prose, National Book Award finalist and bestselling author of Reading Like A Writer and Mister Monkey

“The Gypsy Moth Summer 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. Like all great novelists, she gives us the world.”
– Amy Bloom, bestselling author of novels Away and Lucky Us

“The novel’s depictions of Maddie’s anxious relationship with her family hit hard, giving the narrative a savage momentum.” — The New York Times, June 2017

“There are deliberate echoes of “The Great Gatsby” throughout Julia Fierro’s second novel, “The Gypsy Moth Summer.” In its landscape — an islet off the Long Island coast. In its exploration of wealth and greed, grandeur and envy. In its mansion-sized backdrops, its layered abuses and its meditative, soulful opening lines… Fierro is a writer capable of glorious sentences. She recalls with fastidious care the songs and lip gloss and fashions of the early 1990s, has an ear for weather and landscape, and moves her story briskly through its many cohering parts.” – The Chicago Tribunereview, “The Gypsy Moth Summer echoes ‘Gatsby,” June 2017

“One of the best things about this novel is how vividly Julia Fierro paints the setting (an islet called Avalon off the coast of Long Island) and the time period (summer of 1992; you can smell the Love’s Baby Soft and taste the Lip Smackers). Avalon could be an idyll, but this summer, it’s not. First off, there’s a gypsy moth infestation that’s causing insects to rain down like a biblical plague. All you have to do is listen and you’ll hear them chewing their way through the precious tree canopy; all you have to do is look up and a gummy caterpillar is likely to plop onto your forehead. The infestation is the perfect backdrop for a story that is complex, relevant and a delight to read. Racism, classism, bigotry, abortion, domestic abuse, business ethics (or lack thereof), terminal illness, marital strife – it might sound like too much but it turns out to be just enough and this novel ultimately becomes one about the power those we love and trust have to destroy us, slowly at first and then in unstoppable waves (like a biblical plague) but also the restorative, strengthening power of love meant to last. The world is full of both kinds and, Fierro’s writing suggests, you’ll never quite know until you’re in the thick of it which kind of love you’ve got. But don’t stop living, even with the threats. There’s beauty in everything.” – The Globe and Mail, June 2017

“[Fierro] succeeds in creating a suspenseful, richly symbolic drama and coming-of-age story. Poignant, raw, and, at times, brutally honest about the poison concealed behind the charming facade of a quaint community, this is an intense and meaningful read.”
Booklist *Starred Review* May 2017

“Riveting…a powerful story showcasing a dizzying spectrum of relationships from the deeply destructive to the supportive and loving.”
Publishers Weekly April 2017

“Julia Fierro’s marvelous THE GYPSY MOTH SUMMER is a novel to slowly savor, settling in with her characters as you would old friends, cherishing every sentence, every turn of plot. Rarely does one encounter a novel this entertaining, which also speaks to the complicated truths about race and class at the heart of our country’s tangled history.”
– Joanna Rakoff, author of The Salinger Year

“The Gypsy Moth Summer gathers all of life in its wonderfully confident reach: the buzzing energy of youth, the fraught hope of adulthood, the remorseless clarity of old age. Fierro’s thoroughly entertaining storytelling doesn’t prevent her from taking on weighty subjects like race and class in America or delivering a rebuke of the lives of privilege that she chronicles with such anthropological accuracy. We are deeply invested in these characters around whom an air of tragic destiny hangs, and the pages fly by as the book hurtles toward its devastating conclusion.”
Matthew Thomas, New York Times-bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves

“The Gypsy Moth Summer’s 1992 island world is real and alive—you can feel the longing, the brush of moth wings, and the simmering danger of a multiracial family disrupting a white conservative island. 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—and she did.”
– Caroline Leavitt, author of the bestselling novels Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow, and Cruel Beautiful World

“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

“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 PEN USA 2016 award winning novel, See How Small


CUTTING TEETH (2014, St. Martin’s Press)

Five pairs of variously overmedicated and undersatisfied Brooklyn parents head to a Long Island beach house for Labor Day weekend with their cranky, drooling, pampered progeny. What could possibly go wrong? In this comically energetic début novel, Fierro, a mother of two who runs a writing workshop in Brooklyn, examines how easily privilege, neurosis, and love freighted with overwhelming fear of failure can turn even the sanest women into “sancti-mommies.” As her characters struggle to tame their toddlers without becoming fractious children themselves, Fierro reminds us how complicated the task of rearing human beings is, even in the most liberal of enclaves.” – The New Yorker magazine

“Julia Fierro’s satiric and sharply written novel Cutting Teeth inhabits the gluten-free, anxiety-ridden worlds of six over-indulgent Brooklyn parents, all members of the same playgroup. Worried over rumors of an impending yet unlikely terrorist attack due to strike Manhattan, hostess Nicole invites everyone for a Labor Day weekend at her family’s shabby Long Island beach house, ironically named Eden. As the weekend progresses, the things kept hidden at home—illicit flirtations, parental frustrations and fizzling marriages—come to the surface in explosive ways. Even if you aren’t a parent, Fierro’s look at the inner workings of her characters’ minds makes this an emotional and compelling story. Her characters struggle with more than just their ADD-addled children; they confront relatable complexities of life—class and status differences, mental disorders, adult friendship and stale romance. At times heart-wrenching and, at others, hilarious, Fierro produces a true-to-life narrative more addictive than these fictional parents’ worst vices. Indulge.” Book of the Week  May 27th, 2014 – review by Abbe Wright

Cutting Teeth sings with beautiful sentences, masterfully crafted scenes, and a deeply imagined inner life for each of her characters. Cutting Teeth offers a fresh perspective on the journey of parenting that is at once modern and timeless: There are no easy solutions or formulas for happiness here, just the reality that the care and feeding and great responsibility of raising a human being is complicated, love-struck, deeply sad, and also capable of providing emotional rewards that no other experience can.” – The Boston Globe  May 20, 2014 – review by Emily Rapp

“Fierro’s powerful debut nails the complexities of being a parent in the 21st century. Filled with a huge cast of moms (and a dad), this novel brilliantly captures the highs and lows that come along with having children. Poignant, relatable and at times gasp-worthy, Cutting Teeth is a page-turner told from the perspectives of a variety of characters.”
– RT Book Reviews **Starred Review** April 2014 issue

“Fierro’s first novel captures the complexity of forging new friendships and redefining lives as contemporary parents. Her characters are meticulously drawn, the situations emotionally charged. Readers, especially young parents, won’t be able to look away.”
– Booklist April 2014 issue

“In her debut, Fierro, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, creates a wide variety of characters whose only common ground is their children, effectively capturing the conflicted relationships all parents have with their children and with one another. Too much time together makes these mothers and fathers act a lot like their preschool children and brings out the underlying discontents in their lives.”
– Library Journal  April 2014 issue

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