About the book, The Gypsy Moth Summer
- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (June 6, 2017)
- Scroll down for giveaway
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.
Buy, read, and discuss Gypsy Moth Summer:
Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
About the author, Julia Fierro
JULIA FIERRO is the founder of The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, a creative home to more than 4,000 writers in New York City, Los Angeles and online. Her first novel CUTTING TEETH, was praised by The Boston Globe (“at once modern and timeless”) and The New Yorker (“a comically energetic début”). A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Julia lives in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.
Connect with Julia:
Website | Facebook | Twitter
I was hooked from the first page of this novel The Gypsy Moth Summer, and author Fierro’s description of the way different sets of the younger residents of Avalon Island sought refuge in the woods on summer evenings. That description really resonated with my own memories of coming home, hot and pink, from the Jersey shore, and then wandering around my grandparents’ neighborhood until after dusk, playing freeze-tag with my friends, or hunting fireflies, or, later, finding that one spot where the honeysuckle vines formed a privacy curtain for a little private time with the boy of the moment.
With the subsequent introduction to Maddie, part of the IT-girl group, but not really one of them, I went from ‘hooked’ to ‘totally enthralled.’ I was twenty-two when this novel took place, but I remember what it was like to be on the fringe of different popular groups, wanting to be part of them, but never really meshing with the groupthink.
Beyond high school girl dynamics, though, this novel has it all – mysterious residents who return with new families, young love, small town scandal, and, of course, the life cycle of gypsy moths juxtaposed against it all.
Part classic beach read, part gripping community drama, part mystery, all brilliantly put together with language that moves from vivid and lyrical to snappy dialogue and back, as necessary, The Gypsy Moth Summer should be at the top of your summer reading list.
Goes well with a soft pretzel and an orange julius-type drink, preferably enjoyed on a boardwalk, amusement pier, or at a county fair.
One lucky reader in the US or Canada will win a copy of this novel. How? Leave a comment here telling me about your favorite summer refuge. Include a valid email so I can contact you if you win. Giveaway ends Wednesday, June 14th at 11:59 PM CDT.
Julia Fierro’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Wednesday, May 31st: BookNAround
Friday, June 2nd: View from the Birdhouse
Sunday, June 4th: Writer Unboxed – author guest post
Monday, June 5th: Books and Bindings
Tuesday, June 6th: Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Wednesday, June 7th: A Bookish Affair
Thursday, June 8th: Bibliotica
Friday, June 9th: Readaholic Zone
Monday, June 12th: Girl Who Reads
Tuesday, June 13th: Suzy Approved
Wednesday, June 14th: Bookchickdi
Thursday, June 15th: Wildmoo Books
Friday, June 16th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Monday, June 19th: BookBub Blog – author guest post
Monday, June 19th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, June 20th: Anita Loves Books
Wednesday, June 21st: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, June 22nd: Write Read Life
Friday, June 23rd: I Brought a Book
Monday, June 26th: Art, Books, & Coffee
Tuesday, June 27th: Book Chatter
Wednesday, June 28th: 5 Minutes for Books
Thursday, June 29th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, June 30th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, June 30th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Date TBD: Patricia’s Wisdom
This sounds delightful. My favorite summer refuge was lying on a webbed chaise lounge under the big maple tree in our backyard with a stack of books piled beside it. Favorite summer reads? Agatha Christie, The Wrinkle in Time Series, Betsy-Tacy books, and Gone With the Wind.
I’ve heard so many good things about this book!
We used to go to a family camp at the end of every summer and there were so many beautiful spots to read or sit and talk for hours.
My refuge is a peaceful, and tranquil beach house which looks out onto the ocean. I read and relax on the deck and appreciate the beauty, the blue skies and sunshine which restores my hope and health.
Pingback: Julia Fierro, author of THE GYPSY MOTH SUMMER, on tour June 2017 | TLC Book Tours
Gypsy moths really freak me out … I think it is brilliant of this author to weave this story around their life cylces though. What a fascinating framework for the story!
Thanks for being a part of the tour.
My favorite summer refuge would be anywhere close to a Florida beach. A house right on the beach with a porch for reading would be perfect. email@example.com
My favorite summer refuge is my garden. I like to spend early morning hours watering the plants, weeding, and just enjoying the smells and sounds of summer.