THE GYPSY MOTH SUMMER

Julia Fierro

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- 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 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.

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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- 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 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. 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.

Vivid with young lovers, gangs of anxious outsiders; a plotting aged matriarch, a demented military patriarch; and a troubled young boy, 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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  • St. Martin's Press
  • Hardcover
  • June 2017
  • 400 Pages
  • 9781250087515

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$26.99

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About Julia Fierro

Julia Fierro is the author of the novels The Gypsy Moth Summer and Cutting Teeth. Her work has been published in Poets & Writers, Buzzfeed, GlamourThe Millions, Flavorwire, and other publications, and she has been profiled in Brooklyn Magazine, the L Magazine, The Observer and The Economist. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, she founded The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop in 2002, which has grown into a creative home to 4,000 writers in NYC, Los Angeles, and Online. SSWW was named “Best Writing Classes” by The Village VoiceTime Out New York, and “Best MFA-Alternative” by Poets & Writers. Julia lives in Brooklyn and Santa Monica with writer Justin Feinstein and their two children.

Author Website

Praise

Martha Stewart Magazine: Summer’s Best Books
Real Simple: Summer 2017 Must Reads
Coastal Living: 50 Best Books for the Beach
Pop Sugar: Summer’s Best New Beach Reads
Bustle: 29 New Fiction Books To Read This Summer
Nylon Magazine: Summer 2017 Reading
Read it Forward: Six Picks for Summer Reads
The Huffington Post: 2017 Book Preview: 33 Titles To Add To Your Shelf
The Millions: The Great 2017 Book Preview
The Week: 28 Books To Read In 2017

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

“[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