A review of The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro.
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Thy Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro takes place in the summer of 1992 in a town called Avalon Island. The gypsy moths caterpillar have invaded the town and they are used as almost another character in the book. Their constant eating is almost like a heartbeat, setting the pace of the novel.
Avalon Island is like a lot of towns in America, where one large industry supplied the town with most of it’s economy and jobs. In this case it is Grudder Aviation – a supplier of war planes.
The events of that summer are told through several different points of view, and there are a lot of events. Leslie Day Marshall, the daughter of a prominent family returns to Avalon Island to live in the “castle” owned by her family. She brings with her, her African-American husband and their children. Her son Brooke’s begins to hang out with the local teenagers and some race issues raise their ugly head.
The novel swept me along, covering a little bit of every social issue. There’s racism, animal cruelty, war, pollution, drug abuse, and sexual preference. It’s almost as if the author tried to through every possible issue our way. This was the same point that I brought up on my review of her other novel “Cutting Teeth” – she tried to include every possible type of parent in that novel
The relentless munching of the caterpillars, the increasingly wild activities of the teens, it all pulls you forward. You know something bad is going to happen.
Then it does. Two things really. It feels like the book has two endings. The first climax was so confusing, I read over it a couple of times to make sure I thought I understood what happened. I personally t think the book could have ended there, and left off the last bad thing to happen.
All in all, I enjoyed the pace of the novel and it held my interest, I’m just not too sure how I feel about the ending.
I received an ARC copy of the book.