Advance reader reviews of The Gypsy Moth Summer

The Gypsy Moth Summer

by Julia Fierro

The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2017
    400 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 26 member reviews
for The Gypsy Moth Summer
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  • Amy S. (Tucson, AZ)


    I Couldn't Put This One Down!
    Fierro does a remarkable job creating tension in this book from the get go. It kept building and building. I wanted it to end just so I could breathe! At the same time I didn't because it was so apparent something horrific would occur. In spite of my "knowing", I was shocked by the ending. Fierro's beautiful prose, vivid descriptions, and glimpses into the different "realities" of various characters from their own viewpoints allow her reader to feel the unsettledness of the story deeply.
  • Barbara G. (Lisle, IL)


    A Summer to Remember
    Unlike the monarch butterflies facing extinction in Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior, the fate of the butterflies' cousins in Julie Fierro's The Gypsy Moth Summer are in the midst of a pro-creative orgy that engulfs New England's Avalon Island and its residents. In their own biological echo the teenagers of the island, more or less ignored by their parents, are caught in their own frenzy exploring their sexuality, attempting to find the love they don't receive at home. The story's backdrop pits the island's main employer, war plane manufacturer Grudder, against the sharp divide between the well-paid, well-educated and white management and the lower-paid ethnic factory workers. What happens at the end of the summer to the main characters the reader will grow to care for, will seem logical and surprising at the same time.
  • Jan


    Confused by ending
    I gave this novel 4 stars because it is beautifully written and held my interest to the end. It describes one summer on an island off the coast of Long Island. Leslie, who grew up on the island, returns with her African-American husband and 2 bi-racial children. There are a lot of subplots: racial tension, pollution from the aviation factory on the island, political protest, romance, and violence. The story is told from multiple points of view, and seeing the same incident from 2 different points of view added an interesting dimension. There was a lot of drugs and sex in the sections focusing on the teenagers.
    On the plus side, I loved the author’s writing and descriptions of nature on the island, and I thought the characters were very interesting and well developed for the most part. The hints of disaster to come kept me interested and reading until the end. However, I was a little confused about the characters’ motivations and why they did some of the things they did, especially at the end. Maybe I missed something?
  • Lucy S. (ANN ARBOR, MI)


    Pretty good
    This was a hard book to put down. I was drawn in by the multiple perspectives, and the fact that the book opened by giving you the knowledge that something bad was going to happen. The author holds out until the very end to relieve this suspense. I thought this book was well written, but at times it felt like the author was trying too hard in her descriptions, so that they didn't read true. The dialogue seemed forced occasionally as well. Some of the story lines were interesting but I feel the author tried to address too many big issues without successfully making a point about any one of them. Yet, there was something compelling about this book and I have found that certain characters and scenes have stuck with me after its end.
  • Janice C. (Hayward, CA)


    The Gypsy Moth Summer
    Let's just say I enjoyed it. Would recommend to certain friends.
  • Julia A. (New York, NY)


    Evil Lurks on this Island
    Anyone of us who have lived through a "Gypsy Moth Summer" knows that nothing good comes of it—disgusting caterpillars and denuded trees seem a harbinger of even worse things. Such is the case here. The foreshadowing in this book is there almost from the first page. The reader knows something terrible is going to happen, but even an alert reader probably won't guess just how terrible the events will be. My expectation was for one tragedy to occur that summer; the reality all but took my breath away.

    The story is written from multiple points of view: the "kids" Maddie and Dom; the "adults" (and I use the word loosely) Leslie, Jules, Veronica, and for one chapter the demented Colonel. This technique enhances the narrative, although it at first seems a bit disjointed. Set against the backdrop of the caterpillars noisily chomping on every leaf of every tree on the island and the black sludge they excrete, making being outdoors unpleasant, the story has us constantly asking just how bad situations can get. Sometimes the atmosphere seems stifling; the self-contained world of Avalon Island is a place from which I would run screaming, so I certainly sympathized with Maddie and with Jules, the two who most want to leave. I don't want to put spoilers into the review, so I'll leave it at this: Read "Gypsy Moth Summer" for the plot, the richly drawn characters, the evocation of atmosphere, and the emotional impact.
  • Dannielle I. (Wilmington, DE)


    A Summer Storm
    I really enjoyed this book. The tension built slowly, as a summer storm builds, skies getting darker. When the storm finally broke, it was almost a relief. This coming of age tale was not focused on just a teen's point of view. It brought in other characters who were each going through a crisis.

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