- Written By: Julia Fierro
- Published By: St. Martin’s Press May 13,2014
- Length: 336 pages
- Source: E galley via Net Galley from publisher in exchange for an honest opinion.
Summary: One of the most anticipated debut novels of 2014, Cutting Teeth takes place one late-summer weekend as a group of thirty-something couples gather at a shabby beach house on Long Island, their young children in tow.
They include Nicole, the neurotic hostess terrified by internet rumors that something big and bad is going to happen in New York City that week; stay-at-home dad Rip, grappling with the reality that his careerist wife will likely deny him a second child, forcing him to disrupt the life he loves; Allie, one half of a two-mom family, and an ambitious artist, facing her ambivalence toward family life; Tiffany, comfortable with her amazing body but not so comfortable in the upper-middle class world the other characters were born into; and Leigh, a blue blood secretly facing financial ruin and dependent on Tenzin, the magical Tibetan nanny everyone else covets. These tensions build, burn, and collide over the course of the weekend, culminating in a scene in which the ultimate rule of the group is broken.
Cutting Teeth captures the complex dilemmas of early mid-life—the vicissitudes of friendship, of romantic and familial love, and of sex. It confronts class tension, status hunger, and the unease of being in possession of life’s greatest bounty while still wondering, is this as good as it gets? And, perhaps most of all, Julia Fierro’s thought-provoking debut explores the all-consuming love we feel for those we need most, and the sacrifice and self-compromise that underpins that love.
All this is packed into a page-turning, character-driven novel that crackles with life and unexpected twists and turns that will keep readers glued as they cringe and laugh with compassion, incredulousness, and, most of all, self-recognition.
From the beginning of this book I fell in love with the quirky characters in this toddler and mom group. Nicole is the first parent the reader is introduced to, she is afraid of almost everything, reading internet rumors of the end of the world, fearful of every germ and yet coping, as best she can.
Julia Fierro writes eloquently about the relationships between partners and their children and with other parents. We are surrounded by those like us but unique in many ways, yet we all want to fit in, be a part of a group. Who doesn’t want the best snacks for the kids, or the child who plays nicely all the time. Our child’s insecurities become our own and Fierro has exposed these so succinctly.
I so loved this debut novel. Characters that are broken and trying very hard to appear to have it all. Each “mommy” and Rip doing their best, often feeling alone, clinging to each other and sometimes the internet for answers and reassurances. I loved the variety of couples, married, partners, lesbians, stay at home dads, wealthy and wanna bees. A weekend full of surprises. Cutting Teeth is for anyone who has been part of the crazy world of parenting, or looking to join. Highly recommend.
You can learn more about Julia Fierro on her website, she’s also on facebook and twitter. She is an amazing force in literature in her Brooklyn neighborhood. Julia is the founder of The Sackett Street Writer’s Workshop.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and St. Martin’s Press I’m able to offer one book to a reader of my blog. Leave me a comment with one of your less stellar parenting or child caring moments to be entered. Please leave me your email address so I can contact you. Contest open to US addresses only. Open until Monday June 2, midnight. Please visit other stops along the tour.