Review: Cutting Teeth and a Giveaway!

May 29, 2014 book review, fiction, Parenting, St.Martins Press, TLC Book Tour 18

Cutting-Teeth
  • 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.

My Thoughts:

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.

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18 Responses to “Review: Cutting Teeth and a Giveaway!”

  1. Sarah @ Sarah's Book Shelves

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I thought I would, but I really disliked the characters and just couldn’t get past that. They were the types of moms (and Dads) that I try to stay far, far away from in real life and I couldn’t stomach listening to them, even in book form 🙂

  2. Rachel

    I would like to enter the giveaway! As far as bad parenting moments, I sometimes feel like my life is a series of them–from ignoring them while I am reading to feeding them convenience foods too many nights because I don’t want to deal with their pickiness. But the first thing that sprang to mind was when I dropped my oldest son on his head in the garage when he was a baby. I had tendinitis and my wrist gave out when I was trying to switch him to the other side. So if later in life someone asks him if he was dropped on his head as a baby, he can say yes! My email is r2rachelreads at gmail dot com.

  3. Andi (@estellasrevenge)

    I’m in the midst of Greyson’s tendency to ask “why why why” to everything. When I run out of amusing, 4yo appropriate answers, I typically just give him the real answer. This weekend we were driving down the freeway and passed under a walk bridge. He pointed up and asked what it was. I said it was for walking over the street. “Why do people walk over the street?” Because they don’t want to get hit by a car. “Why aren’t cars up there?” My answer: physics.

    The child can’t help but grow up sarcastic and slightly blunt. lol

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway! I’m dying to read this book.

  4. anne

    When the world was a different place I put them in the playpen for hours to keep them safe while I had a cup of tea and read.

  5. Rhonda

    I read Cutting Teeth loved it.love Julie she’s a Brooklyn girl like me.don’t enter my name.such a wonderful giveaway.

  6. Elizabeth Bevins

    One night I went from church straight to the grocery store. Halfway through the shop I got a call….my little girl…I forgot her! Yikes! Thankful for parents that look out for one another. 🙂

  7. Debbie D

    I have teenagers so they would tell you that all of my parenting moments have been less than stellar! ha! Anyway, this book sounds great. Would love to win it!

  8. sandi

    I am past that age, but I love reflecting back on young mothers and how they handle life, kids, jobs. Would love to win the giveaway.

  9. JJT

    Thanks for the giveaway. Can’t have my kids find out that there were less than stellar moments 🙂

  10. Danielle

    Not taking my daughter to her Girl Scouts closing ceremony because I don’t feel like dragging my three year old with us at 5pm. Also, not telling her (yet, because she’s so upset about that), that we’re not letting her do Girl Scouts next year. Likely going to substitute ice cream for the ceremony, for the proverbial cherry on top of the sundae.

  11. Anita

    Congrats to Danielle!!! Random.org was used to choose a winner!! Emailing you soon Danielle.

  12. Jean Brown

    I’m old, sons long grown but I still cringe thinking of my parenting mistakes. Getting angry at a huge mess they made only to find out my two little boys had made me a huge Valentine. I’d be much less strict if I knew then what I know now. I do have two wonderful grown sons who are now outstanding men. Oh how I miss those little boys.

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