#BookReview: Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro

Reviewer: Christy

I received a review copy

cutting teethSummary:

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.

Nicole, the hostess, struggles to keep her OCD behaviors unnoticed. Stay-at-home dad Rip grapples 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, can’t stop imagining ditching her wife and kids in favor of her art. Tiffany, comfortable with her amazing body but not so comfortable in the upper-middle class world the other characters were born into, flirts dangerously, and spars with her best friend Leigh, a blue blood secretly facing financial ruin and dependent on the magical Tibetan nanny everyone else covets. Throughout the weekend, conflicts intensify and painful truths surface. Friendships and alliances crack, forcing the house party to confront a new order.Cutting Teeth is about the complex dilemmas of early midlife–the vicissitudes of friendship, of romantic and familial love, and of sex. It’s about 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 warm and unpretentious debut explores the all-consuming love we feel for those we need most, and the sacrifice and compromise that underpins that love.

Review:

What happens when a toddler’s playgroup goes to the beach for a weekend?

This is the story of several dysfunctional adults who have formed a common bond with each other – their children who all belong to a playgroup. When one mommy decides to plan a weekend away for the group at the beach in Long Island, each family brings their own baggage – and I’m not just talking suitcases and diaper bags. Each person brings their own drama and issues.

While some of the parents are almost unhealthily attached to their two-year-olds, others are severely unattached. There’s more drama in this beach house over Labor Day Weekend than any person should have to endure. Secrets, lies, guilt and insecurities abound. While each adult tries to find similarities and befriend each other, it’s their own lives that get in the way of building strong relationships and friendships within the group (and elsewhere).
I really felt sorry for these characters. I wanted each of them to figure out they were their own worst enemy. I wanted to cheer them and help prod them along into happiness. Just when I thought I could really get into this book (there was some comedic scenes), someone would do something that would make me roll my eyes (lots of selfishness and self-centeredness). I could not imagine any worse weekend than having to spend it with people like these – so much drama! I really enjoyed the writing style and I liked the flow and layout of the book – each chapter gave me an insight on a specific character. If you like drama and enjoy being involved in other people’s, or want to feel like you’ve got your own life under complete control (you WILL feel better about your own parenting and life skills compared to these people), this book is for you.

 3 stars


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