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Cutting Teeth
336 pages; St. Martin's Press
Julia Fierro's satiric and sharply written novel Cutting Teeth inhabits the gluten-free, anxiety-ridden worlds of six over-indulgent Brooklyn parents, all members of the same playgroup. Worried over rumors of an impending yet unlikely terrorist attack due to strike Manhattan, hostess Nicole invites everyone for a Labor Day weekend at her family's shabby Long Island beach house, ironically named Eden. As the weekend progresses, the things kept hidden at home—illicit flirtations, parental frustrations and fizzling marriages—come to the surface in explosive ways. Even if you aren't a parent, Fierro's look at the inner workings of her characters' minds makes this an emotional and compelling story. Her characters struggle with more than just their ADD-addled children; they confront relatable complexities of life—class and status differences, mental disorders, adult friendship and stale romance. At times heart-wrenching and, at others, hilarious, Fierro produces a true-to-life narrative more addictive than these fictional parents' worst vices. Indulge.
— Abbe Wright