The new novel Cutting Teeth, by Julia Fierro, had me as soon as I saw the cover: a Raggedy Ann and Andy doll clinging to each other for dear life, looks of quiet desperation plastered across their fabric faces.
Now this, I thought, is a story about parenting after my own heart.
The debut novel, which came out a little over a week ago, follows the story of four Brooklyn couples who spend a weekend at a Long Island beach house with their young children. There'a the mom who's hiding her OCD and the mom who's hiding her financial ruin, and the mom who's hiding her yearning to escape the sometimes oppressive weight of parenting to return to her art. There's a sexy mom, and a stay-at-home dad, and lots of children, of all varieties. Throw them all together in one house for a weekend and let the drama unfold. Secrets will be revealed, relationships will fall apart - which is great because, let's face it, what's more fun than witnessing personal ruin, especially in fiction?
The book is funny and sexy and thought-provoking and beautifully-written and it's honest, which is pretty much the number one quality I look for in a book these days. I don't have time for bullshit. I want the human experience laid bare, and I want to be enriched, and entertained in the process. Cutting Teeth delivers, shedding light on the extraordinary experience, both harrowing and joyous, that is parenthood. If I was sand-bound this summer, you bet your sweet ass I'd be slipping this baby in my beach bag.