Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro

Cutting Teeth by Julia FierroCutting Teeth by Julia Fierro
Published by Macmillan on 5/13/2014
Source: TLC Book Tours
Pages: 336
Buy from IndieBound

When Nicole invites the “mommies” of her Brooklyn playgroup to her parent’s Long Island beach home for a weekend getaway, she’s too clouded in anxiety over a potential catastrophic world-ending event to see the tension bubbling beneath the group’s surface. Stay-at-home dad Rip is struggling with his infertility and hopes for a second child while attempting to tie down his attraction to the group’s outsider, Tiffany. Outwardly confident, but insecure in the place she struggled to reach, Tiffany cuts the other mommies down in a battle for superiority. Together with a pregnant lesbian couple and a woman attempting to hold on to her family’s once powerful name, the personalities in the playgroup collide throughout the novel’s funny and insightful scenes.

Each of Cutting Teeth‘s characters is overdrawn in a way that makes it easy to find familiarity in their extreme personalities and, though they feel more like caricatures than real people, at least pieces of their stories will ring true. Fierro’s strength is in more reflective moments, like those seen through the eyes of Tibetan nanny Tenzien as she works her memory recording the idioms the mommies throw around while she tenderly cares for their children. In comparison, the extremity of the playgroup tends to go a little off the rails, particularly toward the end of the novel.

Still, book clubs will want to pick up Cutting Teeth by the box full. Though it’s unlikely every member will walk away loving the novel, the characters and themes set a perfect stage for the engaging, lively discussion every group hopes to have.


  • We had such similar reactions to this one (re: caricatures, and Tenzien’s perspective being a strength). Sometimes when I think “this is just craaaazy” I wonder if I’m the only one, so reading your review makes me feel so relieved. :)

  • Sounds like an interesting idea for a book, I’ll have to check it out!

  • I’ve been seeing great reviews for this book! My parenting days are over and weren’t very high-pressure, anyway, but I still enjoy this kind of book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Sam_TinyLibrary

    Hmm….I like the concept but it annoys me when characters are more caricatures than real people.

  • Rachel Rooney

    I still have 9 more people in front of me on the library list for this one! I hope to read it soon. I think my book group might like it, but new releases are a tough sell.

  • Kerry M

    I’ve seen some good things about this one. Here’s to hoping the caricatures of the characters doesn’t getting too distracting.

  • Ooh, as a book club pick. Great idea. I think this is one my book club could definitely chew over since we’re all moms and sit around talking about our kids as much as books. :)

    • Especially if you have kids or have been around other (kind of wacky) parents with kids, I think you’ll have tons to talk about with this.

  • Jennine G.

    Oh yay! I want to read this one since hearing the talk of the mommy buddies and all that stuff.

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  • Ti Reed

    I don’t know. I am one of those mommies that never played well with others at the park and I thought she nailed the playgroup aspect of the book. LOL.

  • I’m not sure how I feel about characters who are caricatures. Although it sounds like a bad thing, I think it can actually be done well if the author uses those caricatures to tell a relatable story :)

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  • HeatherTLC

    I’m glad you enjoyed this book! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  • I thought I would love this book because I have kids the same age range as those in the book, but I couldn’t stand the characters…any of them. And I just couldn’t seem to find the humor in their weekend antics…I just got tired of listening to them and wanted to run far, far away. I agree with you that the characters were caricatures, but I think the book could have benefited from a “normal” outsider to provide some social commentary on the craziness.

  • Words for Worms

    Hmmm. I’ve heard mixed reviews on this one. Sometimes characters that seem like caricatures drive me bananas, other times I find them amusing. I’m unsure if I’ll pick this one up, but it’s good to know it would lead to lively book club discussion. That’s half the battle when choosing a good book for a book club!