Monday, September 23, 2013

Summer of the Gypsy Moths

Finished Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker. Stella's mother is flaky and unreliable, and currently traveling around the country trying to find herself. Stella is sent to live with her Great Aunt Louise on Cape Cod. Louise, worrying that Stella will be lonely, takes in a foster child, Angel, the same age as Stella. Louise runs a small cottage colony during the summer and she plans to have both girls help her with the weekly preparation of the cottages for each new group of visitors. What she doesn't plan is to die, suddenly, in her recliner.

Stella is a practical, hopeful girl who had to be the grown up when she lived with her mother. She cooked, cleaned and paid the bills. She is used to being resourceful. Angel is an orphan waiting for her Aunt to have a job and a place to live in order to go and live with her. Angel is angry and resentful person who is ready to run off at the slightest sign of trouble. Both girls fear that they will be tossed back into the foster care program if anyone finds out that Louise has died. So beings a challenging charade of keeping up appearances and surviving.

I felt a little uncomfortable with some of the things that happened in this book. It's not that they were bad. I just felt unsettled thinking about eleven year-olds having to grapple with the problems that Stella and Angel try to face on their own. However, the two of them grown a lot individually and the resolution of the story is positive.

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