Seventeen-year-old Pete enjoys his predictable life. It's summer and he's helping his friend Abe at the nature preserve. Enter Nora, Abe's long lost niece. This girl has serious problems. She and Pete don't get along at all. Moths, secrets, and animosity make for an interesting summer in Michigan.
What I thought: I can appreciate Willey's love for Gene Stratton Porter's A Girl of the Limberlost. In high school, it was one of my favorites as well. Distinct similarities exist between it and this tribute--secrets, love of nature, and coming of age. I like that Pete is our narrator. If I'm not mistaken A Girl of the Limberlost was third-person narration. (On a side note, there are entirely too many female narrated books out there. Hearing from a guy is always refreshing.) Pete as narrator ranks right up there with Tyler in Laurie Halse Anderson's Twisted and Ethan in Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Beautiful Creatures. The book reminded me a bit of Melina Marchetta's Jellicoe Road only less complicated and easier to understand. To deal with the present, you have to resolve the past. In short, I liked A Summer of Silk Moths. I wouldn't mind reading other books by Margaret Willey.
(Woodbury, MN: Flux, 2009)