Thinking Stella needs a companion, Louise takes in a foster child. The daughter of Portuguese immigrants, Angel lost her mother, a fado (a style of music and a word that also means "fate") singer, in a car crash. Her father, a fisherman, was killed when his ship went down in a storm and there were only four safety suits for a crew of five. As the captain, he chose to go down with his ship. Angel is angry and annoyed by everything about Stella and anxious to move in with her aunt, who has immigrated from Portugal to raise her but must meet court requirements before she can take her in. Angel seems especially put off by Stella's domestic skills. A fan of the silver haired home advice columnist Heloise, Stella has ideas about the best way to do everything, ideas that ultimately have much to do with creating the home that her mother will want to settle in. As Louise points out, the two are like oil and water. Until they have a very good reason not to be, when great-aunt Louise dies.
Pennypacker crafts an ending for Summer of the Gypsy Moths that is believable and dramatic, but not catastrophic. There are moments of uncertainty, jealousy and sadness along the way but the right person steps forward at the right time saying just the right thing. Summer of the Gypsy Moths is a book that captivated me in so many ways, from the main character and her quest for a stable home to the fascinating setting of Cape Cod and the cottage colonies, which I really didn't even touch on here. Pennypacker has written a book that I know I will read again, just for the pleasure of spending time with Stella on the Cape.