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The Monsters of Templetonby Lauren Groff
Synopses & Reviews
"The day I returned to Templeton steeped in disgrace, the fifty-foot corpse of a monster surfaced in Lake Glimmerglass."
So begins The Monsters of Templeton, a novel spanning two centuries: part contemporary story, part historical novel, and part ghost story, this spellbinding novel is at its core a tale of how one town holds the secrets of a family.
In the wake of a wildly disastrous affair, Willie Upton arrives on the doorstep of her ancestral home in Templeton, New York, where her hippie-turned-born-again-Baptist mom, Vi, still lives. Willie expects to be able to hide in the place that has been home to her family for generations, but the monster's death changes the fabric of the quiet, picture-perfect town her ancestors founded. Even further, Willie learns that the story her mother had always told her about her father has all been a lie: he wasn't the random man from a free-love commune, but someone from this very town.
As Willie digs for the truth about her lineage, she discovers that the secrets of her family run deep. Through letters, editorials, and journal entries, the dead rise up to tell their sides of the story as dark mysteries come to light, past and present blur, old stories are finally put to rest, and the shocking truth about more than one monster is revealed.
"Groff's tale of a young woman searching for her true identity through old letters, journals and articles is a vivid portrait of the past and present, but Nicole Roberts's delivery is far too stolid and contrived to bring the material to life. As if reading a teleprompter, Roberts sounds more like a news anchor, slightly disconnected from the material and doing her best to make it sound important. At times she races through the story at breakneck pace, at others she reads painfully slow as if reading to a group of uninterested first graders. While her pitch is clear, her tone is almost plastic and fake, making the story so dreary and unimaginative that most listeners will be immediately turned off. Simultaneous release with the Hyperion hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 26, 2007). (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Wilhelmina Cooper is told that the key to her biological father's identity lies somewhere in her family's history. She buries herself in the research of her twisted family tree and finds a chorus of voices from the town's past — some sinister, all fascinating — rise up around her to tell their side of the story. Unabridged.
About the Author
Lauren Groff was born in Cooperstown, New York, which is the model for Templeton, her novel's setting. Groff's short stories have appeared in publications including The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares and The Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.
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