Synopses & Reviews
On an unseasonably warm Easter Sunday, a young girl named Ivy discovers a chilling secret in the basement of the Rumbaugh pharmacy across the street from the hotel where she lives with her mother. The discovery reveals a disturbing side to the eccentric lives of family friends Abner and Adolph Rumbaugh, known throughout their small western Pennsylvania town simply as the Twins. It seems that Ab and Dolph have been compelled by a powerful mutual love for their deceased mother to do something outrageous, something that in its own twisted way bridges the gap between the living and the dead. Immediately, Ivys discovery provokes the revelation of a Rumbaugh family curse, a curse that, as Ivy will learn over the coming years, holds a strange power over herself and her own mother.
“A totally engaging, intelligently written work . . . this one will linger in ones darkest corners.”—Kirkus Reviews
, Starred Review
“This offbeat novel, reflecting elements of Psycho and Faulkners A Rose for Emily, draws readers into a macabre world where taboos are lifted and unconventional desires unleashed.”—Publishers Weekly
“A shocking, darkly comic tale.”—Booklist, Boxed Review
“Eerie. This thought-provoking story about free will and the arguments of nature and nurture will definitely stick with readers.”—School Library Journal
“Few other books offer such a combination of stylization verging on the comic and a true fascination with the Gothics exploration of human minds.”—Chicago Tribune
“The wonderful and compelling strangeness will . . . draw many readers, especially fans of silver-screen or classic literary Gothic.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Childrens Books
“Compelling.”—The Horn Book Magazine “You know where The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs by Jack Gantos is heading, even as you cant quite believe it. . . . Possibly the most oddball childrens book ever written and certainly one of the cleverest.”—The Telegraph (UK)
In his third book for young adults, Gantos scripts a completely original drama. With gothic flavor and black humor, he depicts a group of people bound together by love, compulsion . . . and a passion for taxidermy.
Love is a terrible and wonderful thing.
About the Author
Jack Gantos has written books for people of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert Honors, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, winner of the Newbery Medal and the Scott ODell Award for Historical Fiction.
Jack was raised in Norvelt, Pennsylvania, and when he was seven, his family moved to Barbados. He attended British schools, where there was much emphasis on reading and writing, and teachers made learning a lot of fun. When the family moved to south Florida, he found his new classmates uninterested in their studies, and his teachers spent most of their time disciplining students. Jack retreated to an abandoned bookmobile (three flat tires and empty of books) parked out behind the sandy ball field, and read for most of the day. The seeds for Jacks writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sisters diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories.
While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of well-deserved rejections, they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. It was a success and the beginning of Jacks career as a professional writer. Jack continued to write childrens books and began to teach courses in childrens book writing and childrens literature. He developed the masters degree program in childrens book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for childrens book writers. He now devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking. He lives with his family in Boston, Massachusetts.