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The Monsters of Templeton
by Lauren Groff


Overview - NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER -- the debut novel by the acclaimed author of Fates and Furies .
"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 of a girl's search for her father; part historical novel; and part ghost story.
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More About The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
 
 
 
Overview
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER -- the debut novel by the acclaimed author of Fates and Furies.
"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 of a girl's search for her father; part historical novel; and part ghost story. In the wake of a disastrous love affair with her older, married archaeology professor at Stanford, brilliant Wilhelmina Cooper arrives back at the doorstep of her hippie mother-turned-born-again-Christian's house in Templeton, NY, a storybook town her ancestors founded that sits on the shores of Lake Glimmerglass. Upon her arrival, a prehistoric monster surfaces in the lake bringing a feeding frenzy to the quiet town, and Willie learns she has a mystery father, one her mother kept secret Willie's entire life.
The beautiful, broody Willie is told that the key to her biological father's identity lies somewhere in her family's history, so she buries herself in the research of her twisted family tree and finds more than she bargained for as a chorus of voices from the town's past--some sinister, all fascinating--rise up around her to tell their side of the story. In the end, dark secrets come to light, past and present day are blurred, and old mysteries are finally put to rest.

The Monsters of Templeton
is a fresh, virtuoso performance that has placed Lauren Groff among the best writers of today.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781401340926
  • ISBN-10: 140134092X
  • Publisher: Hachette Books
  • Publish Date: November 2008
  • Page Count: 368


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Sagas

 
BookPage Reviews

The Monsters of Templeton

Groff's much-praised debut is an inventive and original novel with a spunky heroine at its center. Archaeology student Willie Upton returns to her hometown of Templeton, New York, to recuperate from a failed affair with a married professor. Willie always swore she'd never go back to Templeton, the idyllic community her ancestors established, but the town offers more than a few surprises. For starters, a monster—50 feet long and, fortunately, dead—appears in a local lake. Then there's Willie's mother, Vi. An artsy bohemian when Willie left for college, Vi is now a born-again Christian with a shocking family secret to share. Contrary to what Willie has long been told, her father was not one of the casual lovers Vi had back in her hippie days—he was from Templeton. Applying her archaeological talents, Willie sets out to learn the truth about her family, only to find herself entangled in a mystery. Family journals reveal the stories of her great-great-grandmother, Sarah, who may have been insane, and of Hettie, a slave to whom Willie is distantly related. The use of diaries, letters and other devices adds a delightful layer to this ingeniously constructed tale. Beautifully written, Groff's novel is full of surprising plot twists and crystalline realizations about the nature of family, relationships and love.

A reading group guide is available at everywomansvoice.com.

 
BAM Customer Reviews