The day I returned to Templeton, steeped in disgrace, the fifty-foot corpse of a monster surfaced in Lake Glimmerglass...So begins this spellbinding debut novel. Part contemporary story of a girl's search for her father, part historical novel, and part ghost story, at its core it is a tale of how one town holds the secrets of a family. Willie ...
The day I returned to Templeton, steeped in disgrace, the fifty-foot corpse of a monster surfaced in Lake Glimmerglass...So begins this spellbinding debut novel. Part contemporary story of a girl's search for her father, part historical novel, and part ghost story, at its core it is a tale of how one town holds the secrets of a family. Willie Cooper arrives on the doorstep of her ancestral home in Templeton, New York in the wake of a disastrous affair with her much older, married archaeology professor. That same day, the discovery of a prehistoric monster in the lake brings a media frenzy to the quiet, picture-perfect town her ancestors founded. Smarting from a broken heart, Willie then learns that the story her mother had always told her about her father has all been a lie. He wasn't the one-night stand Vi had led her to imagine, but someone else entirely. Someone from Templeton. As Willie puts her archaeological skills to work digging for the truth about her lineage, a chorus of voices from the town's past--both sinister and disturbing--rise up around her to tell their sides of the story. Willie discovers the curse of the Temple family runs deep. In the end, dark secrets come to light, past and present blur, old mysteries are finally put to rest, and the surprising truth about more than one monster is revealed. The Monsters of Templeton is a mesmerizing tour de force that marks the debut of one of the most exciting talents in years.
New. 9.6 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches. Book Condition: Very Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Fine. Feb 5, 2008 First Edition with corresponding number line. Very tight never read copy. All books shipped in a box.
I love when life and books intersect in unexpected ways. When I first started listening to the audiobook version of The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff, I happened to be driving alongside the Susqehanna River just as there was a mention of this same river and the surrounding land in the book. While the area described in the book was a little bit further up river than where I happened to be, this coincidence made the novel that much more real to me.
The Monsters of Templeton has a lot going on. There's historical fiction, a modern quest for identity, love stories both old and new, a sea monster (or lake monster, as the case may be) and even baseball, well really just plenty of baseball fans. In less capable hands, this big book could have been overwhelmed by all these very different stories, but Groff manages to weave them together seamlessly into a story that is both beautiful and enjoyable.
Set in the fictional town of Templeton, NY, loosely based on Cooperstown, NY, the novel tells the story of Willie Upton, a former resident and graduate student, who returns home after her love affair with her married professor comes to a disastrous end. Willie's story of finding herself is interspersed with the stories of Templeton's residents over the years, fitting since Willie is a descendant of the town's founder.
As Willie finds herself over the course of her summer in Templeton, she also finds that the town and its residents who she has looked down upon for years, aren't so bad after all.
Told in a beautiful style and peopled with a colorful cast of characters both
Feb 1, 2009
You Can Go Home Again
From the Author's Note through the Epilogue you will be entertained. If you love a mystery, if you've ever wondered how a town develops, if a little fantasy is right up your alley, you are going to enjoy The Monsters of Templeton.
Ms. Groff uses quirky characters to tell the story of Temple family from the mid 1700s through the present. As Willie, the youngest member of the family, searches for her identity, we get to know her ancestors and the history of the town.
Jun 16, 2008
Stephen King tipped me to this book...
...and anyone else who saw his column last summer (2007) in Entertainment Weekly.
At the time of Harry Potter Book 7's release, King wrote that he'd read a great book that was coming out in early 2008, noted the title and author and said it was as good a read as he had had all year.
I wrote it down and ordered it when I saw it was being released in February. With tone and style far more impressive and vivid than I'd expected from a first time author, Ms. Groff tangibly paints both the lives and needs of the characters and the town where everything important in the book happens as prosaically as if I, too, was a resident and lived down the street from all the action. Ms Groff's writing was much warmer than I expected, too, and that was a pleasant surprise, as well (though I'm not really sure why I thought that prior to reading this great book).
Publishers Weekly, 2007-11-26 At the start of Groff's lyrical debut, 28-year-old Wilhelmina "Willie" Upton returns to her picturesque hometown of Templeton, N.Y., after a disastrous affair with her graduate school professor during an archeological dig in Alaska. In Templeton, Willie's shocked to find that her once-bohemian mother, Vi, has found religion. Vi also reveals to Willie that her father wasn't a nameless hippie from Vi's commune days, but a man living in Templeton. With only the scantiest of clues from Vi, Willie is determined to untangle the roots of the town's greatest families and discover her father's identity. Brilliantly incorporating accounts from generations of Templetonians-as well as characters "borrowed" from the works of James Fenimore Cooper, who named an upstate New York town "Templeton" in The Pioneers-Groff paints a rich picture of Willie's current predicaments and those of her ancestors. Readers will delight in Willie's sharp wit and Groff's creation of an entire world, complete with a lake monster and illegitimate children. (Feb.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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