The Monsters of Templeton
The Monsters of Templeton
By Lauren Groff
Hyperion Books, Paperback, 9781401340926, 368pp.
Publication Date: November 1, 2008
"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.
"Groff's multilayered saga both thrills and delights with poignant, breathtaking prose. A"—Entertainment Weekly
"THE MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON, a fascinating first novel by Lauren Groff, is a book with joy in its marrow--fabulous."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Lauren Groff's debut novel, The Monsters of Templeton, is everything a reader might have expected from this gifted writer, and more. Willie is a funny, sexy, plucky heroine; her Mom--a once-upon-a-time hippie who's gone Baptist but not square--is a hoot; her family history is a funhouse through which Willie must wander in order to find her father. Best of all is Templeton, a town that will remind readers of Ray Bradbury at his most magical. There are monsters, murders, bastards, and ne'er-do-wells almost without number. I was sorry to see this rich and wonderful novel come to an end, and there is no higher success than that."—Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
"Lauren Groff hits a home run in her first at-bat, with a novel that is intriguingly constructed and compulsively readable."—Denver Post