The Monsters of Templeton Author:Lauren Groff "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 a contemporary story of a girl's search for her father, part historical novel, and part ghost story, this spellbinding novel is at its core a tale of ho... more »w one town holds the secrets of a family. In the wake of a wildly disastrous affair with her married archaeology professor, 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 that Vi had led her to imagine, but someone else entirely. Someone from this very town. As Willie puts her archaeological skills to work digging 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.« less
This book is hard to categorize, part fiction, mystery and fantasy.
Willie (Wilhelmina) Upton has returned to her hometown of Templeton NY. She has left school at Stanford in disgrace and hopes to hide away in the town that her family has lived in for generations. On the day she arrives an enormous monster dies and rises to the surface of Lake Glimmerglass. Not knowing what to expect when she finally goes home to her mother she is shocked when Vi informs Willie that she lied about her father being a one night stand and that her true father lives in Templeton. So Willie sets out to find the truth about her father and along the way uncovers many family secrets and a few other âmonsters'.
I really, really liked this book. I loved the plot, the delving into the past, hearing the story in many different voices. I love the magic and supernatural embellishments; they added another fun layer to the story. There is more than one monster in this tale and it was so well done and enjoyable I was sorry to see it end; I have so many questions about so many of the characters I am longing for a sequel!!!
A high recommend.
I quite liked this novel. Parts of it were predictable, and the base story of a small town girl returning home was nothing new, but I enjoyed how the author interwove the heroine's story with the history of a ficitonalized Cooperstown, New York.
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 Templetoniansas well as characters borrowed from the works of James Fenimore Cooper, who named an upstate New York town Templeton in The PioneersGroff 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.