January 01, 2015
The Monsters of Templeton is a bold and beautiful hybrid of a book. Lauren Groff is gifted with an elegant prose style and a narrative ambition as deep and as serious as the human mysteries she sets out to explore. –LORRIE MOORE author of A Gate At the Stairs
One dark summer dawn in Templeton, New York, at the moment an enormous monster surfaces in Lake Glimmerglass, twenty-eight-year-old Willie Upton returns pregnant and miserable to her hometown of Templeton, N.Y. Willie is a descendant of the creator of the town, Marmaduke Temple, and she expects to be able to hide in the place that has been home to her family for centuries. But the monster changes the fabric of the village, and Willie’s mother, Vivienne, has a surprise that will send Willie careening through her family’s history to dig up clues about her heritage. Spanning two centuries and based on Cooperstown, New York., the story is told through two centuries of voices, from Templeton ghosts to residents, masters to servants, natives to interlopers, and historical figures to literary characters. A New York Times Bestseller and Editors’ Choice Pick, The Monsters of Templeton was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, and has been published in the U.S. and Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Holland, Russia, Greece, Spain, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.
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Hyperion/Voice, 2008 ISBN-10: 1401322255
I was sorry to see this rich and wonderful novel come to an end, and there is no higher success than that.
“In The Monsters of Templeton, Lauren Groff has crafted a multilayered story that is boldly inventive and surprising, by turns wistful, elegiac, and sweeping.”—LAUREN BELFER
A fantastically fun read, a kind of wild pastiche that is part historical novel and part mystery, with a touch of the supernatural thrown in for good measure.
“[An] outstanding literary debut. . . . What Groff is really digging at here is the enigma of the human spirit and how redemption and resilience shape our lives. . . . Groff turns her story into a meditation on the nature of change and how evolution — of a place, a family, a person — even if it’s difficult and unsettling, can bring joyous rewards.”—MIAMI HERALD
Groff's multilayered saga both thrills and delights with poignant, breathtaking prose. Grade: A.
“It’s a rare book that gives darkness a good long stare and declares, convincingly, that life contains joy. The Monsters of Templeton, a fascinating first novel by Lauren Groff, is a book with joy in its marrow. . . . Reading this exquisite book is like swimming through warm water filled with wondrous things. . . . This is a fabulous book.”—SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Groff's lively and poetic debut novel ... (is) sweet and slightly wry, poignant yet beautifully understated. . . . As The Monsters of Templeton bounds back and forth in time, Willie and her ancestors tell stories rich in history, painful with deceit and misery, and triumphant in salvation.
“The Monsters of Templeton is irresistible.”—TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL