Skip to main content

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

The day I returned to Templeton steeped in disgrace, the fifty-foot corpse of a monster surfaced in Lake Glimmerglass. It was one of those strange purple dawns that color July there, when the bowl made by the hills fills with a thick fog and even the songbirds sing timorously, unsure of day or night.

from page 1, The Monsters of Templeton




The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff tells the story of Willie Upton and her search for her father. Willie is a descendant of Marmaduke Temple, the founding father of Templeton, the sleepy little town where she grew up. Both of her mother's parents were descendants of Temple--one through his marriage and the other through his dalliance with the family's slave. For years Willie's mother, Vi, regaled her daughter with the story of her conception: how Vi left home as a teenager for a hippie commune in San Francisco where pot and free love were the norm; how Vi could never be sure of Willie's father because she was with a different man at the commune nearly every night. When Willie comes home to nurse a broken heart and ponder her future, Vi drops a bombshell: Willie's father is actually a man in town who also claimed to be a descendant of Marmaduke Temple through some ancestor's extramarrital affair. This is a genealogical mystery as Willie trolls her family tree looking for the branch that spawned her father. Nearly equal time is give to the many, brightly colorful, vividly drawn characters that populate Willie's family tree. The narrator shifts from Willie to other ancestors as she searches for the one from whom her father is descended.

You will enjoy this book as much for the mystery of Willie's paternity and the nature of the monster that is found in the lake as you will for the humorous, eccentric characters that populate the novel. I highly recommend you try out this book. It is available upon request from Lebanon Community Library and Myerstown Community Library.


--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

Comments

Michelle Hawk - Lebanon Community Library said…
Hi Ms. Angie!
I'm so glad to see a review of The Monsters of Templeton on your blog! I loved this book...it's been a while since I've read a book that I couldn't wait to get home to read more of! Poor Glimmy!

Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at http://www.tanafrench.com/) does not offer any insi…