54. The Monsters of Templeton

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

Pages: 363
Finished: Mar. 18, 2008
First Published: Feb. 2008
Genre: fiction
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence:

The day I returned to Templeton steeped in disgrace, the fifty-foot corpse of a monster surfaced in Lake Glimmerglass.

Reason for Reading: I received this book from the HarperCollins Canada "Reading Group". It sounded interesting and Stephen King has written a blurb for the back so I thought I couldn't go wrong with a recommendation from Uncle Steve.

Comments: I don't know what I expected from this book but it certainly wasn't what I expected. (Does that make sense?) It is tough to give a plot outline on this as the story is revealed slowly throughout the course of the book and I won't give anything away. It is also a very unusual story. On the surface, it is the story of a young woman, Willie, who comes home to her small town, which her family has lived in for generations. In fact, they founded it and it is named after the founding family, the Temples. After arriving, she finds out that her mother has lied to her about her father, he is not an unknown hippie from her mother's flower power days but is instead a member of the town, someone she knows. This sets Willie to researching the town's family tree to find out who her father really is.

Chapters alternate with Willie's point of view and personages from the past. This is really a story of a town and secrets that lay buried in everyone's past. I really became caught up in Willie's search and I loved the generational story of a town. But there is also a small supernatural element hiding behind the normalcy. Yes, there is a monster. There is also a ghost and another paranormal activity is revealed also.

This is a very unusual tale, of which I don't think I've ever read the like. The story telling is masterfully and purposefully written. It gripped me from the opening pages to the very satisfying conclusion. Lauren Groff is an author I'll be watching.


  1. This does sound good! Thank you for the review!

  2. Great Review! This one does sound really good. I added it to my TBR.

  3. This sounds like a book I would enjoy, plus I love the cover. Great review.

  4. I had a horrible time trying to describe the plot to friends when I was reading it. It was very difficult to provide a synopsis without giving the book away. But I definitely enjoyed it.


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