The Monsters of Templeton CD by Lauren Groff

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"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 how 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.

About Lauren Groff

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Lauren Groff is the author of the New York Times bestselling MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON and the critically acclaimed short story collection DELICATE EDIBLE BIRDS. She has a BA from Amherst College and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her short stories have appeared in several literary publications, including The Atlantic Monthly and Ploughshares, and she has won fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and Yaddo.
Published February 5, 2008 by Hachette Books. 394 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Monsters of Templeton CD

The New York Times

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Plot twists in Lauren Groff’s book are certainly intriguing enough to captivate readers. The trouble with “The Monsters of Templeton” is that its complications seem nonstop.

Feb 18 2008 | Read Full Review of The Monsters of Templeton CD

Publishers Weekly

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At the start of Groff’s lyrical debut, 28-year-old Wilhelmina “Willie” Upton returns to her picturesque hometown of Templeton, N.Y., after a disastrous affair with her graduate sc

Nov 26 2007 | Read Full Review of The Monsters of Templeton CD

BC Books

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Prompted by a Stephen King recommendation, I ran right out and bought Lauren Groff's The Monsters of Templeton, a unique story told from the point of view of multiple characters.

May 30 2008 | Read Full Review of The Monsters of Templeton CD


A monster has long patrolled the depths of the glacial lake in Lauren Groff’s new novel, but the more intrusive beasts in this outstanding literary debut are far more likely to stand on dry land.

Mar 03 2008 | Read Full Review of The Monsters of Templeton CD

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Sep 12 2015 | Read Full Review of The Monsters of Templeton CD

Marie Claire

And while some of the flashback chapters were based on documents Willie uncovered, other chapters seemed to be random retellings in the voices of ancestors that weren't based on anything Willie had discovered through her research.

Nov 25 2008 | Read Full Review of The Monsters of Templeton CD

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