The Monsters of Templeton

by Lauren Groff

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LoveReading Expert Review of The Monsters of Templeton


July 2009 Debut of the Month.


A tale of small-town America with some wonderful characters in the present and even more going back over eight generations.  The periods flow back and forth as Willie researches her family in search of her father’s identity, and what a family it is – hypocrites, philanderers, murderers and spendthrifts mixing with upstanding citizens and faithful spouses, story after story wonderfully told and blended … and then there is the monster in the lake!  Glorious stuff.


Comparison: Alice Hoffman, Carol Shields, Louise Erdrich.

Sarah Broadhurst

The Monsters of Templeton Synopsis

Willie Cooper arrives on the doorstep of her ancestral home in Templeton, New York in the wake of a disastrous affair with her much older, married archaeology professor. That same day, the discovery of a prehistoric monster in the lake brings a media frenzy to the quiet, picture-perfect town her ancestors founded. Smarting from a broken heart, Willie then learns that the story her mother had always told her about her father has all been a lie. He wasn’t the one-night stand Vi had led her to imagine, but someone else entirely.

As Willie puts her archaeological skills to work digging for the truth about her lineage, a chorus of voices from the town’s past rise up around her to tell their sides of the story. Dark secrets come to light, past and present blur, old mysteries are finally put to rest, and the surprising truth about more than one monster is revealed.


About This Edition

ISBN: 9780099515722
Publication date: 14th March 2009
Author: Lauren Groff
Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 480 pages
Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Other Genres:
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Lauren Groff Press Reviews

'Lauren Groff's debut novel, The Monsters of Templeton, is everything a reader might have expected from this gifted writer, and more ... There are monsters, murders, bastards, and ne'er-do-wells almost without number. I was sorry to see this rich and wonderful novel come to an end, and there is no higher success than that.'  Stephen King
'THE MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON is a bold and beautiful hybrid of a book...Lauren Groff is an exciting young novelist, 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
'This cracking tale, admirer Stephen King gleefully says, is full of “monsters, murders, bastards and ne’er do-wells”. Yet Lauren Groff’s remarkable debut is not a horror at all…as Willie slays her demons by slowly but surely excavating her family tree, the novel blossoms into a crossbreed of intimate confession, eccentric social history, origin myth and literary biography… the true ‘monsters’ of Templeton are its secrets.' Metro
'This has an opening to die for … a riveting read'  Scotland on Sunday

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780099515722
Publication date: 14/03/2009
Format: Paperback

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About Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff was born in Cooperstown, New York, which is the model for Templeton, her novel’s setting. She has a BA from Amherst College and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has won fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and Yaddo. Groff’s stories have appeared in prestigious literary publications including The Atlantic Monthly and Ploughshares. She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband.   Author photo © Megan Brown

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