The Monsters of Templeton

I spent Sunday and Monday in the Outer Banks with my parents, and due to jellyfish and storms, I spent most of the time sitting on my butt reading.  It was great!

What made the time even more pleasant was this whimsical debut novel from Lauren Groff.  The Monsters of Templeton is about Willie's return to her hometown after a fling with her Ph.D. advisor went awry.  She soon finds out that her father is a resident of Templeton who she has known all her life.  The book chronicles her search for the identity of her father.

The story goes back and forth between a first person account of the main character's search and stories of her ancestors from their points of view.  There are also some journal entries and letters that are used to tell the story.  One chapter that consisted of two women's letters back and forth to each other was probably my favorite part of the book.  I found her writing style and the unique structure of this story to be engrossing.  The characters Groff created are complex and – for the most part – likable.  I'm also partial to stories written about small town life so this definitely fit the bill.

I highly recommend this book to anyone, and I will be singing its praises to all of my friends as well!

#15 of 2008

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11 thoughts on “The Monsters of Templeton

  1. Oh no! That's surprising to me, but I got it from the library. If you go to this link and put in your zip code, it will tell you which local libraries have it. I'm pretty sure Amazon has it as well.

  2. Okay – that is a totally awesome site tool. Unfortunately I'm going to have to drive 25 miles to get to a library that has it 😦 If I go to my local library – can they order it?

  3. I wanted to know if you could recommend good books for teens. I teach 11th grade English and it's time again to add to my classroom library. I have all the classic staples and the new popular teenage lit (Laurie Halse Anderson, etc.), but I wanted to find out if you had a list or something at the library that I could get. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

  4. "…due to jellyfish and storms, I spent most of the time sitting on my butt reading. It was great!" Sometimes it's not such a bad thing when plans go awry. I loved this book, too.

  5. I use reading lists from other public libraries a lot to do readers' advisory (telling teens what to read next). Some good ones are Seattle and Denver Public Libraries. They have lists on their web pages for teens.

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