Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Wide-ranging Novel

Finished December 16
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff, performed by Nicole Roberts
This is a book that is hard to categorize. The main part of the story is contemporary, with Willie Upton returning to her hometown of Templeton after a disastrous relationship experience. On the same day she arrives home, the dead body of a lake monster surfaces on the lake the town is settled around. Her mother also surprises her with the news that her father is a local Templeton man who is not aware of his role in her creation.
Templeton is modelled on the town of Cooperstown, New York, and has much in common with that real-life place. One of Upton's ancestors, Jacob Temple, appears to be modelled on the writer James Fenimore Cooper, at least in regards to his writings.
As Willie researches her lineage, following the one clue her mother has provided her in terms of her father, voices arise in interspersed chapters, telling their stories. Some stories are told as voices from the past, some from letters, some from journal entries. All bring Willie new knowledge of her forebears and their secrets as well as solving town mysteries.
This is an amazing story, touching and emotional, but full of humour and intelligence as well. A great read.

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