"The day I returned to Templeton, steeped in disgrace, the fifty-foot corpse of a monster surfaced in Lake Glimmerglass..." So begins this spellbinding debut novel. Part contemporary story of a girl's search for her father, part historical novel, and part ghost story, at its core it is a tale of how one town holds the secrets of a family. 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. Someone from this very Templeton. As Willie puts her archaeological skills to work digging for the truth about her lineage, a chorus of voices from the town's past--both sinister and disturbing--rise up around her to tell their sides of the story.Willie discovers the curse of the Temple family runs deep, and even her beloved town is no longer a respite from her own demons.
In the end, 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. The Monsters of Templeton is a mesmerizing tour de force that marks the debut of one of the most exciting talents in years.
Shortlisted for Orange Award for New Writers 2008.
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.