The Monsters of Templeton

This historical fiction (364 pages) was published in February of 2008 by Hyperion. The book takes you to upstate New York. Melissa read The Monsters of Templeton and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.

buy is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support independent bookstores and give back to the book community.


The Monsters of Templeton

Lauren Groff

‘The day I returned to Templeton steeped in disgrace, the 50-foot corpse of a monster surfaced in Lake Glimmerglass.’

We’re not giving anything away with that quote. The monster makes its appearance in the first sentence of this spellbinding novel. But believe it or not, the elusive beast isn’t even the most important part of this story. The monster is the catalyst.

What’s front and center is the aforementioned disgrace. Our heroine Willie has returned from graduate studies in California to her childhood home to recover from a broken heart. She’s expecting to merely hide out until she heals from the humiliation and disappointment. Instead, she learns another hard truth: The facts she thought she knew about her father are a lie.

While Willie tries to put herself back together, she finds purpose in crumbling newspaper editorials, journal entries, and a packet of old letters that is actually labeled ‘Contents disturbing and painful.’ She slowly uncovers her past and tries to forge a way to a new and unplanned-for future.

What begins as a tale about a mythological monster in the lake becomes a story of genealogy and secrets and the kind of monsters that walk on two legs and hide in plain sight.

This book unfolds in thoroughly unpredictable ways. By the end, you’ll fervently wish to join Willie and the early morning running club — to be part of their camaraderie and their recognition that wistfulness and strength are not mutually exclusive.

It is now September, the summer will be over; it was long, it was hard, but soon there will be the geese. Soon, breath in the mornings, soon long sleeves and tights, headbands to protect our delicate ears. — Lauren Groff

keep reading

This weekend, we recommend a getaway to Templeton, NY — aka Cooperstown. IRL, there's the Baseball Hall of Fame and James Fenimore Cooper. In the book, there's a lake and old friends and — oh, yeah — a monster.
In real life, dark secrets and potentially perilous passageways might best be avoided. But on the page, is anything more delicious than the tingle up the back of the neck that says an adventure is about to begin?

sharing is caring!

Wanna help us spread the word? If you like this page, please share with your friends.

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter

Join our Substack to get our FREE newsletter with podcast updates and behind-the-scenes info join in fun chats about books and travel.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
Sign up for our free Substack!
follow us

Content on this site is ©2024 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.