Posts Tagged ‘underwhelming’

20th March
2009
written by Steph
Brought to you by the UW-Madison MFA program...

Brought to you by the UW-Madison MFA program...

Oh, The Monsters of Templeton… what am I to say about you?  You were one of Amazon’s notable books of 2008 back in February, and I almost bought you at a bookstore in D.C. back in November when I realized my tryst with The Name of the Rose was not meant to be (I haven’t looked back, and still no regrets), and I had such high hopes for you.  Is it my fault you could not meet the expectations I had set out for you?  Maybe.  But I kind of think the onus is mostly on you… The Monsters of Templeton revolves in large part around one Wilhelmina (Willie) Upton who decides that after an ill-fated affair with her married graduate advisor in Alaska goes South that she should too and returns home to Templeton.  Templeton has always been a safe haven for Willie – when the rest of the world is crazy, it’s the one place that is unrelentingly the same.  Only not so much, as a monster much like Nessie has been found floating belly up in Lake Glimmerglass, and her erstwhile hippie mother, Vi, has gone all Born Again on her.  Not to mention the parentage bombshell that rocks her world when Vi tells her that all these years she’s believed her father to be one of three possible men living out in a hippie commune is a complete and utter lie.  In fact, Willie’s real father is actually one of the denizens of Templeton, but it’s up to her to figure out who exactly he is.  Willie is equipped only with the knowledge that, much like Vi & herself, he claims to be descended from the town’s founder, Marmaduke Temple… only there have been several generations of Temples between Willie and Marmaduke, and so she must sift through her family’s history to figure out when the philandering was committed and by whom (Professor Plum in the library with a candlestick?).  Marmaduke Temple already actually has two lines of families sprouting from him on the family tree due to an affair with a slave named Hetty Averell, but might there be another one?  Only Willie can find out!  (Or you know, her mother could have told her who her father is since she does know, but then you wouldn’t have a book, so overlook that.) (more…)