Nancyc's Reviews > The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs

The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs by Jack Gantos
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May 09, 2008

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Recommended to Nancyc by: Esta

It’s hard to imagine this book, marketed for a teen audience, ever having wide appeal with its target audience. The language is too rich and possesses a gothic lilt. The story is Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily meets the Bates Motel. We have a small town with a family secret.

Whenever a story shows characters who are into taxidermy, I know we’re going to find that the dearly departed probably haven’t…departed, that is. This story didn’t let me down. Stuffed mothers appear around ever corner, building up to the most macabre ending I’ve ever come across. I wanted Ivy, the story’s protagonist, to rise above the Rumbaugh curse of extraordinary mother love, but she didn’t. Throughout the story, her mother urged her to leave the small town where they lived and go off to college. The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs demonstrates that family weirdness doesn’t just go away, it adapts.
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