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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > The Monsters of Templeton - what did you think?

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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (notestothemoon) | 846 comments Like last month, once you have read the book can you give me a mini review here.

What I want from you guys is:

A star rating out of 5 (exactly the same as Goodreads).


A brief description of what you thought about the book. Good story? Interesting? Insightful? Would you read some more of the author's work? Did you learn anything from reading it. etc.

At the end of the month I will post our average rating as a group and try to sum up what we all thought.

message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 354 comments I give it 5 stars for sheer readability and exceptional characters. I really enjoyed the little vignettes in all through the story that highlighted particular people from the past. From just the way they spoke, I could envision them all, so I felt that the author was really able to connect with her characters. In the very beginning, I had a suspicion about who Willie's father was, but the way that Groff wrote it, I completely forgot my hunch and just went along with the story.

My only nag is just this one thing. When Willie is describing the Buds running through the rain at one point, the author uses the word "opaque" to describe how their shirts turned and made their nipples show. Obviously a wording error, but it bugged me to the point that I still remember it.

message 3: by Kipahni (last edited Jan 07, 2009 02:05PM) (new)

Kipahni | 144 comments I give it a four. Great kooky characters both past and present. An enjoyable read and I am really happy I started off reading this book for the first of the year hopefully it will start a trend for the rest of the year "No more reading slime in 2009"

message 4: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 354 comments ooh Kip! That rhymed!

message 5: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (notestothemoon) | 846 comments How on earth did you get a hunch as to who her father was!? I didn't have a clue :P couldn't even remember who the character was when it was finally revealed! I went back to one of the chapters to have a look and I could see maybe where you could have got a hunch from, but I totally missed it!

I'm going to give this book 4 stars

I loved the way the book read with snippets from the past and from a huge variety of different characters. However this was also the reason why I couldn't give it 5 stars, there were so many characters that it all became very confusing and difficult to know which side of the family the characters were coming from. A lovely book with an ending which made me sooooo happy :) Long live Glimmey!!

message 6: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 354 comments the only reason I got a hunch was because he is the only character who doesn't have any kids and he is fairly devestated over that fact. Also, I felt that because he had 3 wives who ALL left him for nt giving them kids, there was just something that hit me funny. Groff seemed to drive this point home every time the running buds were mentioned. At least for me. It was too much of a coinky-dink that she kept pushing that he didn't have kids and here was Willie trying to find out who her dad was. Esp since he was supposed to be a member of a long standing Templeton family and it's stated close to the beginning of the book that his family has been around for a long time.

So um...yeah, that's how I got that hunch. But like I said, I completely forgot about it until the end and then the lightbulb clicked back on around the same time that Willie's lightbulb did in the book.

Also, does anyone think that Willie will end up going back to Templeton and remaining together with Zeke? Personally, I kinda liked her with Peter Leider better.

message 7: by Nikki (new)

Nikki (nikkibfabulous) Jenny, I completely agree with you. I had no idea who her father was until she found out. I thought there was a chance it could have been one of the running buds only because they were so much apart of her growing up. But when he was revealed I had to go back and review who he was, too.

I really enjoyed the book. The twist and unexpected turns really kept me interested. I also liked Willie's character. She was quirky and irreverent.
I liked the snippets from the past. I think that made the story more intriguing. I enjoyed trying to figure out how each character fit in the story.

Heather, I liked Peter Leider better, too. :-)

I give it 4 stars. I enjoyed it a lot, but it wasn't amazing.

message 8: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (notestothemoon) | 846 comments Aw I want her and Zeke to get together. I imagined Peter as being quite geeky and creepy :S

message 9: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 354 comments I liked Peter. But then again, I'm into geeky boys.

message 10: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 354 comments On that same subject though, I just have to say that I like the way that Groff portrayed Willie's relationship with both boys. Her reactions towards them felt very real, as well as the way they both treated her. It didn't feel at all they way that romance is handled in some books, all doe eyed and heart swelling type stuff.

message 11: by Julianne (new)

Julianne | 16 comments So, I really enjoyed this book. I'd probably give it 4.5 out of 5 stars (1/2 star off b/c I think the author's sentence structure was at times terribly confusing. I rarely reread sentences and I found myself having to do that often to arouse meaning).

What I found most intriguing was how Groff was able to effectively tell a story where finding a Loch Ness-type monster in a lake is the back story. I don't think many authors could do this successfully.

Great story about finding yourself in yourself. And I really connected with the story. I agree with everyone about being confused about the family connections and 200+ years of characters, so I thank the author for making the diagrams every once in a while.

I would recommend this to people, definitely.

message 12: by Julianne (new)

Julianne | 16 comments I don't know about the ghost. I just took for granted that it existed (though I kept trying to find out whose ghost it was).

And, I want her with Zeke--but I think he'll come to her, then when it's time to "settle" they'll head back to Templeton.

message 13: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 240 comments ***SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER*******

I think I will give the book four stars. Like many of you, I really enjoyed the way Groff wrote from many characters' viewpoints. I enjoyed the jumping back and forth between time periods too. This aspect of the book kept me interested in reading just a bit more every time. Like Heather, I did know who Willie's father was going to be from the first time she started mentioning that he was childless and all the problems he had in his marriages due to not producing children. It was too obvious to me. Not subtle, at all. I was hoping for a twist! So, I was disappointed in that. However, I was curious to see how, exactly, he was related to the Temples. I also really enjoyed her use of old pictures throughout the book. I found myself getting really aggravated at times with some of the characters. To me, when I get emotional about characters in a book it's a sign that the book is good. So, all in all, four stars. Maybe three and a half if I could, just because the main mystery in the book was over for me from near the beginning.

This Spring/Summer when I go to Cooperstown, I'll take pictures and post them here (if I can figure it out). I realized that winter pictures wouldn't be as nice. I would like to figure out which house is the author's as that's what Averell Cottage is based on.

message 14: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 354 comments Jaime - At least I wasn't the only one who figured it out too. yay!

If all else fails with the pics, just post a link to your photobucket or flickr something like that. I personally would Love to see picks of Cooperstown!

Btw, since you live in the general vicinity. Is there actually a myth surrounding Lake Glimmerglass about a monster? Just curious.

message 15: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 240 comments Hmmm...not that I know of. I'll ask my Dad to ask his co-worker and get back to you. She is a real "Cooper" who's family DID start the town. BTW, she's not thrilled with the book!

message 16: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 354 comments Why not???

message 17: by Nikki (last edited Jan 20, 2009 12:31PM) (new)

Nikki (nikkibfabulous) Wow, Jamie. That is intriguing, that she is not thrilled with the book. I wonder if it hits too close to home, with the family seeming to be a little on to wacky side. LOL

message 18: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 240 comments No, I don't think it's because it hit close to home. I probably should not be talking about it because I don't know all the details. I mean, I haven't seen her since I read it to speak to her personally. It just has not gone over well, I guess. Groff took a lot of liberties is all I know. ;)

Anyway, Heather, I have an answer about Glimmey. There has never been any tale about a monster/creature in Glimmerglass Lake. HOWEVER.... back in the seventies there was a woman with a lot of children who loved in town. One summer she made up these t-shirts to sell to tourists about a monster named "Otsey" living in Lake Otsego (neighboring lake to Glimmerglass). It's not clear where this woman got the idea from (probably just to sell shirts). Anyway, it is believed by some that that is where Groff got her idea.

message 19: by Nikki (new)

Nikki (nikkibfabulous) Jamie, I wasn't thinking. I hope I didn't offend you. I later thought to myself "Nikki, you are talking about a real person, not a fictional character." So, I do apologize. And, I would be interested in the Coopers' thoughts on the book. :-)

message 20: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 240 comments I'm not offended! It's not my family! (LOL)

My thoughts are this..... imagine if someone wrote a tale based on a "fictional" family which was really sort of your family. Or had parts of your family's history in it. For example, the Coopers were the settlers of the town and James Fenimore Cooper was a famous writer. Though it may be all completely fictional, people may wonder..... Also, I may be thinking what gives this person the right to do this?

That's just my thought. Again, I do not know the author or the type of relationship she may/may not have had with the Cooper family. There's lots of room for speculation. I'm not sure that Ms. Cooper wants to get into it.

message 21: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 240 comments But I can ask :)

message 22: by Nikki (new)

Nikki (nikkibfabulous) I look forward to it. :-)

message 23: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 354 comments Thanks so much for the info on Otsey/Glimmy!

by the by Jaime - Love your new pic but you and your little one sure look cold!

message 24: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (notestothemoon) | 846 comments Wow that's really interesting Jaime! Thanks for the info! I want Glimmey to be real :)

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