Pages: 76 / 361; 21%
The Reason for the Reaping: Lauren Groff wrote Fates and Furies, a National Book Award finalist (yaaass). This is her first novel.
The Great Comparisons: Love in the Time of Cholera, The House of the Spirits
As I Lay Summarizing: Willie has been busy being v. scandalous. Panicky, embarrassed and somewhat grovelly, she retreats to her childhood home of Templeton, where Jacob Franklin Temple (*cough* James Fenimore Cooper *cough*) happens to have lived. Insert a monster, and now you understand the title.
The Line That Killed Me: “And as I walked, I believed myself to be an Adam setting foot in a new Eden, sinless and wild-eyed, my sinews still stiff with creation” (13). Death by vast opportunity and optimism.
Best Character: Remarkable Prettybones
Why [As] You Like It: If Fates and Furies was not your favorite (same), seeing this better new perspective from Groff is refreshing. The elements of magical realism and the overall mystic tone emanating from the landscape and the characters make Templeton a weird but pleasant setting for Willie’s groveling and embarrassment. Plus, if you like what happens when you see someone you haven’t seen since high school, you’ll like what keeps happening to Willie.
Why I’m Gone, Girl: If you have not read The Last of the Mohicans or anything else by James Fenimore Cooper (is that blasphemous? idk), you’re going to miss quite a few references. I know because I’m missing them too =D. Granted, Groff warned you with an Author’s Note in the beginning… but still. It’s a hassle to stop and read or research first (is that lazy? idk). Plus, if you don’t like what happens when you see someone you haven’t seen since high school, you won’t like what keeps happening to Willie.
Last Line, Last Chance: “…opposite the baseball museum and next to the post office. I would….”
Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom?
Despite the interesting place that is Templeton, I’m not really feeling it. While better than Fates and Furies, it still feels stale to me. I’m going to set this aside, with a shrug.