Willie Cooper arrives on the doorstep of her ancestral home in Templeton, New York in the wake of a disastrous affair with her much older, married archaeology professor. That same day, the discovery of a prehistoric monster in the lake brings a media frenzy to the quiet, picture-perfect town her ancestors founded. Smarting from a broken heart, Willie then learns that the story her mother had always told her about her father has all been a lie. He wasn't the one - night stand Vi had led her to imagine, but someone else entirely. As Willie puts her archaeological skills to work digging for the truth about her lineage, a chorus of voices from the town's past rise up around her to tell their sides of the story. Dark secrets come to light, past and present blur, old mysteries are finally put to rest, and the surprising truth about more than one monster is revealed.
I loved this story. It started out a little slow where I could put it down after a chapter, but as I got into I couldn't put it down! This was another title I picked up at the Border's closing down sale. I wish I had had more time to scour through the shelves!!
I love books that have the past affect/effect present day. That sounds stupid because of course the past effects today. What I mean is that the book is almost 2 stories. The first story is of Willie and the second of her ancestors. I have always been a sucker for time period novels or novels that go back and forth, but it is rare to find an author who does it well. [Dreadful Sorry by Kathryn Reiss (teen fiction) was a favorite when I was younger. It would be interesting to re-read it today to see if I still thought it was as good as I did then!]
I liked how the author gave you more information then what Willie had with chapters that tell the story of characters that helped shape her world. Although I did have a guess early on who her father might be and I was right! I didn't think I was right all the way the through the book, just had an inkling. Comes from reading too many books and watching too many movies!
I liked all the characters in the book. I also liked the relationships in the book, not just the romantic ones, they just seemed more real and not so fairytale like. I also liked how there was a little fantasy/sci-fi stuff going on.
Over all I really enjoyed this read and recommend it to everyone. It is Lauren Groff's first novel. I will await her next impatiently!!