Nancy Corbett

Books Reviews

Young Adult

Love Curse of the Rumbaughs by Jack Gantos

Itís 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 Faulknerís 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 weíre going to find that the dearly departed probably havenítÖdeparted, that is. This story didnít let me down. Stuffed mothers appear around ever corner, building up to the most macabre ending Iíve ever come across. I wanted Ivy, the storyís protagonist, to rise above the Rumbaugh curse of extraordinary mother love, but she didnít. 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 doesnít just go away, it adapts.

"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams..." Arthur O'Shaughnessy


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