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The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs


The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs

If you've never been to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, or the surrounding areas of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, you might be surprised to learn that it's a place that lends itself very well to gothic novels (and I mean gothic as in Mary Shelley, not Bauhaus). It's an old, rainy city with unique buildings, twisting roads, and a ton of hills, which makes it the perfect setting for this very cool, very creepy book that blends genetics, love, mortality and taxidermy. Even though the book takes place in modern times, it has a very Victorian feel to it; if you love Edgar Allan Poe and things that make you shudder, curl up on your couch and prepare to say, "Ew."

All her life, Ivy has lived in a hotel in a small town in Westmoreland County. As a child, she used to play in the basement of the town pharmacy, which is owned and operated by twins Abner and Adolph Rumbaugh and houses a rather disturbing secret: the Rumbaugh twins' love for their mother is a curse, one that makes them take extreme measures when she dies. There are other secrets, too, especially regarding Ivy's father, whom she's never known. But her mother has a rule: Ivy will learn her most important family secret when she turns 16.

Remembering the nine years between her discovery in the pharmacy basement and the day her mother reveals their deepest family secret, Ivy tells the story of her love for her mother and her struggle against growing up.

Reviewed by Carlie Webber on April 18, 2006

The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs
by Jack Gantos

  • Publication Date: April 18, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
  • ISBN-10: 0374336903
  • ISBN-13: 9780374336905