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LOVE CURSE OF THE RUMBAUGHS by Jack Gantos Kirkus Star

LOVE CURSE OF THE RUMBAUGHS

By Jack Gantos

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-374-33690-3
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

What happens when you die? Do you molder in the grave, return zombie-like or completely healed, or go to heaven and recline on the clouds? Your return is of a different sort if you’re the mother of 71-year-old emotionally stunted twin taxidermists suffering from the family curse of obsessive mother love. And young Ivy Spirco’s unsettling discovery in the basement of the pharmacy impels her to ponder these issues of life and death and shakes her own obsessive “Mom and mini-Mom” relationship. Always adept at creating exuberant, larger-than-life characters, Gantos here creates two who are even larger than death, in a psychological horror story of the highest order. Akin to Frankenstein, Dracula and Poe’s stories in theme, tone and voice, this offering explores such philosophical issues as nature versus nurture, free will and predetermination, mortality immortality and rebirth, in a totally engaging, intelligently written work guaranteed to either entrance or repel readers. Like Mrs. Rumbaugh’s body, this will linger in one’s darkest corners. A good match with M.T. Anderson’s Feed (2002) and Nancy Farmer’s The House of the Scorpion (2002). (Fiction. YA)