Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Herbert Rowbarge

Herbert Rowbarge

Natalie Babbitt

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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From the author of Tuck Everlasting comes a powerful, multi-layered story about a man who never felt complete, the family he is unable to fully love, and the fabulous amusement park that he created.

Everyone in town knows Herbert Rowbarge as the wealthy creator of the Rowbarge Pleasure Dome, a fantastic amusement park. But his past is murky. Even his twin daughters believe that their father has led a lonely but prosperous life, inheriting his wealth from various deceased relatives.

What the town doesn’t know is that Herbert was born a penniless orphan, sustained only by his desire to create something beautiful: An amusement park with a carousel featuring pairs of identical animals. Everything he’s achieved has been a product of that single-minded determination.

What Herbert himself doesn’t know is that he is a twin. All he knows is that he has never felt complete. When he gazes into the mirror, he glimpses some lost part of himself. When he looks at his twin daughters, he feels a stab of something like jealousy.

Told from the point of view of Herbert and his daughters, this is a family story about how people can long for a part of themselves that they never knew they lost. Natalie Babbitt is at her best in this stunning novel for adults.


"Herbert Rowbarge has . . . an almost folktale-like tone and plot. Never mind that it contains its share of Buicks and bridge parties; it still possesses the hushed, concentrated, stripped quality of a legend. And like a legend, it draws us in. It’s spellbinding.” —Anne Tyler, The New York Times Book Review

EXCERPT

Tuesday, May 20, 1952
Much has been made of the fact that there have never, in ten times ten thousand winters, been two snowflakes exactly alike. This is considered one of Nature's miracles, and even so much as a single identical pair...

Reviews

Praise for Herbert Rowbarge

“An expertly turned artifact of a story, which is not to deny its human sympathy and penetrating edge.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Mrs. Babbitt creates a plausible world and peoples it with believable humans, but the most satisfaction comes from the pleasure of her company as she effortlessly takes the reader in velvet-gloved hand to point out life's coincidences and near misses.” —George A. Woods, The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Natalie Babbitt

Artist and writer Natalie Babbitt (1932-2016) is the award-winning author of the modern classic Tuck Everlasting, The Eyes of the Amaryllis, Kneeknock Rise and many other brilliantly original books for young people. She began her career in 1966 as the illustrator of The Forty-ninth Magician, written by her husband. When her husband became a college president and no longer had time to collaborate, Babbitt tried her hand at writing. Her first novel, The Search for Delicious, established her gift for writing magical tales with profound meaning. Kneeknock Rise earned her a Newbery Honor Medal, and in 2002, Tuck Everlasting was adapted into a major motion picture. Natalie Babbitt lived in Hamden, CT.

Natalie Babbitt

Natalie Babbitt

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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