On an unseasonably warm Easter Sunday, a young girl named Ivy discovers a chilling secret in the basement of the Rumbaugh pharmacy across the street from the hotel where she lives with her mother. The discovery reveals a disturbing side to the eccentric lives of family friends Abner and Adolph Rumbaugh, known throughout their small western Pennsylvania town simply as the Twins. It seems that Ab and Dolph have been compelled by a powerful mutual love for their deceased mother to do something outrageous, something that in its own twisted way bridges the gap between the living and the dead. Immediately, Ivy's discovery provokes the revelation of a Rumbaugh family curse, a curse that, as Ivy will learn over the coming years, holds a strange power over herself and her own mother.
CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), ALA Best Books for Young Adults
The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs
In the presence of extraordinary actuality, consciousness takes the place of imagination.
I am a young woman now, but...
Praise for The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs
“A totally engaging, intelligently written work . . . this one will linger in one's darkest corners.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“This offbeat novel, reflecting elements of Psycho and Faulkner's A Rose for Emily, draws readers into a macabre world where taboos are lifted and unconventional desires unleashed.” —Publishers Weekly
“A shocking, darkly comic tale.” —Booklist, Boxed Review
“Eerie. This thought-provoking story about free will and the arguments of nature and nurture will definitely stick with readers.” —School Library Journal
“Few other books offer such a combination of stylization verging on the comic and a true fascination with the Gothic's exploration of human minds.” —Chicago Tribune
“The wonderful and compelling strangeness will . . . draw many readers, especially fans of silver-screen or classic literary Gothic.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Compelling.” —The Horn Book Magazine
“You know where The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs by Jack Gantos is heading, even as you can't quite believe it. . . . Possibly the most oddball children's book ever written and certainly one of the cleverest.” —The Telegraph (UK)