Author: Natalie Babbitt
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
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
In The News
“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