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 extraordinary, 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
In his third book for young adults, Jack Gantos has scripted a
completely original drama. With gothic flavor and black humor,
he depicts a group of people bound together by love,
compulsion . . . and a passion for taxidermy.
ALA Best Books for Young Adults, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI)
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.” —Starred, Kirkus Reviews
“A shocking, darkly comic tale.” —Boxed, Booklist
“Eerie. This thought-provoking story about free will and the arguments of nature and nurture will definitely stick with readers.” —School Library Journal
“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
“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-