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The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

May 01, 2006 – Are personalities determined by genes or by environment? Is it possible to love one's mother too much? Is there really such a thing as free will? Can curses be passed down from one generation to the next? These are some of the questions raised in Gantos's (Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key) black comedy in which teenager Ivy Spirco makes some disturbing discoveries about her heritage. The elderly Rumbaugh twins, two identical men who run the pharmacy where Ivy's mother used to work, have fascinated Ivy since she was a girl. It comes as quite a shock to her when on her 16th birthday Ivy learns that one of the twins either Adolph or Abner is her biological father. Even more unnerving to her is the possibility that she may have inherited the "Rumbaugh curse" obsessive mother love. Ivy would be the first to admit that she deeply adores her mother, but will she follow in the twins' footsteps, attempting to preserve her mother's body for all eternity? Geared for a sophisticated audience familiar with the gothic genre, 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. Unfortunately, the philosophical points made by the author are far less vivid and memorable as the image of old Mrs. Raumbaugh's dried-up corpse, painstakingly immortalized by her twin sons. Ages 12-up.

Customer Reviews

100 Words or Less

Lightweight but fun novel. No real depth of meaning here, but that’s okay.

It’s an enjoyable read and somewhat surprising at times. Excellently crafted. If you’re looking for something easy and weird, then this is perfect.

The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Level: Grades 9-13
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Horror, Monsters & Ghosts
  • Published: Jun 24, 2008
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 192 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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