Book Review: June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore—and a Giveaway!

JuneJune
Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Crown, May 2016
ISBN 978-0-553-44768-2
Hardcover

From the publisher—

Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in rural St. Jude, Ohio, mourning the loss of the woman who raised her—her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery’s vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? What other shocking secrets could June’s once-stately mansion hold?

Soon Jack’s famous daughters come knocking, determined to wrestle Cassie away from the inheritance they feel is their due. Together, they all come to discover the true reasons for June’s silence about that long-ago summer, when Hollywood came to town, and June and Jack’s lives were forever altered by murder, blackmail, and betrayal. As this page-turner shifts deftly between the past and present, Cassie and her guests will be forced to reexamine their legacies, their definition of family, and what it truly means to love someone, steadfastly, across the ages.

When I first started reading June, I have to admit I was thinking I might be sorry because the opening pages smack of magical realism and I REALLY don’t like that. Happily, though, I pushed on and the story soon became a pretty straightforward tale, albeit set in two time periods 60 years apart. The POV in 1955 is from a girl named Lindie whose best friend, and object of her affection, is June. In present day, the focus is on June’s grandaughter, Cassie. It’s during Lindie’s and June’s time that we get the first hint of the dark things that happened back then.

These three young women are each very interesting in different ways. June appears to be the proper daughter raised in gentility who never breaks the rules and always does what’s expected of her. Lindie is the girl exploring her lesbianism and she goes overboard in trying to make herself unattractive, perhaps an effort to play down her girlness. And then there’s Cassie who initially seems to be in the grip of a deep depression, unable to cope with the necessities of everyday life, but she’s soon rocked out of her somber, uncaring mood by the news that she has inherited a huge fortune from a man who claimed he was her grandfather.

The coming battle between Cassie and Jack Montgomery’s acknowledged family is just what you might expect but her search for the facts leads to answers she certainly never anticipated and it’s June’s and Lindie’s stories that are really compelling.

Beautifully written prose and easy transitions from one time period to the other and back add to characters who are as appealing as any reader could want. Author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, unknown to me before now, already has a reputation as a fine writer and June should be seen as another feather in her cap.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, May 2016.

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Goodreads

Purchase Links:

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About the Author

Miranda Beverly-WhittemoreMiranda Beverly-Whittemore is the author of three other novels: New York Times bestseller Bittersweet; Set Me Free, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, given annually for the best book of fiction by an American woman; and The Effects of Light. A recipient of the Crazyhorse Prize in Fiction, she lives and writes in Brooklyn.

Connect with Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Follow the tour here.

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To enter the drawing for
a print copy of June by
Miranda Beverly-Whittemore,
just leave
a comment below.
The winning
name will be drawn
on Wednesday
night, June 1st.
This drawing
is open to residents
of the US and Canada.

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18 thoughts on “Book Review: June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore—and a Giveaway!

  1. I have been checking the reviews regarding this book and it says to me, read me, I really like the storyline.

  2. Thanks for introducing this author to me. Sounds like a very different book and one that will quickly become a favorite.

  3. I love stories that span over time! This sounds very interesting to me because of the overlapping tales of three women.

  4. I have not read anything by this author. After reading the review, I am intrigued and would love to read June!

  5. This sounds great. I love books that go back and forth between time periods in the same family line. It Letsyou see all the past mistakes or secrets that nobody ever knew about. Or that someone knew about but was amazing at keeping secrets. I’ve never heard of this author but if this book is amazing I might just read more of her books I love finding new authors well to me their new.

  6. I’m so glad that I could leave this comment before Wednesday night because I have read so many great reviews of this book.

    • By the way, thank you for not making me jump through hoops in order to enter this contest. Most book blogs make readers jump through hoops.

  7. I’ve read Miranda’s BITTERSWEET, which was my favorite book of 2014. Her writing is fantastic! Very excited to read JUNE.

  8. Pingback: Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, author of JUNE, on tour May/June 2016 | TLC Book Tours

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