Book Review | “JUNE” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore #BloggingForBooks

Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I decided to join the “Blogging for Books” programme (on 9th July, 2014) which is a book for review programme created by the Crown Publishing Group. As a book blogger you are offered books in exchange for an honest review on your book blog as well as the ability to reach new readers when you cross-post your review to the Blogging for Books website. The benefit for the blogger is exposure as a reviewer as they put direct links back to your blog post on the book you select to review as well as your homepage.

I received a complimentary copy of “June” direct from the publisher Crown Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Book Review | “JUNE” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore #BloggingForBooksJune
by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Source: Publisher via Blogging for Books

From the New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet comes a novel of suspense and passion about a terrible mistake made sixty years ago that threatens to change a modern family forever.

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.

Genres: Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780553447682

Published by Crown Publishers

on 31st May, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 400

 Published By: Crown Publishers (@crownpublishing)

(an imprint of Crown Publishing Group)

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #JUNE + #BloggingForBooks

About Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Miranda Beverely Whittemore_Photo Credit Kai Beverly Whittemore

Miranda 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.

Photo Credit Kai Beverly-Whittemore

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My review of JUNE:

What an entrance! I love the approach to grant full licence of setting and place through the eyes of an unsuspecting narrator, in the case of June it is the remains of the house known in it’s heyday of Two Oaks. Two Oaks was amongst the majestic and revered of estates, a place where two girls grew their entire lives within side it’s walls, giving back their adventures, their insecurities and their adversities. Two Oaks recorded everything inside it’s membrane of remembrance as if it were flickering through a tidy reel of ‘best beloved’ moments gracing it’s hearth and center. The sombering bit is the realisation that the old house loved having it’s purpose shared with many and yet had become a lost relic of a world that no longer wished to live so grand as it’s past.

Ebbed out of this reverie is a heart-stopping realisation – of a crime committed and a hint of a purpose behind it; no further details shared, but the ‘struck the clock’ truth of the ‘second’ of when it occurred. It’s a daring start and a unique way to gain entreaty into a novel you’ve just begun to read! Honing in on the darkness bubbling just below the surface, the author has given us something sinister to ponder as we arch back through the door of where her story leads us to follow. We spin ourselves backwards into a tale that is set once in the past and twice in the future.

Cassie is in the future, living in the Two Oaks of the present, where time was not kind to the building’s maintenance but where a person of a certain age (here: twenty-five) could find herself the ability to step outside the world. Reject the obligations of her life (i.e. bills, heat, human contact) and curl inside the addictive dreamscapes the house was lulling her inside each time she attempted to sleep. The dreams were fashioned as flashback realities of the lives of June (clearly the name-bearer of the title) and Lindie – giving us a keen vantage point of who they were and how they lived. Like most dreams of this nature, Cassie would rather continue to forsake her present and resume the lives of the past; to dwell where time ceased and only memory could survive.

When the solicitor knocks Cassie out of her routine (if you can consider it one) she starts to see the fuller picture of how things were during June and Lindie’s time at Two Oaks. You can nearly breathe the tension in the house prior to her realisation the dreams were not mere dreams or random fancies but living memories of people who honestly lived in this house she now called home. His news about an inheritance and a legacy left behind by the same movie star Lindie was so enthralled about seeing arrive in their small towne of Ohio arched the narrative between past and present. The two are entwined from the outset and were purposely driving each threading of the story forward whilst giving the reader more to chew on at the same time about the origins of prescience.

Cleverly, the title has a charm about it – not necessarily the regular duality you find in book titles either, as I quite fancy uncovering a title’s secret. It’s a bit like a code for a puzzle your about to put together – you have a small glimmer of what is involved but whether or not that small kernel can enlarge itself into a larger pool of probable outcomes, your simply in the dark. I saw the foreshadowing quite early-on to mark this story by installments and insinuations on behalf of the months of ‘June’ which would be important to take stock of due to the nature of what happened inside them. The curious bit is how and why one of the characters whose such a cornerstone of importance was equally tied to the same name. If anything it points decidedly to how June is both temporal and all-knowing; a tether of truth extending out of time and needling back through it, too.

The further the truth was attempting to be brought back out of the ethers of the past, the more resolve Cassie found in investigating the possibility her beloved grandmother June had had an unknown romance. For Cassie it wasn’t about parentage (although that shattering reality conflicted with her own version of her past) nor in proving inheritance; no to her, it was more about human nature and human desire. Why would both a movie star and her grandmother conspire to keep their relationship a secret? What would have drawn them to keep all of what went between them out of earshot of their families? This is what was so entertaining to Cassie. Whether or not Tate (the person drawing the question mark on the inheritance through contesting the will) agreed with her enquiries was another thing entirely! Tate was the type of woman who felt she could accomplish anything without anyone questioning her logic. She was a woman of action and few had ever (apparently) crossed her after her mind was set; thus, she was a bit out of her depth to understand Cassie’s unwillingness to simply ‘go by the plan’ she concocted to end the enquiry before it began. Their exchanges were quite classic and Cassie thrived under a new purpose bursting into her life!

Cassie was blessed to have been able to take this journey into the past, where secrets hugged time like vines snake across forgotten banisters. She could not quite prepare herself for all the revelations even if part of what she was discovering she instinctively knew to be true even before it was all confirmed. No, the greater secret is how romance and love can arrive in your life when you have already felt the trajectory of your life was moving in a different orbit of direction. Cassie learnt the best lesson of all is that the beauty of love is following where it leads and owning to the right to embrace it with all your heart.

On the writing style of Miranda Beverly-Whittemore:

I must admit, I was not quite prepared for the descriptive nature of the ‘crime’ right at the start of JUNE, however, blessed I found a small reprieve to soak inside the fuller scope of the story before I had to ‘meet’ the crime once again! Although I have a healthy appetite for Crime Fiction & Dramas (which I openly blog about if I’m not tweeting!) I must say, I lean on the side of ‘less is more’ in regards to what can visually be representative of the grisly bits that define the ‘crime’ which has occurred if someone has died ahead of their time; so to speak. I felt pushed a bit outside my own comfort zone in that one sentence that defined Lindie’s guilt and wondered, if for a hesitating moment if I would be able to read the story in full if even a inkling of that kind of descriptive narrative resumed.

Outside of that notation, as I was truly so early-on in my readings, what proved to hold my attention more is how the author draws your eye into what she’s talking about in regards to ‘setting’. She has a keen sense of how a house would purport itself to express it’s own emotional anguish over the loss of inhabitants inside it’s hallowed walls of where home, hearth and conversation once flourished. It was such a clever angle of insight and yet, it bespoke of such truism towards how attached we become to ourselves and to the places where we leave behind the most of our energies through the hours we live inside them.

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This book review is courtesy of: Blogging for Books

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I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments on behalf of this review. Especially if you read the novel or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst bloggers who picked up the same novel to read on a blog tour or for review.

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I am a social reader | I tweet as I read

Imagine my surprise!? I suggested JUNE for #BookClubFix discussion & it was voted on as the ‘next choice’ amongst the tribe of bookish souls who make #bookclubfix & #historicalfix so much fun! We chatted about JUNE on the 23rd of August, 2016!

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Blogging for Books, Book Review (non-blog tour), Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Small Towne USA, Vulgarity in Literature

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