JUNE: A NOVEL,
BY MIRANDA BEVERLY-WHITTEMORE
PUBLICATION: BROADWAY BOOKS (REPRINT) FEBRUARY 14, 2017
About this book:
Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in small-town Ohio, mourning the loss of her grandmother, June. But the noise of the rusted doorbell forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary movie star Jack Montgomery’s fortune.
Soon Jack’s famous daughters arrive, entourage in tow, determined to wrestle Cassie away from an inheritance they feel is theirs. Together, they come to discover the true reason for June’s silence about the summer she was eighteen when Hollywood came to town, and June and Jack’s lives were forever altered. Shifting 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.
Today I’m happy to bring my review of June: A Novel, by Miranda Beverley-Whittemore. This was an interesting story about a young woman named Cassie, living in her deceased grandmother’s old (and falling down) mansion in Ohio. Cassie is in a very depressed state and not interacting with the world at all until the day Nick comes to visit. Nick is an assistant to the famous Tate Montgomery, whose father has recently passed away. The surprise, however, is that the famous actor Jack Montgomery left his entire fortune to his granddaughter Cassie – and nothing to Tate or her sister Elda. Tate shows up soon after with another assistant in tow, as they all try to figure out Cassie’s connection to Jack and if she is really his granddaughter.
This novel weaves back and forth between 1955 and the present. Most of the flashbacks are related to 18-year-old June and her 14-year-old friend Lindie. Lindie and her father lived in one of the side houses of the estate, whereas, June and her mother lived in the main house with June’s uncle Lemon. June was beautiful and ready to marry Artie, although not in love with him, as soon as Artie returned to town from wherever he was. Lindie, on the other hand, had no desire to be beautiful or graceful, dressing like a boy most of the time, and secretly harboring romantic feelings for June. Everything changes when a Hollywood studio group shows up in their small town to film a movie and June meets Jack Montgomery, along with his fiance Diane.
During the scenes in the present, the reader gets a lot of glimpses into Cassie’s life which quite honestly, was pathetic. I understand that she had lost her parents at a young age and recently lost her grandmother, however, the woman was literally letting the house fall apart around her, not bathing regularly, and being swept into her dreams and fantasies about the house and those that used to be in it. I was confused several times trying to determine if the house was haunted, she was hallucinating, or if they were really just dreams. Regardless, I’m not sure the value it added to the overall story.
Once Tate, Nick, Hank, and eventually Elda arrive to help solve the mystery surrounding Jack and June’s connection, Cassie starts coming out of her shell a bit. However, she still never became a relatable or very likable character for me. June and Lindie’s stories were fascinating though, saving this novel for me and urging me to push forward to find out the truth. The conclusions regarding paternity and DNA tests were both obvious and surprising at the same time along with the rest of their stories, however, the author’s beautiful writing and imagery of these days gone by still won me over. There was also a touching and almost magical love story interwoven in the novel, but so many other events whether happy or sad seemed to overshadow the love story. If I seem somewhat ambiguous, I am, but I did really enjoy this novel. It didn’t complete knock me off my feet with the romance, mystery or suspense, but all of those elements combined made it a different and unique read. Although heart-breaking at times, June demonstrated the power of friendship and selflessness that unfortunately, not many people seem capable of.
*Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!
Purchase June on Amazon!
Learn more about Miranda Beverley-Whittemore by visiting her web page!