Book Review: June



Miranda Beverly-Whittemore


386 pages

Living in Ohio, I have certainly driven past crumbling homes in the more rural part of the state. Once loved and lived in, these homes are now left to the elements. Two Oaks in St. Jude, Ohio is one such home. Once the grandest home in the area, Two Oaks is now weathered and beaten.

Told as a dual narrative, part of June takes place in 1955. Two Oaks was still inhabited and was the town’s crown jewel. June lives there with her widowed mother Cheryl Ann and the home’s owner, a distant relative named Lemon Gray Neely. June, and the entire town, are all enthralled with movie star Jack Montgomery, who is in town filming a movie. The entire town is involved in the hustle and bustle of filming and all that goes along with it.

Meanwhile, in the modern day setting, Cassie Danvers has returned to her grandmother June’s now dilapidated home, Two Oaks. Cassie and June had a tense relationship in recent years, and now that June has suddenly passed away, Cassie is at a loss on how to move forward.

Typically I give a more in depth synopsis with my reviews, however with June there was so much going on that it is hard to go into a lot of detail while still being concise. I also think this is a great book to go into not knowing much. Touted as a mystery, Cassie spends a lot of time attempting to discover the grandmother she thought she knew, but although the pacing was good, it didn’t have the same feel as your typical thriller. Instead, it was a great look into how we view others, and what defines a close relationship.

My biggest issue with June was that it felt way too long. I felt that a lot could have been edited out to make a more cohesive story. I think the author included too many details that detracted from the story as a whole. It was made all the more irritating by the fact that it actually was a good story, just not told in a way that was engaging to me as a reader. Cassie’s part especially seemed repetitive to me and overly drawn out, almost as if the author struggled to line up the dual narrative.

To sum it up, I felt that, personally, the great story and setting were bogged down by the actual writing.



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