Won from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway & I’m so glad I did! I’d never heard of or read Miranda Beverly-Whittemore before this and now I can’t wait to read the rest of her work. It’s exquisite storytelling and eloquent.
I was immediately sucked in with it’s slow-paced, detailed southern charm and a dreaming house. I was torn between savoring it and devouring it.
I’m trying to make this review helpful and not fan girl all over the place but it’s hard. I just want to scream how good this was. In short: everything was fucking amazing.
June is part historical mystery and contemporary family drama. The whole time I’m guessing and getting it wrong with June and Lindie’s perspectives. All the while I’m rooting for Cassie and her crew.
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Mystery, Romance
Format: ARC PB, 379 pgs.
Source: Goodreads First Reads
Rating: 5 Stars
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.
Plot:June is told through alternating perspectives of past, June and Lindie, and Cassie, June’s granddaughter, the present. Each is used brilliantly to weave the plot, build the setting and atmosphere, and crafting characters. These switching POVs can win over even those who don’t like multiple narratives.
The mystery is phenomenal. I only had the right guesses toward the very end, two pages before it was revealed. The twists and turns felt organic and right. No shoehorning, randomness, awkwardness or flimflam. *This* is how it’s done.
Racism, sexism and homophobia aren’t used as plot devices or gimmicks. It’s realistically embedded in the times and characters. And it’s not the simplistic sign of the times versus utopia future. It demonstrates how so much has changed and stayed the same.
Then there’s the ending…OH MY FUCKING GOD. It’s…everything.
I loved them all. All. They’re complex and dynamic captivating. I rooted for every single one, with exceptions only for the antagonists. The villains of this story are just as well done as the rest. And it’s not just people: small towns, bigotry, sexism…it all comes to life to break your heart, dash your dreams, and bring hope for the future.
June’s the stubborn good-girl. Lindie is the gender norm breaking lesbian. Their relationship is important and one of the best female friendships I’ve had the pleasure of reading.
Cassie. Oh, Cassie. She’s crystal clear and vibrant. The portrayal of depression and grief is spot on. I’ve been there, fighting to not go back there, and I just wanted to hug her and make it better. I loved her journey and character progression.
Hell, I can say that about all of them. I hate to even call them background characters as they’re all influential and memorable in their own right. They each played an important part, even if it wasn’t as a POV protagonist.
What's your latest rave?