Arden Reviews: June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

IMG_0629Book: June

Author: Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Genre: Fiction

Basic Description: 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.

Arden’s Thoughts: I found myself strangely intrigued, and annoyed, with the characters in June. The only character I truly loved was the house… A house full of memories and character yearning to reach its full potential again.

June, one of our main characters, was so stiff, I wanted to reach through the pages and break her a little. Cassie, our protagonist, felt slightly tragic, but slightly bratty too. Jack’s famous daughters and their employees were… well, every bit as Hollywood as any Kardashian or Swifty gracing the front of tabloids peppering grocery store aisles.

Yet… I rooted for each character to find his or her path. It took me longer than usual to read this book because every detail contributed a piece to the puzzle of June. We’re taken on a journey through Cassie, June’s granddaughter, and Lindie, June’s childhood friend, into a woman we never really know.

Even after completing the book, I’m still not sure I know the namesake of this book. And isn’t that what happens when others tell our story? They see only what we allow them to see. We cover pieces of ourselves we don’t like and reveal the areas with which we’re okay. Maybe that’s why this book was hard read for me… when we read our story through someone else’s eyes we see what they see; the good, the bad, and the not-so-true.

June‘s a mixed bag of internal struggle, youthful ignorance, and hope deferred. It’s a great one for a book club. You’ll need to discuss this book for hours to fully grasp its complete beauty.