!DOWNLOAD E-PUB ☨ Three Junes ☪ An Astonishing First Novel That Traces The Lives Of A Scottish Family Over A Decade As They Confront The Joys And Longings, Fulfillments And Betrayals Of Love In All Its Guises In June Of Paul McLeod, A Newspaper Publisher And Recent Widower, Travels To Greece, Where He Falls For A Young American Artist And Reflects On The Complicated Truth About His MarriageSix Years Later, Again In June, Paul S Death Draws His Three Grown Sons And Their Families Back To Their Ancestral Home Fenno, The Eldest, A Wry, Introspective Gay Man, Narrates The Events Of This Unforeseen Reunion Far From His Straitlaced Expatriate Life As A Bookseller In Greenwich Village, Fenno Is Stunned By A Series Of Revelations That Threaten His Carefully Crafted Defenses Four Years Farther On, In Yet Another June, A Chance Meeting On The Long Island Shore Brings Fenno Together With Fern Olitsky, The Artist Who Once Captivated His Father Now Pregnant, Fern Must Weigh Her Guilt About The Past Against Her Wishes For The Future And Decide What Family Means To Her In Prose Rich With Compassion And Wit,Three Junes Paints A Haunting Portrait Of Love S Redemptive Powers From The Trade Paperback Edition
This book is not at ALL, what I expected From the cover I was expecting another typical book club, chick light book about three women named Junelittle did I know I loved this book because it was complex and seemed very real life Nothing was nice and tidy and that s my kind of world. Attempts to cohere titans of American British Lit about family bonds a la USAs Jonathan Franzen, a la UK s Zadie Smith together with those about the AIDS epidemic gay lifestyles USA Michael Cunningham, UK Alan Hollinghurst but in my opinion fails miserably to rise to their level Their heights being absolutely unreachable anyway It s hefty The award is not deserved the Ian McEwan like snobbish air of contemporary Euro affluence never settles well with me Ugh next I m tempted to give this book five stars, but it isn t my nature to gush and I think, based on her characterizations, that Julia Glass would understand my reticence to love without any reservations But Three Junes captured me and I hereby recommend it to you When I finished this novel, a long journey of imaginary characters across hundreds of pages, I felt at once connected to the world and affirmed in my humanity Life is imperfect and we love anyway As best we can. Three Junes, by Julia Glass, has been hanging around on my bookshelves for quite some time Yes, that s shelves, plural, since it s been around for at least two rearrangements Glass won the 2002 National Book Award for this novel, and surprise surprise, I loved it The Junes in the title refer to three different months, different times in the life of the McCleod family, but it s not exactly chronological there are many flashbacks woven throughout the book, which is perfectly paced The father is Paul McCleod, who hails from a well heeled Scottish family, and he runs the newspaper his father founded His wife, Maureen, breeds and trains collies, and together, they have three sons Fenno, followed by the twins Dennis and David.The book opens as Paul is taking a guided tour of the Greek Islands after he has been widowed, which gives him ample time to reflect on his past life and how he feels about his family Paul will eventually decide to become a British expatriate living on Naxos, leaving much of his former life behind We see his family through his eyes first, with his perceptions, feelings, and frustrations After that, the novel follows Fenno, the eldest son who seems to be the most distant one, even before he crosses The Great Pond to live in New York City Fenno normally returns to Scotland for Christmas, but of course he makes a couple trips because of his mother s death, and later, for his father s During these visits, his interaction with his brothers and their wives provide still history, and so the family portrait is viewed from many angles.I m not doing a good job of explaining why this book is so interesting It s not an action adventure book, but it is a page turner, nonetheless It s about the variety of relationships people form throughout their lives, and I found the characters very interesting The novel ends with a beautiful coincidence that the concerned characters may never even know about At the end, I got the feeling of a circle being completed.A very good read. I m so glad I m done The book was split into 3 parts, with a single character related in some way to the other characters in the other 2 parts In the first part of the book, it was slow to get going Then it reached an even kind of level Part 2 was probably the best part of the book with the obvious relationship to part 1 Part 3 was boring and probably not the character you re going to expect I thought it would never end I know anyone who reads this is going to expect in part 3 that it will pull all the parts together..but they left the obvious hanging I didn t like this book very much but once I start one I finish it Its doubtful I d pick up another book by this author. Julia Glass debut novel is an intricately written multigenerational story about a Scottish family and their friends It is a triptych with the sections set in the month of June in the years 1989, 1995, and 1999.The father, Paul McLeod, is on a tour of Greece in 1989 He s remembering his marriage to his recently deceased wife whose passion was raising dogs Paul becomes friends with an American artist, Fern, during the vacation.Paul s son, Fenno, narrates the second and longest part of the novel Fenno is a reserved gay owner of a charming bookstore in Greenwich Village He is called back to Scotland when his father unexpectedly dies His younger twin brothers and their wives plan the funeral, and secrets are revealed from the past There are also flashbacks to Fenno s New York City life during the AIDS crisis He helps Malachy, a neighbor and an irreverent newspaper music critic, during his last days Fenno is also asked to adopt Mal s pet parrot, Felicity, who brings beauty and affection to Fenno s life.The painter, Fern, shows up again in June of 1999, widowed and soon to be a single mother She is staying in a beach area of Long Island with Tony, a housesitter and friend of Fenno A dinner party brings them together Fern, who had confided in Paul during the Greek trip in the early part of the book, now has a long heart to heart talk with Fenno This section could have been edited down a bit Three Junes is a book about relationships and family There are memories of past events, especially while mourning the four people and several pets who die Always an animal lover, the author drew on her personal experience with an organization that helped people with AIDS take care of their pets when she was writing about Malachy and his parrot Julia Glass is a painter as well as a writer, and she brings ordinary events to life with an artist s eye for detail and color. Although different from my expectations, I enjoyed this book a lot for its character explorations, unique structure, and descriptive writing Broken into three parts, the first section is a third person narrative from the perspective of the Scottish father, reflecting on his wife s death and his three sons The second part is first person narrative in the voice of the oldest son Fenno This section is surprising in so far as Fenno can be overly rigid, often unexplainably angry, and you desperately want him to open up to his family and friends, and yet, you find yourself rooting for him to find his own happiness The third section is again third person narrative, but this time focused on Fern, an ex lover of Fenno s ex lover Although this section feels somewhat disconnected from the book introducing us to new characters at the end of the story it is satisfying in that it gives you a final picture of Fenno from another s perspective And from there you see that Fenno has perhaps found some resolution to his issues with letting other people into his life In all three sections, the author jumps back and forth between past and present, interconnecting the two and pulling you forward Overall, I would say, don t expect a traditional plot where much happens this is an exploration of characters, than the events in their lives. At times irony seems to have many levels recently I saw the musical Altar Boyz and could not for the life of me figure out how multi layered the irony was a group of young guys poking fun at boy band evangelization simultaneously evangelizing in a Godspell way Dare I hope for irony in the NYT Book Review on the back cover of Three Junes TJ brilliantly rescues, then refurbishes, the traditional plot driven novel By plot don t we usually mean stuff happens in a somewhat connected way Would a family s eating, walking dogs and dying count as stuff happening So far as I can tell, virtually nothing happens in this book, except that a few of the characters pass away I repeatedly thought to myself this book is plotlessly pointless or is it pointlessly plotless I kept reading because the writing was decent line by line and a dear female friend lent it to me with an endorsement It is not a book for boys who like action.The novel is also referred to as a literary triptych because, I suppose, it has three parts Part I is third person narration focalized on Paul, the paterfamilias Part II is first person narration by Fenno, the gay son in New York Part III is third person again focalized on Fern, the ex lover of Fenno s ex lover As this description indicates, the connections among the sections are tenuous It is, of course, a not so new attempt at giving three different perspectives of the same thing, but here thing is not an event but characters If you are interested in characterization as creative writing exercise, then you might find this book fascinating Here is a sample of what I mean With Heather, Fern is the closest and also the most contentious For their entire childhood, they shared a room Heather was the athlete swam, played field hockey, fenced At schoolwork, she was comfortably mediocre It reads like a class exercise, especially considering Heather is never mentioned again.Another complaint I have touches not just on this book but on virtually all modern American fiction I understand that some of us have yet to get the God is dead memo and we re out of step, but must books really be written with such stiflingly limited horizons These people are all so absurdly earth bound, with the possible exception of a rather flat character named Lucinda who is a Catholic activist and admittedly sympathetically portrayed I am reminded of another book popular with the ladies that I recently suffered through for a friend The Time Traveller s Wife Notice to males do not let your girlfriend mother sister make you read this pointless book Everything about it is so small the characters have nothing significant to think about but themselves Even a great book from the eighties like The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay manages to avoid being big somehow And by big I don t necessarily mean religious The Great Gatsby, for instance, at least deals with over sized dreams and the American experience while being essentially a boy meets girl book Why must all the novels written today be essentially about nothing Is there no one wondering about anything bigger than family psychology The woman who wrote this book is smart and literary, and, because books are in part a kind of pseudo conversation with the author, it can be worth your time For me, the whole thing would almost be saved by the fact that Mother McLeod raises border collies, the best dogs alive Sadly, she s dead on page one. This novel begins in June of 1989 Scotsman Paul McLeod is vacationing in Greece, his first trip since the death of his wife six months earlier While traveling the islands, his attention is drawn to a young American artist As his interest in her grows, he reflects back over the course of his marriage its beginnings, its never resolved uncertainties, and its untimely ending.Six years later, June of 1995 finds Paul s son Fenno returning to Scotland from his expat life in New York for his father s funeral His attempts to cope with the inevitable challenges raised by spending time with family members during a crisis is flavored by his own recollections of a past relationship with a New York neighbor who slowly succumbed to AIDS.The last June in this novel occurs ten years after the first Fern, the young American artist from the first section, is now pregnant Though her boyfriend has been a steady one, she struggles to tell him about the pregnancy, reflecting back on her failed first marriage as she does.Julia Glass is a competent storyteller her smooth prose and skill at involving the reader in the lives of her characters engaged me from the beginning In the middle section, however, I found myself struggling with the chopped up narrative, unable to keep track of where in time Fenno s mind was resting as he jumped between his present and his past In addition, though he is the character Glass spends the most time on, I found Fenno the most inscrutable of all of them.Given the intensity surrounding the decline of a human life due to AIDS, I guess it s not surprising that the middle section of this book was heavy at times The tone is far from maudlin, but there is a lot of death for its characters to process, so it s not exactly light reading Ultimately, I admired the way Glass wove together her stories and showed us how each of these characters was impacted by death in their own way But this is one of those books where I enjoyed contemplating its insights after I had finished it than I enjoyed actually reading it.