Three Junes is a vividly textured symphonic novel set on both sides of the Atlantic during three fateful summers in the lives of a Scottish family. In June of 1989, Paul McLeod, the recently widowed patriarch, becomes infatuated with a young American artist while traveling through Greece and is compelled to relive the secret sorrows of his marriage. Six years later, Paul's death reunites his sons at Tealing, their idyllic childhood home, where Fenno, the eldest, faces a choice that puts him at the center of his family's future. A lovable, slightly repressed gay man, Fenno leads the life of an aloof expatriate in the West Village, running a shop filled with books and birdwatching gear. He believes himself safe from all emotional entanglements--until a worldly neighbor presents him with an extraordinary gift and a seductive photographer makes him an unwitting subject. Each man draws Fenno into territories of the heart he has never braved before, leading him toward an almost unbearable loss that will reveal to him the nature of love.
Love in its limitless forms--between husband and wife, between lovers, between people and animals, between parents and children--is the force that moves these characters' lives, which collide again, in yet another June, over a Long Island dinner table. This time it is Fenno who meets and captivates Fern, the same woman who captivated his father in Greece ten years before. Now pregnant with a son of her own, Fern, like Fenno and Paul before him, must make peace with her past to embrace her future. Elegantly detailed yet full of emotional suspense, often as comic as it is sad, Three Junes is a glorious triptych about how we learn to live, and live fully, beyond incurable grief and betrayals of the heart--how family ties, both those we're born into and those we make, can offer us redemption and joy.
The artful construction of this seductive novel and the mature, compassionate wisdom permeating it would be impressive for a seasoned writer, but it's all the more remarkable in a debut.
Readers may be reminded of Evelyn Waugh and, especially, Angus Wilson by the rich characterizations and narrative sweep that grace this fine debut about three summers in-and surrounding-the lives of a prominent and prosperous Scottish family - a rather formidable debut.
Library Journal - Maureen Neville
Alternately joyful and sad, this exploration of modern relationships and the families people both inherit or create for themselves is highly recommended for all fiction collections.
Booklist - Elsa Gaztambide
Brimming with a marvelous cast of intricate characters set in an assortment of scintillating backdrops, Glass's philosophically introspective novel is highly intelligent and well written.
Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls
Julia Glass's talent just sends chills up my spine; her novel, Three Junes, is a marvel.
John Casey Three Junes has the rich pleasures of a ninetenth-century novel and the rush of New York life of the last ten years. I'm amazed it's a first novel--it is a mature, captivating work of fiction.
Michael Cunningham Three Junes almost threatens to burst with all the life it contains. Glass' ability to locate the immense within the particular, and to simultaneously illuminate and deepen the mysteries of her characters' lives, would be marvelous in any novelist. In a first-time novelist, it's extraordinary.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by ReadingGroupGuru Moved Forward but went nowhere I truly felt the characters went nowhere which is where the plot went as well! We got the most taste of Fenno and even he seemed terribly repressed. I didn't understand the purpose of Tony and Fern at all, they were like parsley garnish on a... Read More
Rated of 5
by sandytwin Too many loose ends This book was very slowwwww. What bothered me even more was that there were too many loose ends....nothing ever came full circle. The family has a lot of good story lines that could have been further developed. Instead, new people were introduced... Read More
Rated of 5
by Pam Barnsley
This is my favourite book of the year. The author created characters so compelling that I was completely engrossed in their lives; Glass's insight into human nature is impressive. The plotlines made it difficult to put the book down, and the... Read More
Rated of 5
I liked this book a lot. It's true, as others have noted, that it's slow and thoughtful. What impresses me so much about it is that the writer seems to really get into the heads of others. More than that, she portrays so well the assumptions,... Read More
Rated of 5
by Jo Carter
I disliked the book for the "jumpy" way it was written. I thought at first, that it would be written about the father, then the three children. However, the way in which it revolved around Fenno, the least likable of all the characters,... Read More
Rated of 5
by rabid reader
I can't understand why it is so popular, either. I couldn't make it beyond the middle of the book, and I really, really tried! The book never kept my attention, although I tried and tried to make it to the end, I just couldn't.... Read More
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