June: Starts off slowly but becomes a page-turner!

JUNEThis is a great summer read.  I had read Bittersweet, another book by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, and enjoyed the very descriptive prose.  When I had an opportunity to read June I jumped at it.

The beginning of this novel was a bit slow for me but I knew the characters had to be fleshed out, you had to get a background story for the characters in 1955 and present day.

Cassie Danvers inherits her grandmother June’s old mansion.  It’s falling apart having been left to neglect for so many years.  The beginning of the book talks about the house called Two Oaks and it’s “feelings” about the occupants.  No, it’s not a supernatural story and the house doesn’t talk.    More on the lines of when you say, “I’ll bet these four walls could tell a story” because of the history of what may have happened in the home.  Generations growing up and stories that were never  told or passed along.

The setting is the quiet town of St Jude in Ohio.  In 1955 a movie was filmed there causing quite a stir among the locals.  They were able to see famous movie stars and some were cast as extras in the film.  In 1955 we meet June, Cassie’s grandmother, when she was only 18 years old.  She was young and beautiful and innocent.  Then she met Jack Montgomery, the star of the movie.  As the timelines switch back and forth you learn about their possible relationship, Jack’s fiance Diane DiSoto and June’s good friend Lindie.

Present time – Cassie  stays holed up in the crumbling mansion in St. Jude, Ohio mourning June and their disagreement prior to June’s sudden death. One day a man named Nick shows up and tells her she has inherited the entire fortune of Jack Montgomery.  Millions of dollars and homes all over the world.  Nick tells Cassie she is named as Montgomery’s granddaughter and requests a DNA swab test to prove, or disprove, the relationship.  Nick works for Tate Montgomery, Jack’s daughter and famous actress who adorns all the celebrity magazines. Naturally Tate wants what is rightfully hers – daddy’s fortune.

Cassie decides she’ll call the shots and withholds allowing her DNA test until they do all they can to find out if June and Jack actually had a relationship.  Yes, it would be established pronto with the DNA test but Cassie wants to know if they had a relationship, not a one night stand between a “townie” and a movie star.  Digging into the past she finds there were many secrets about her grandmother and her friend Lindie that she never knew.

I’d say I got totally invested in this story after a few chapters, more than I usually read before getting hooked.  But then, let me tell you,  it becomes a pager turner and there are twists and surprises I never saw coming.  Great story.  Love it when I can’t see the ending and we have some surprises.

I received copies of this book from LibraryThing and also from the Blogging For Books program.  I had requested a copy from Blogging for Books and then learned I won a copy from LibraryThing so I passed my other copy on to a beloved bookworm co-worker. (Love you, Karen)

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