June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Hardcover, 2016. Crown, 400 pages.
This dual timeline novel dives into the past of one family and shows that the past is not always the rosy picture that was painted. Cassie Danvers has moved back to her family’s crumbling mansion in St. Jude, Ohio. She laments the loss of the grandmother who raised her and seldom sets foot outside her door. That changes when Nick Emmons shows up on Cassie’s doorstep for with his arrival Cassie learns she inherited the fortune of the late movie star Jack Montgomery.
Throughout the rest of the modern storyline, Cassie must navigate the crisis this discovery has brought on. Jack’s children soon arrive at her door and together they try to piece out why Jack made the choice he did. Needless to say, Cassie wants answers while Tate and Elda want back what they think is their rightful due. Addtionally, Tate also faces a personal crisis which Cassie tries to help her through.
The historical storyline is set in 1955 as Jack stars in a movie set in St. Jude. In these sections of the novel, we meet Jack, Cassie’s grandmother June, and June’s friend Lindie. June is set to marry the next month, something Lindie does not want to see happen. Meanwhile, Lindie works on the film’s set and makes a self-discovery and June’s great-uncle is dying. It is on the set that both Lindie and June meet Jack and that meeting starts a series of events that forever change all of their lives.
I originally did not plan on reading this novel, but the week-long preview on the First Look Book Club piqued my interest. I wanted to learn why Jack left his fortune to Cassie, so when it became available on Blogging for Books I requested it. And while I now know the outcome, it was not my favorite book. All the retelling of the stories of the past were done as dreams Cassie had at night, adding a supernatural element. I also felt that the setting of the 1955 timeline was not very historical. Had the events occurred in any other era, few, if any, changes would have needed to be made. The year was simply a way to set up what would occur in the future. I also felt that at times Tate, who was 40-something, acted like a spoiled teenage brat. However, all this said, Beverly-Whittmore’s writing was masterful. It lured the reader right into the story and kept them hooked, providing little hints to keep readers wanting to solve the mystery.
Since this has been out since June, have you read this novel? If so, what did you think? If not, do you think you may?
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.