Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Three Junes

Three Junes by Julia Glass is incredible for a debut novel.  Actually, I would consider it incredible even if it weren't a debut novel! This was our March pick for one of my book groups, and a wise choice it was!  We had a great discussion about the book and the numerous nuances occurring through-out the story.  There is really alot going on in this book as you begin to think through it.  It may seem as if nothing is really going on (no huge plot) but the characters are so well-defined and interesting, that the book held my attention all the way through and I was rather sad to have it end.

As the title implies, the book is about three Junes covering ten years of the McLeod family. It is divided up by the three Junes.  The first June (1989) is about Paul McLeod, a Scotsman recently widowed, who is on a group tour of Greece.  This section of the book is where Paul reminisces about his marriage and his three sons.  The second June (1995), begins with Paul's death and the family gathering at their home in Scotland.  This section is primarily seen through Paul's eldest son, Fenno, a gay man who had long ago moved and settled in New York. The third and last section (1999), takes place in New York, where Fenno meets Fern, a woman who had met Fenno's father Paul in Greece in 1989.

Of course, the above is a very simplistic summary of the book.  Ms. Glass' prose is beautiful and is very easy to read, although some of it needs to be re-read because of the beauty and wisdom in it. 

"Mind what you love.  For that matter, mind how you are loved."
The book touches on so many different emotions and relationship issues, including fidelity, loss, love, gratitude, and grief.  It includes issues of AIDS, sperm donation, children, parents, lovers, and siblings.  Some things remained unknown/unresolved in the story (like whose lipstick did Paul leave to Fenno?), but those issues resulted in great book group discussion!

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