Is a plot driven story- most stories written (and read today) are character driven. As a result, it seems slow- however I did like how each characters lives and the timeline is wound together in an unexpected way.
The author depicts the mysterious twists of fate and coincidences that bring people together and the self-doubts and lack of communication that can keep them apart. This novel reads almost like a travelogue, full of detailed descriptions of three of my favorite places, Greece, Scotland, and Greenwich Village New York,---maybe thats way I enjoyed it so much! This book is written in three parts, each narrated with a different point of view, but nobody named "June!" Great for book clubs.
This book is set in Greece, Scotland, Greenwich Village and Long Island. It traces the members of a Scottish family as they confront the joys and betrayals of love. It is a selection of Good Morning America's "Read This!" book club and is a National Book Award Winner. I enjoyed this book very much. It's a good read.
Some books are so good that you can't put them down. This book was not one of them. I made it through the first chapter, hoping it would get better. I was disappointed. I would not recommend this book to anyone. Don't waste your time.
The story takes place over varied places (New York, Greece and Scotland) and involves
family members over time and much about the love and longings. Glass does a nice job
of engaging the reader I think. Enjoyable!
I loved this book! Julia Glass creates three beautifully written interconnected novellas featuring a cast of believable and memorable people who deal with love, family, death and loss. The Junes in the title refers to the month -- in a different year and in a different locale for each novella -- in which the characters face transitions in their lives. Both men and women are beautifully profiled, and their decisions and fates beautifully described.
Julia Glass does a lovely job of getting deep into character development. If you want to see a character through and through and leave the book with a lasting impression of personality, this is the book for you. I felt she relied a little too heavily on memories, thoughts and impressions and neglected plot a bit. That said, her characters were very compelling, and I did not want to abandon the book midway.
"A luminous first novel, set in Greece, Scotland, Greenwich Village, and Long Island, that traces the members of a Scottish family as the confront the joys and longinsg, fulfillments and betrayals of love in all its guises." I couldn't have said it better.
Julia Glass' debut novel Three Junes just did not hold my attention throughout. A sad but hopeful story of three time periods of Fenno McCleod's life that take place in the month of June. Ms. Glass did an excellent job of weaving flashbacks with current time, but the overall theme was at times depressing and stagnant. We see Fenno (and family) from his father's point of view during the first June, then we see Fenno's life from his own point of view in the second June and finally from a friend in the third June. The ending fell flat to me and did not tie in that Fern (the friend) was actually a person of interest during the first June. This book was a good look at gay life during a critical time of the AIDS epedemic.
I loved this book!!! The complicated family relationships and friendships really rang true. The author expertly weaves the lives of the characters in such a way that the reader feels involved and connected with the story itself. Heartwrenching, heartbreaking and heartwarming.
This is one of the most well-written books I've read in a long time. The characters have a depth seldom seen in today's all-too-short novels. Too good for me to hold onto, though I know I'll want to read it again some day.
Three Junes contains three interconnected stories, spanning a decade, covering a significant section of the globe, and each individual story bounces back and forth between the character's past and present. Oh, and deals with AIDS, cancer, infertility, infidelity, art, literature, cuisine, etc., all in the context of a Scottish family. In the hands of a poor writer, this could have been disjointed and disastrous, but Julia Glass pulls it off. She brings her characters to life and weaves all the times, places, and people together into a skillful work that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The central story in the novel is Fenno McLeod's, taking up over 200 out of 350 total pages. Fenno is an openly homosexual, Scottish expat living in New York. His story could have been a novel in and of itself, but the stories of his father, Paul, and a young woman, Fern, who is coincidentally connected to both of the McLeod men, adds greater dimension to the overall narrative. (It seems like a lot of readers dislike Fern's section, and I can see their points, but I did kind of like her and the convenient way her story wrapped up the novel.)
I didn't like the triptych format, just out of personal taste. Also, I was expecting more plot. I'm interested in character studies (I absolutely loved The Epicure's Lament, for example, which is similarly plotless), but I think I'm too lowbrow to enjoy simply eavesdropping on the lives of upper-middle class Europeans. I need the characters to change or grow as people. Even Fenno, after years of his only friend dying and his only lover jerking him around, didn't seem to learn anything from his experiences. I admit I didn't finish the 3rd section about Fern: I stopped about five pages from the end of the book when I realized nothing was ever going to happen and nobody was ever going to learn anything. The prose was near-perfect, but this didn't feel like a novel to me in any way.
I loved this from the first sentence to the last. I actually tried to take my time reading it because I knew when it ended, I'd be sad. I enjoyed the author's writing style and lush descriptions of the three locations of the separate sections. I liked how she took her time unfolding the characters and how pieces from each fell into place with information gleaned from a different person's section. I enjoyed the first and last sections, but it was the second (and longest) that focuses on Fenno that captured me. I deeply love Fenno, and was thrilled he popped up as a minor character in her next otherwise-unrelated novel. I was so emotionally invested in this book that I actually cried real, hardcore tears when it ended, which is a bit more melodramatic a reaction than I normally have at the end of a good book. If you're into books with fast-moving plots or heavy action and a tidy wrap up at the end, skip this one because it doesn't meet that critera.
Somehow I always have trouble finishing National Book award winners. They are often not very compelling for me. I made it to page 98 when I decided that I did not care about the main characters or what happened to them.
Probably enjoyed this book more because I listened to it on CD. Ah, that wonderful Scottish accent! Also, this book has some wonderfully memorable characters; I will never forget Mal. I wish that the author provided a little more closure to some of the characters and removed some of the vagueness about the actions of other characters, but overall, a very satisfying book.
This book sounded very interesting and seemed highly recommended. However, I found that the book seemed quite disconnected. In the end, it was a good story, but difficult to follow as the scene jumped to different places at the start of a new paragraph, which required reading perhaps several paragraphs before knowing where the new scene was. Still a good story, just a little hard to follow.
This book was hard for me to get into, but I kept after it and was glad I did. This is a story of family life, for better or for worse. It revolves around three characters, each linked by a specific event in their past. Paul McLeod is a recent widower living in Scotland hoping to find a new life in the Greek islands; Fenno McLeod is a New York bookstore owner dealing with the death of a close friend, and Fern is a pregnant dreamer unsure of her future. Each character is forced to make choices in the wake of grief and new love, and each responds differently.The result is a quite complex, interwoven family story that is easy to understand but hard to describe.
As a first novel by the author it was good enough to become a National Book Award finalist.
A fascinating story that follows members of a Scottish family (through their joys and griefs) from Scotland to Greece to NYC
Mostly set in Greece (and some in NYC), this book covers an extended family dealing with deaths from AIDS, cancer, and relationships that don't always turn out as hoped. A selection of Good Morning America's "Read This" book club; also a New York Times Notable Book. Debut book by Julia Glass.
I found this to book to be an exceptional read. How the three novellas tie together was brilliant and even if the plot isn't exciting on the surface, I found myself eager to learn more about each character. It subtly addresses how lives could be entirely different if people were honest with themselves and others. The ending left me satisfied, yet longing for more...
Pretty interesting and engaging story about a father and three brothers from Scotland ,their wives and mothers and others with whom they are in relationship. Good book about tensions and expectations within families, warm and full of life.
Beautiful debut novel which tells 3 interwoven stories from 3 points of view. The author has an excellent sense of time; each story jumps forward several years, yet weaves images from the past into present storytelling. the characters are complex, and the family relationships are deep and sometimes strained. lovely.
I didn't really like the choppiness of the book (each June is written from a different person's perspective) and the characters weren't very clear. I am not really a fan of books set in different countries because it is harder for me to relate to what they are saying, and the slang terms they use for things are very different.
"Three Junes" was one of the best books I've read lately. I'm always impressed when authors can develop sympathetic and realistic characters. The characters in Glass' book will stay with me for a long time.
This unusual story stayed with me long after I had finished it. In fact, as soon as I finished I wanted to start all over again so these people would not disappear from my life.
It is an unusual love story as well as a "coming to terms with my life" story. It takes place in Scotland, Greece, and New York City's East Village. It is populated by thoughtful, intelligent characters who don't always know why they do what they do, but continue with it nevertheless.
The title gives the impression that this is a story about three women. It's not. I found it to be a painful story, mostly about one gay man and his lover who is dying of AIDS. We're also sorting out the troubled relationships of the family. Difficult to plow through.
Very engaging novel from a first rate novelist writing a first novel. Remarkable insights into human nature. Julia Glass shows an uncanny ability to understand and write from the perspective of her male characters. I loved it.
I had the privilege of hearing Julia Glass read from her new novel, A Whole World Over. Serendipitously, I was doing my usual walk to the library here in New Haven to exchange books, when I noticed I was just in time for this reading. I had seen the signs earlier and made some mental notes, but true to my Some-timers brain, I had forgotten. She read the first chapter and then answered questions of all types. She was delightful.
Most of the questions pertained to her first novel, Three Junes, which amazingly, for a first novel, won a national book award. The award apparently launched her career and changed her life. Apparently lots of people have awaited her new book, The Whole World Over. I fumbled away the opportunity to have a signed first edition as I didn't have sufficient cash in my pocket and they didn't take credit cards.
I thought the q&a was interesting as insight to her writerly life. For example:
-she writes using a computer
-she has no set routine or discipline
-while writing "Three Junes" she had no group of confidants reading her work and feeding back; the first person to read it was her agent
-she was ~45 when she wrote her first book
-she enjoys speaking through the voice of males (Three Junes uses multiple first person singular narrators)
She lives in Massachusetts near the ocean. She would rather have stayed in NYC, but real estate prices pushed her out. She was raised in NYC, in the village.
I found it a little difficult to get into this book but am very happy I stuck with it. It's a character study of 3 people whose lives are intertwined. The book is very well written. The settings include Greece, Scotland and New York City. I'll be looking for other books by this author.
I read this book in my book club and the reviews were stronly divided. Most of us agreed that the transitions between the timelines were not well done. The transitions were most difficult on the audio books. Once I understood Julie's style I found the transitions easier to manage. Personally I loved the story. It kept my interest while commuting to work by ferry with lots of background noise. The character developement was excellent. For a first book I think it was a great read and I look forward to reading next book.
I finished it, but it was a struggle. I kept on thinking, "Where is this book going?" So I finished it to find out, and I was dissapointed. When I read a good, I like to relate to at least one of the characters in the book, or at least really like them and cheer for them. I really tried to find someone to connect with in this book and it never happened. Plus it is a "downer" read.
This book is fascinating in the way the author weaves the characters throughout the book. This method draws you into the story and keeps you interested and attached to the characters. It is a little difficult to get into, but once you do you are drawn in until the end...
I really ejoyed this story while I read it. It was fun to see how the characters' lives intertwined. And as enjoyable as I found it, I find myself continually thinking back to parts of it now. I do recommend it!
This is Glass' first novel. It is set in Greece, Scotland, Greenwich Village, and Long Island. The characters and places weave together in a stunning display of wise storytelling. It will be fun to follow this author!
A great novel, set in Greece, Scotland, Greenwich Village, and Long Island. The novel traces the members of a Scottish family as they confront joys, longings, fulfillments, and betrayals. I really enjoyed reading this book and read it in a few days.
A luminous first novel, set in Greece, Scotland, Greenwich Village, and Long Island, that traces the members of a Scottish family as they confront the joys and longings, fulfillments and betrayals of love in all its guises.
Set all over the world, Traces the members of a Scottish family as they confront the joys and longings of love in all it's guises.
good read, interesting characters viewed from there own and their families perspectives.
From back cover "A luminous first novel, set in Greece, Scotland, Greenwich Village and Long Island, that traves members of a Scottish family as they confront the joys and longings, fulfillments and betrayals of love in all it guises. I loved the book!
Set in Greece, Scotland, Greenwich Village, and Long Island. The book traces the members of a Scottish family as they confront the joys and longings, fulfillments and betrayals of love in all its guises. A National Bestseller.
Finally, finally I picked this book up and read it, probably because it won the 2002 National Book Award and I needed an award winning book for one of my challenges. I read the second book in the series first and qutie liked it. Just have to get to the last one which is in my TBR pile.
I felt the first portion of Junes was a bit slow but as I read along it caught me. I throughly liked the section about Fenno's father, Paul McLeod, who loses his wife Maureen. Understand that this is an ongoing tale about a multigenerational Scottish family and their friends. It has three sections from the years of 1989, 1995, and 1999. The title stems from the fact that all threes sections occur during the month of June. Another character, Fern, plays an integral role in the plot. The reader also meets the three sons of Paul and Maureen. Fenno, the oldest, is gay and struggles with the reactions of family and friends whose opinions he cherishes. The reader discovers the emotions among the brothers laced with love, misunderstanding, and sometimes conflict. All in all the story is a good characterization of a family struggling with identity and the challenges of life. I liked it.
This was a good read, if you liked Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, you would like this too. Each section of the book is written by a different person, they all come together to show you the characters from different angles.
This is one of the better written books I've read lately. It's a story about a family from three different vantage points during the span of three different summers. The story unfolds through time and you really won't want it to end. A National Book Award winner and very memorable.
A luminous first novel, set in Greece, Scotland, Greenwich Village, and Long Island, that traces the members of a scottish family as they confront the joys and longings, fulfillments and betrayals of love in all ots guises.
A thoroughly enjoyable book! I loved following this family through love and joys, and sadness and tragedy. The characters seemed like real people, and their lives followed the up-and-down path of the lives of most of us.
This book was difficult to get through, but was a very interesting look into family relationships and how different members of the same family can have completely different perspectives of situations/other family members.
From Publishers Weekly
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. This narrative of the McLeod family during three vital summers is rich with implications about the bonds and stresses of kin and friendship, the ache of loneliness and the cautious tendrils of renewal blossoming in unexpected ways. Glass depicts the mysterious twists of fate and cosmic (but unobtrusive) coincidences that bring people together, and the self-doubts and lack of communication that can keep them apart, in three fluidly connected sections in which characters interact over a decade. These people are entirely at home in their beautifully detailed settings Greece, rural Scotland, Greenwich Village and the Hamptons and are fully dimensional in their moments of both frailty and grace. Paul McLeod, the reticent Scots widower introduced in the first section, is the father of Fenno, the central character of the middle section, who is a reserved, self-protective gay bookstore owner in Manhattan; both have dealings with the third section's searching young artist, Fern Olitsky, whose guilt in the wake of her husband's death leaves her longing for and fearful of beginning anew. Other characters are memorably individualistic: an acerbic music critic dying of AIDS, Fenno's emotionally elusive mother, his sibling twins and their wives, and his insouciant lover among them. In this dazzling portrait of family life, Glass establishes her literary credentials with ingenuity and panache.
Paul McLeod, a Scottish newspaper owner, longs for the Greek isles to escape his loneliness since the death of his wife. Of his three sons, Fenno is the most reticent, having left Scotland to pursue a life in New York, where his homosexuality would blend into the backdrop of the diversified city. The second part of the story brings Fenno and his twin brothers and their wives together for the funeral of their father, who has died in Greece. Many undercurrents and emotions run through this mesmerizing novel, which essentially deals with human complexity and how people shape one another, deliberately and sometimes by chance. 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.
This novel is so rich in detail that the characters seem like real people - their quirks, struggles, issues, love for one another are engrossing. Glass's writing style is psychologically sophisticated, full of nuance- I loved this book!
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. This narrative of the McLeod family during three vital summers is rich with implications about the bonds and stresses of kin and friendship, the ache of loneliness and the cautious tendrils of renewal blossoming in unexpected ways. Glass depicts the mysterious twists of fate and cosmic (but unobtrusive) coincidences that bring people together, and the self-doubts and lack of communication that can keep them apart, in three fluidly connected sections in which characters interact over a decade. These people are entirely at home in their beautifully detailed settings Greece, rural Scotland, Greenwich Village and the Hamptons and are fully dimensional in their moments of both frailty and grace. Paul McLeod, the reticent Scots widower introduced in the first section, is the father of Fenno, the central character of the middle section, who is a reserved, self-protective gay bookstore owner in Manhattan; both have dealings with the third section's searching young artist, Fern Olitsky, whose guilt in the wake of her husband's death leaves her longing for and fearful of beginning anew
This strong and memorable debut novel draws the reader deeply into the lives of several central characters during three separate Junes spanning ten years. At the story's onset, Scotsman Paul McLeod, the father of three grown sons, is newly widowed and on a group tour of the Greek islands as he reminisces about how he met and married his deceased wife and created their family. Next, in the book's longest section, we see the world through the eyes of Paul's eldest son, Fenno, a gay man transplanted to New York City and owner of a small bookstore, who learns lessons about love and loss that allow him to grow in unexpected ways. And finally there is Fern, an artist and book designer whom Paul met on his trip to Greece several years earlier. She is now a young widow, pregnant and also living in New York City, who must make sense of her own past and present to be able to move forward in her life. In this novel, expectations and revelations collide in startling ways. 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.