A finely observed, wry social satire set in Philadelphia over the course of a single day, this soaring debut novel paints a moving portrait of a family at a turning point.
Leopold Portman, a young IT manager a few years out of college, dreams of settling down in Philly's bucolic suburbs and starting a family with his fiancé, Nora. A talented singer in mourning for her mother, Nora has abandoned a promising opera career and wonders what her destiny holds. Her best friend, Stephen, Leopold's brother, dithers in his seventh year of graduate school and privately questions Leo and Nora's relationship. On June 16, 2004, the three are brought together - first for a funeral, then for an annual Bloomsday party. As the long-simmering tensions between them come to a head, they are forced to confront the choices of their pasts and their hopes for the future.
Clever, lyrical, and often hilarious, The Sixteenth of June is a feat of storytelling and a sharp depiction of modern American family life. It delves into the tensions and allegiances of friendships, the murky uncertainty of early adulthood, and the yearning to belong. This remarkable novel offers a nod to James Joyce's celebrated classic, Ulysses, and it is about the secrets we keep and the lengths we'll go to for acceptance and love.
©2014 Maya Lang (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
Only if someone I knew highly recommended it. I was somewhat bored by the story and the narrators were lackluster (although that may have just reflected the characters). I believe Julia Whelan read Gone Girl and I liked her narration there.
No. If I was bored I would assume everyone else would be as well.
I would not rule it out. Although the narration was lackluster, this may have just reflected the characters, who also were. I believe Julia Whelan read Gone Girl and I liked her narration there. The best narration was Julia narrating Nora. When any of the narrators spoke for a character of the opposite sex it did not ring true.
No. If the book felt superficial there is no reason to believe a movie would improve on this.
Unlike many other reviewers, I did not pick up this novel based on its connection to Ulysses; I simply thought it sounded like a book which was right up my alley: Family dynamics, good friendships, psychological issues. It did have all of that, but it never came together with an emotional punch. I didn't much care about the characters and there was not a lot of insight into what made them tick; the book did not dig deep. Perhaps that was the point as none of the characters had much insight into his or her own situation, but it made for a boring read. There were a few scenes in which the characters interact on a deeper level and these were the ones which I liked the best, but this made up 10% of the book at most.
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