National Book Award, Fiction, 2002A Good Morning America "Read This" selection, Three Junes is a vividly textured symphonic novel set on both sides of the Atlantic during three fateful summers in the lives of a Scottish family. In June 1989, Paul McLeod, the recently widowed patriarch, becomes infatuated with a young American artist while traveling through Greece, and is compelled to relive the secret sorrows of his marriage. Six years later, Paul's death reunites his sons at Tealing, their idyllic childhood home, where Fenno, the eldest, faces a choice that puts him at the center of his family's future. A lovable, slightly repressed gay man, Fenno leads the life of an aloof expatriate in the West Village, running a shop filled with books and birdwatching gear. He believes himself safe from all emotional entanglements - until a worldly neighbor presents him with an extraordinary gift and a seductive photographer makes him an unwitting subject. Each man draws Fenno into territories of the heart he has never braved before, leading him toward an almost unbearable loss that will reveal to him the nature of love.
Love in its limitless forms - between husband and wife, between lovers, between people and animals, between parents and children - is the force that moves these characters' lives, which collide again, in yet another June, over a Long Island dinner table. This time it is Fenno who meets and captivates Fern, the same woman who captivated his father in Greece ten years before. Now pregnant with a son of her own, Fern, like Fenno and Paul before him, must make peace with her past to embrace her future. Elegantly detailed yet full of emotional suspense, often as comic as it is sad, Three Junes is a glorious triptych about how we learn to live, and live fully, beyond incurable grief and betrayals of the heart - how family ties, both those we're born into and those we make, can offer us redemption and joy.
Three Junes is available in print from Pantheon Books.
Producers: Laura Wilson/ Dan Zitt
Directed by Paula Parker
Jacket photographs: Johner/Photonica: (sky) Jennifer Rocholl
Jacket design by Archie Ferguson
©2002 by Julia Glass
(P)2002 by Random House Audio
"Julia Glass' talent just sends chills up my spine; her novel is a marvel." (Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls)
"Has the rich pleasures of a 19th-century novel and the rush of New York life of the last ten years. I'm amazed it's a first novel - it is a mature, captivating work of fiction." (John Casey, author of The Half-life of Happiness)
"Almost threatens to burst with all the life it contains...extraordinary." (Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours)
Delightfully written, true to life & completely believable characters make this the best "read" I've had in a long time. The narration with the brogue really completes it. My only complaint is that the book goes from past to present & back again very frequently & can be hard to follow (especially at first, till you figure out what's going on). It doubtlessly would have been easier to follow on paper.
Honestly, this has been my best find here, I highly recommend it!
I don't review every book--only books I feel strongly about--hence the many 4-5 star vs 1-2 star reviews. Just my opinions--hope they help.
In the end I enjoyed the book. However, that said, I also agree with negative reviewers in that part 2, the longest of this three part novel, could have used an editor. The flashbacks and time frames got mixed up and at times were really hard to follow.
Further, while audible has this book listed in the genre of fiction with a subheading of contemporary most online book sites list it in the LGBT section. Be aware that the book focuses a great deal on gay men in 1980's NYC during the early AIDS crisis. At times, for me, this focus was too generalized, distanced and stereotypical.
Overall, I stuck with the story in spite of these reservations because I liked the author's writing style and I was caught up in how the tale would play out. I really like books that twist time and provide a variety of points of view on the same events. This was my first book written by Glass and I plan on continuing with her more recent novels. Not perfect, but worth a listen as much of the writing was beautifully done.
While a little confusing in its backing and forthing over time, this is a well written book dealing with complex family and other relationships in a subtle way.But the narrator's accent almost made me give up near the beginning(I'm glad I didn't...) The accent, intended to be scottish, constantly slithers into irish and back again, with frequent anomalies that seem to be neither. I'm English with a Scottish son-in-law and Irish friends; if you're not well acquainted with either accent, the narrator may not bother you (he reads well apart from the accent prob.) If you are, however, listen to the sample first to ensure this won't drive you mad!
I really wanted to like this book. I had truly enjoyed Julia Glass' other book that I had downloaded from Audible ("The Whole World Over") and was sorry when it had ended. I tried listening to this book for the first time several months ago and could not get past about 15 minutes of it so I just stopped listening -- at the time I figured I had just enjoyed the previous book (The Company by Robert Littell) so much that I wasn't ready to embark on anything so divergent. So after listening to a few more books I gave Three Junes a try again today. After 75 minutes, I decided it was just impossible to complete -- a first for me. While I don't think the writing was up to the same standard of "The Whole World Over", what really killed the book was the narration. There was little differentiation between the characters, and when there was differentiation it made some of the characters sound unappealing; that would be OK if that was the author's intent but I don't think that was the case. The poor differentiation would have probably been tolerable, though, if it were not for the poor diction of the narrator. There was no pause at the end of some sentences and then some sentences would run into another with no pause. This made for a stilted, hard to follow listening experience. Hopefully this will be the first and only book that I can't finish.
This is my first review after literally dozens and dozens of listens. I've been tempted to write reviews before - so, this doesn't mean this is the best I've listened to. But - it was a great listen. I didn't want to reach the end - I grew that much interested in these people's lives. If you're interested in a narrative about relationships between spouses, lovers, siblings, pet owners and pets, you will enjoy this book, The narration was excellent.
This book is teeming with its relationships and interconnected lives. The three interrelating, but separate stories are all wonderfully written. Some books lend themselves better to audio than others and this is defently one of them. I found myself relistening a few times and picking up more from the book each time.
I bought this title with high expectations. I was quite disappointed, and listened to the first CD five different times on my commute to work.
I agree with Kathy that it's very hard to follow. It jumps around from past to present unexpectedly and introduces too many characters at one time. I just could not keep up with the storyline or who was who.
The narrator reads with a heavy accent so perhaps this contributed to the audiobook being so hard to follow.
In any case, after listening to the first CD for the fifth time, I came to the conclusion that I really didn't care about the characters or the storyline and threw away the CD's and began listening to "The Cabinet of Curiosities", also available on Audible, and which I heartily recommend!
Love reading, hard to find the time! audible member since 2006
The characters were wonderful, the writing witty and touching, the reader just beautiful. My only regret - I wished the third part of the book was about the french wife, I think she would have made a very compelling story. But all in all, I loved it.
If I had not been trapped in a car on a 13 hour trip to Kentucky with no other Audible book available, I would never have finished this book.
It was so confusing that I listened to part 1 twice without realizing it until I was 20 minutes into it.
Some of Fenno's observations are delightful but they, sadly, do not make up for the rest of the book's lack of organization.
A delightful story about engaging, imperfect and lovable people. Many beautiful turns of a phrase and fresh, believable metaphors sprinkled throughout. Also,Keating's reading made the book so much more delightful than it would have been to sight read. His native burr and command of accents and styles of speech is wonderful. Never difficult to hear the content, however. I found the jumps between past and present always incorporated a clue to the time period quiickly after the jump. It kept this reader alert and involved in each unfolding event or recollection.
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