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Three Junes Paperback – Apr 22 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (April 22 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385721420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385721424
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #222,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

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. Maureen Neville, Trenton P.L., NJ
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Dalum on April 18 2005
Format: Paperback
Like many of the books I read, this book was the selection of a book club I belong to, and I quite liked it. Just before the meeting to discuss the book, I checked out the Amazon.com reviews, and then was surprised to discover that the Amazon reviewers accurately reflected the diverse opinions of the ten at the meeting: although a small majority liked the book, the rest did not; two couldn't finish it and two couldn't even get into it. Amazon reviews, when there is a good number of them, are obviously a good guide.

This is a story of family life, for better or for worse, told in three stories, as seen through the eyes of the father, then his three sons, and then a friend of both the father and the sons. The father lives in Scotland, with two of the sons, but his story takes place in Greece, while he is on vacation there. One of the sons lives in New York, and flies back and forth to Scotland. The friend's story takes place in both Greece and New York. The result is a quite complex, interwoven family story that is easy to understand but hard to describe. The writing is sensitive; for example, the description of the death in New York of a friend of one of the sons, due to AIDS, is sympathetically done. Overall, I found the family's story to be very interesting and well written, but not a story I would recommend for everybody.
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Format: Paperback
THREE JUNES is a nuanced, layered book. After I finished it, I re-read the first section and realized how beautifully the pieces of the book fit together. Glass is too sophisticated, too knowing of the realities of life, to come up with pat endings or make everything fit together too neatly. However, even small characters that are introduced in the first section, Fern's friend Anna for instance, are re-introduced in the later sections with appropriate follow-ups. She shows how different the world can be viewed from various perspectives. For example, in the first section, she details a character, Marjorie, a schoolteacher from Devon, who gets on the nerves of Paul, the main character. Later, Marjorie shows up at Paul's funeral and they seem to have remained in touch through the years. The reader assumes: she kept pushing herself into his life. Paul's son Fenno has a different take on Marjorie-and he wonders-were they good friends. NO , no you want to cry-she got on his nerves-but Fenno never gets to realize his father's take on herth-nor would most people in real life, after someone has died. Must also recommend another great book that a friend recommended-------------THE CHILDREN'S CORNER by McCrae-very unusual with great writing, jaw-dropping scenes, and life itself.
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished this book this morning and felt compelled to write a quck review. For some reason, it took me a little bit to "get into" this one but once I did, I could not put it down. It is very well-written and I am sad that it is over. I really enjoyed the characters, especially Fenno and even Fern, and it left me hungry for more...I want to know what happened when Fern told Stavros about the baby...I want to know if she ever realizes that she met Fenno's Dad on her trip to Greece...I want to know about Fenno's relationship with the twins. But despite my longing for more of this story, I am happy to have had the oprtunity to "know" these characters and I can highly reccommend this bookI thought this book was great and how anyone can call it flat is beyond me. This is the first novel I have read that tells about life from a gay man's perspective. Sometimes he seemed to be reluctantly gay but gay none the less. I was sympathetic to siblings that remembered things differently from their childhoods, almost like they lived with different families, as is the case with siblings. This story was so deep and the characters so involved and intertwined it was unbelievable. What a wonderful depth and ability this author showed.
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Format: Paperback
It's difficult to believe that this is Julia Glass' first novel, and makes you hope it won't be her last. Had I known ahead of time about the heavy themes that this story tackles, I would never have picked it up. That's the brilliance of brain candy at the checkout aisle. Its unique appeal circumvents the electric fence of your conscience's natural filters, and allows you to explore wonderful, hidden gems you'd have otherwised missed. I was in an airport in Boston, waiting for my flight home, when I spied a little bookshop across the way. I picked "Three Junes" up on impulse, and from the moment I possessed it (it possessed me?) I simply couldn't put it down. Reminiscent of Lisa Carey's tapestry approach in "Mermaids Singing," Glass weaves the lives and disparate timeframes of several characters in synchronously to the plot, but marks it uniquely, like bookends, by moving from third person to first person and back again. This is Julia Glass' true strength: that she's not afraid to break the rules. She invents her own along the way, and instead of the disjointed folly one might find at the hands of a less masterful storyteller, Glass guides us patiently and seamlessly through the urgency of this tale. Her characters demand your attention, and plant themselves firmly in your heart. I felt homesick once the book was done, because I couldn't dwell in the heady world that she'd created with these people that I'd absolutely come to love. Glass doesn't overstay her welcome. She draws you into a tight, believable, provocative dialogue; displays an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the domains that she conquers; and crawls confortably into the skin of each new character she asks us to take on.Read more ›
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