This is one of my favorite books, re-read many times since 2002! A complex, sweeping family saga that takes you from Scotland, to Greece, Greenwich Village, the Hamptons... And I can definately identify with aspects of the character of Fenno, the eldest; a wry, introspective gay man & bookseller. "In prose rich with compassion and wit,Three Junes paints a haunting portrait of love’s redemptive powers." This is definately a book you should read, and one that you will fall in love with! - Jeff, Bookseller
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. "
An astonishing first novel that traces the lives of a Scottish family over a decade as they confront the joys and longings, fulfillments and betrayals of love in all its guises.
In June of 1989 Paul McLeod, a newspaper publisher and recent widower, travels to Greece, where he falls for a young American artist and reflects on the complicated truth about his marriage. . ..Six years later, again in June, Paul’s death draws his three grown sons and their families back to their ancestral home. Fenno, the eldest, a wry, introspective gay man, narrates the events of this unforeseen reunion. Far from his straitlaced expatriate life as a bookseller in Greenwich Village, Fenno is stunned by a series of revelations that threaten his carefully crafted defenses. . .. Four years farther on, in yet another June, a chance meeting on the Long Island shore brings Fenno together with Fern Olitsky, the artist who once captivated his father. Now pregnant, Fern must weigh her guilt about the past against her wishes for the future and decide what family means to her. In prose rich with compassion and wit,Three Junes paints a haunting portrait of love’s redemptive powers.
About the Author
Julia Glass is the author of the best-selling Three Junes, winner of the 2002 National Book Award for Fiction; her previous novels include, most recently, And the Dark Sacred Night and The Widower's Tale. A teacher of fiction and a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Glass lives with her family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
“Enormously accomplished….rich, absorbing, and full of life.” -The New Yorker
“A warm, wise debut. . . . Three Junes marks a blessed event for readers of literary fiction everywhere.”–San Francisco Chronicle
“Julia Glass’s talent sends chills up my spine; Three Junes is a marvel.”–Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls
“Three Junes almost threatens to burst with all the life it contains. Glass’s ability to illuminate and deepen the mysteries of her characters’ lives is extraordinary.” – Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours
“‘Three Junes’ brilliantly rescues, then refurbishes, the traditional plot-driven novel. . . Glass has written a generous book about family expectations–but also about happiness.” – The New York Times Book Review
“Gorgeous. . .‘Three Junes’ goes after the big issues without a trace of fustiness and gives us a memorable hero.” – Los Angeles Times Book Review
“’Three Junes’ is a novel that bursts with the lives of its characters. They move into our hearts, taking up permanent residence, the newest members of the reader’s family of choice.”–Times-Picayune
“Fiercely realized. . .luxuriant in its emotional comprehension and the idea, or promise, that anything might happen.”–Boston Globe
“Radiant…an intimate literary triptych of lives pulled together and torn apart.”–Chicago Tribune
“Sophisticated . . . Engrossing . . . Catches the surprising twists and turns in family relationships, amid love, loss, hope and regret.”–Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“The sort of sparkling debut that marks a writer as one to watch.” –Daily News
“The fluid, evolving nature of family history is at the heart of this assured first novel.”–Time Out New York
“This first novel treats family ties, erotic longing, small children and prolonged deaths from AIDS and cancer with a subtlety that grows from scrupulous unsentimentality.”–Newsday
“Formidable. . . The traditional novel of social relations is very much alive in Three Junes. Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth Bowen, among other exemplars, would surely approve.”–Kirkus Reviews
“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.”–Booklist