As we find ourselves now fully into the dog-days of summer…(get to utilize this phrase completely because of the extreme heat, but also since we are now in the late days of July 🙂 ), I’ve been trying to pack in all my summer reading, trying to organize my reading and bring together the books that take place during the summer before it rushes into fall. (Which I cannot wait for!) Anyway, the summer kind of books like those that make you feel the heat, or are just perfectly situated during the summer months. There was something about June that just made me love it so, and it turned out to be one of those perfect summer reads!
So, I suggest you mix yourself your favourite summer cocktail, make yourself cozy on your porch swing, and hopefully you have one installed on a big, wide front porch, because once you start reading, you will lose yourself completely in this grand story! June has just that right and slight feel of southern-lit, that ensured it would sing to me.
With storylines alternating from 2015, back to 1955, we begin the story in 2015. Cassie Danvers comes “home” to St. Jude, Ohio as she has inherited from her grandmother June, the old family mansion, Two Oaks. Cassie’s parents died in a car accident when she was quite young, and her grandmother June packed up and moved out to where Cassie was living in order to raise her. Therefore, her memories and time spent at Two Oaks are quite vague, or not really a major part of her life story so far. She arrives to find a fully dilapidated home that is in phenomenally great disrepair. And, each night, Cassie’s dreams are filled with the vivid stories about two girls named June and Lindie.
On one of her early days at Two Oaks, a knock at her door brings some spectacularly unexpected news. The personal assistant to one of the currently most famous Hollywood stars, Tate Montgomery. Her grandfather, Jack Montgomery, has just passed away and left a major bombshell in his last will and testament. His entire fortune was to be left to Cassandra Danvers. His granddaughter.
Cassie has extremely vague memory of an Hollywood star named Jack Montgomery, but surely there must be some mistake here – she has a set of grandparents named June and Artie Danvers. Ah, but see, Cassie’s father’s name was Jack’s real name that only those very close to him would have any knowledge of, and in order to clear this whole and certain misunderstanding, Tate Montgomery has sent her PA down to take a DNA sample. She will be paid out a healthy sum of money for her troubles, but don’t expect to be taking the fortune away from Jack’s rightful daughter.
Cassie knows her grandmother was an extremely secretive and private person, but honestly has no idea how Jack Montgomery would come to the conclusion she is his granddaughter. So, she counter-proposes that Tate and her team help her uncover this possible romance that may have occurred between Jack and her grandmother June, before she’ll submit to any type of DNA testing.
The story flips back to the summer of 1955 in St. Jude, Ohio. St. Jude is being transformed into a movie set for a Hollywood film starring the ultra-Hollywood power couple, Jack Montgomery and Diane Desoto. No one is more excited for this than Lindie, the younger but very best friend to June Danvers. Lindie sneaks in daily to sit with June but is now currently trying to convince her that her future does not lay in marrying the never-around Artie Danvers! Can’t she see this is a marriage of convenience set up by her mother and Artie’s brother? Please, please come to the movie set and June will probably land a speaking part – she’s so beautiful!
June, however, is intent on marrying Artie and sets out to meet him at the bus station. But, the movie people have moved the bus station for the set, and it’s there when she bumps into Jack Montgomery. He’s immediately smitten. And June, can’t help but feel that exciting tingle about Jack either. To confound June’s dilemma, Artie wasn’t on the bus. Lindie is so convinced June should not marry Artie, she hides a very important letter from him to June explaining why he wasn’t on that bus as scheduled.
In alternating chapters, the beginnings of this possible relationship between June and Jack unfold. But, the direction it’s headed, and the possibility that Cassie could potentially be Jack’s granddaughter aren’t offered up that easily! While that storyline is slowly unfolding, so too is Cassie’s with her quest to reveal her grandmother’s secrets. All along the way it could go in any direction, and the reader is led down many paths until it tumbles down onto the truth.
June comes to a satisfying and fairly explosive end and gave just that perfect blend of southern-like family secrets, old mansions, and old Hollywood. A perfect, perfect summertime treat! Just loved reading this one outside on the breezy patio!
Miranda Beverly-Whittemore wrote Bittersweet, which has been on my TBR well before June was released. Looks like I’ll be picking it up sooner than later! (It has been said it too is a perfect read for the summer.)