Three Junes: A novel
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Jack finds the whole thing amusing: “Delightful, watching you cringe.” Jack is
their guide: young and irreverent, thank God. Reverence would send Paul over
the edge. Even this far from home there are reminders, like camera flashes or
shooting pains. On the streets, in the plazas, on the opendecked ferries, he is
constantly sighting Maureen: any tall lively blonde, any sunstruck girl with a touch
of the brazen. German or Swedish or Dutch, there she is, again and again. Today
haplessly pretending to kill but rarely knowing if you had); the simultaneous
endurance and fear of death—the dying itself heard in keening rifts between
gunfire or in continuous horrific pleadings—all those dire things, Paul had
thought when he shipped out, might plant in him the indelible passion of a
survivor, a taut inner coil like the workings of an heirloom watch. He had told this
rubbish to no one and was grateful to himself for that much. Of the virtues his
father preached, discretion ...
I'd trade for that. For a brood of sons, that too.” She paused. “Five—four would do,
four sons. Daughters turn against you faster, that's what I hear. Boys adore their
mothers. . . . And, you'll laugh, but collies. Not the sheep—or maybe a few, for
training the dogs—but just the collies, for themselves. I'd have a kennel, a dozen
at least. Grandfather had them on his farm, out by Hawick. Marcus here's the end
of that line. I remember watching those dogs work the herd, back and forth, back
Maureen hired a parttime nanny to stay with the boys while she trekked off to
Aberdeen, Oban, Peebles—wherever there were sheepdog trials to watch or
farmers to meet. Within a year, she bought four bitches, three dogs, and half a
dozen ewes. Paul hired a joiner to build the kennel on the lawn out back, behind
it a shed for the sheep. The paper was thriving, so Paul, too, traveled a good deal
. He gave lectures at universities, awards to authors, advice to younger editors.
The hectic ...
... Paul can't help feeling, will always have each other to lean on, collapse against
, push each other upright if it comes to that. Fern sighs and turns her chair slightly
aside, facing the sea. She closes her eyes and tilts her face upward, the same
yearning, pious expression Paul saw in the grove after the butterflies—the moths.
He continues to drink his retsina but tries to step outside its field of distortion.
What could he want from her? She likes him, but she isn't flirting. He watches
Jack, the ...
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - electrascaife - LibraryThing
A beautiful book with wonderful characters, whose fascinating stories interweave in such a lovely way. Excellent writing and well worth its National Book Award. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - anacskie - LibraryThing
I tried so hard to finished this book. But I keep on dozing off. So after 3 chapters I'm giving up. And I'll just marked this off as finished so I would never pick this book up from the library ever again. Read full review