Every so often I come across a book that I become enveloped by. Everything in it becomes real to me, like an alternate universe or events that I have witnessed myself. June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore stuttered a little bit at the beginning, unsure if it wanted to invite me in. After the first chapter, though, we seemed to warm up to each other, and 30 pages in I felt as though I was living in St. Jude, Ohio, in Auglaize County. I was in both 1955 and 2015, and I lived in both years at the stately (but later neglected) Two Oaks mansion.
The publisher’s blurb:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet comes a novel of suspense and passion about a terrible mistake made sixty years ago that threatens to change a modern family forever.
Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in rural St. Jude, Ohio, mourning the loss of the woman who raised her—her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery’s vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? What other shocking secrets could June’s once-stately mansion hold?
Soon Jack’s famous daughters come knocking, determined to wrestle Cassie away from the inheritance they feel is their due. Together, they all come to discover the true reasons for June’s silence about that long-ago summer, when Hollywood came to town, and June and Jack’s lives were forever altered by murder, blackmail, and betrayal. As this page-turner shifts deftly between the past and present, Cassie and her guests will be forced to reexamine their legacies, their definition of family, and what it truly means to love someone, steadfastly, across the ages.
I was expecting the daughters, Tate and Elba, to be snooty, putting on airs, and generally act obnoxiously towards Cassie, but this didn’t happen. The attraction Cassie has for Tate’s personal assistant, Nick, is deliciously real. Hank, another of Tate’s entourage (and a perky, cutesy blonde girl to boot!), is at the same time desperate to please and just a twinge suspicious. In the past, the relationship between June and Lindie sometimes feels like two lost souls who trust only each other with their friendship – at least until Jack Montgomery comes to town.
If you are in the mood for a thrilling, mysterious, carry-you-away book, you couldn’t do much better than this one.
**I was sent this copy from Blogging For Books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**