Three Junes by Julia Glass
(Anchor Books, 2003, 353 pages)
Three Junes won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2002 and it first came to my attention when I ran across it in the SCC Library. My co-worker, Theresa, had nothing but good things to say about the book so I was eager to give it a read.
Set in June at three different points of time the book follows three different story lines that all tie in with the McLeod family. We start in Greece in the 1980s where Paul McLeod is vacationing after the death of his wife. He is still trying to find his footing as a widower and he spends time reflecting on his marriage.
The second June takes us to Scotland in the mid-90s and primarily features Paul’s oldest son, Fenno. Fenno left Scotland to pursue his academic career and now owns a bookstore in New York City. Fenno is a gay man who has been forced to witness the harsh realities of HIV/AIDS in his community and among his friends. One friend in particular, Malachy, has a real impact as he recruits Fenno to help him as he battles the disease. In connection with Malachy Fenno recalls his last visit to Scotland for his mother’s funeral when a number of other significant matters and conversations took place among his family.
The final June occurs a few years later. It still has us in the U.S., but it focuses on a young woman named Fern who is pregnant and has yet to tell the father. Fern is connected to both Fenno and his father, unbeknownst to her, drawing the book full circle.
If you’re a fan of family-focused literary fiction you’ll want to pick this book up.