Three Junes [Deckle Edge] (Hardcover) Review

Three Junes [Deckle Edge]"Three Junes" is a trilogy of sorts, with its distinct parts set in 1989, 1995, and 1999. Each section could be read on its own (and, in fact, the first, "Collies," won an award for best novella in 1999), but, taken as a whole, they encompass a multifaceted portrait of Fenno McLeod, his family, and his friends.

Told from the third person, "Collies" serves as a prologue and introduces us to the three sons of Paul McLeod, who travels through the Greek islands and reminisces about the poignant family reunion in Scotland effected by his wife's death. The second part, "Upright," takes up most of the book. Fenno is the narrator, skipping back and forth between his father's funeral and his expatriate life in Manhattan, where he befriends the catty and urbane Malachy Burns, manages a bookstore in Greenwich Village, and has a unexpected dalliance with a photographer named Tony. Fenno's reserved relationship with his two brothers mirrors his tense friendship with Mal, who, dying of AIDS, maintains his own dignity and an admirable drollness that challenges both his mother's intrusive (yet occasionally endearing) rectitude and Fenno's "constipatedly humorless" aloofness.

Drastically shifting perspective once again, the final section, "Boys,"is a fitting epilogue seen through the eyes of Fern, whose getaway with Tony in the Hamptons is unexpectedly augmented with a visit by Fenno and one of his brothers.

The change in perspective, dramatis personae, and even tone between each section is certainly peculiar and seems to puzzle some readers; the character of Fern especially resembles a late arrival crashing a family gathering that's almost over. In an interview for Bookbrowse (an online magazine), Glass described her book as "a triptych--that is, a strong central image flanked by two narrower, more modest images," and she compared her novel to a medieval altarpiece in which a "central panel--be it a picture of the annunciation, the crucifixion, or a martyrdom--is flanked by panels depicting portraits of the altarpiece donors.... Here was Fenno's large, rich story at the center, told directly to the reader, with Paul and Fern portrayed in intimate detail to left and right but seen from the side."

For me, it works. And Glass's tri-fold "painting" is enhanced both by the enviously discerning empathy for her characters and, above all, by a genius for infusing wit and warmth into the decidedly melancholy core of her tale. Fenno and his brothers, Mal and his mother, and even the latecomer Fern are characters I won't soon forget.

Click Here to see more reviews about: Three Junes [Deckle Edge] (Hardcover)

Buy cheap Three Junes [Deckle Edge] (Hardcover) now Get 24% OFF


Post a Comment