“June” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is one of my favorite authors. In her latest novel a twenty five year old woman moves into her deceased grandmother’s mansion which is now crumbling from neglect.  She shockingly learns that a 1950’s male movie star left all his money to her and that his celebrity children are contesting the will.  The story swings back and forth from the 1950’s to present time smoothly.  This is not my favorite novel by the author; that would be “The Effects of Light” where two motherless sisters pose for a critically acclaimed series of photographs as figurative models by their father’s female friend which becomes morally questioned as they grew into their teens. “June” is more like “Bittersweet” when Beverly-Whittemore exposes the underbelly of a privileged college woman written in a gothic style.  “June” starts off with the same wonderful eerie feel with the old mansion talking to it’s newest owner but somehow the plot turns a bit hokey.  I felt that I was reading the scene in the movie “Titanic” where the characters of Jack and Rose are finally reunited on the ship in death as ghosts.   In other words, sometimes “June” read corny.  This is a shame since there is nothing I enjoy more than a good gothic tale when told properly.  I also felt that the heroine in this novel, the granddaughter, did not need the love interest.  He felt more like a distraction than an essential character.  Nevertheless Beverly-Whittemore is a very good storyteller. Not the author’s unsurpassed novel yet still worth the read. I would like to thank Crown Publishing for the review copy of “June” which will be on sale to the public on May 31, 2016.

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