The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

Tag Archives: Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

June

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Miranda Beverly-Whittemore has convinced me that she writes incredible novels. A while ago I was very impressed with Bittersweet. Today, I was equally impressed by June (A).

Cassie Danvers has inherited her grandmother’s home in St. Jude, Ohio where she lived with her until she left to attend college. June, her grandmother, was her legal guardian after the death of her parents. As young teenager, Cassie was itching to leave the small town and everyone in it. Returning to the once regal home is overwhelming for Cassie. It is in dire need of repairs and the $14,000 that came along with this inheritance will never be enough.

Since Cassies’ life in NYC has fallen apart, coming to live in Ohio provides her the opportunity to take on a pity party. She hides within the embrace of the house, barely surviving, dreaming unexplained ghostly dreams. The incessant ring of a doorbell announces drastic changes to her world. She learns that she has inherited the estate of a very famous movie star. Jack Montgomery claims that she is his granddaughter, one he has never before recognized.

A DNA test is required from those who are contesting the will. Before she will agree to this, Cassie requests proof that June was someone other than she believed her to be.

Alternating between 1955 and present day, the life and characters of a small town are scrutinized. Secrets long held are shared. June’s very private life becomes public and Cassie must navigate through it all.

I’ve come to really appreciate the author’s writing style. The pacing of the story is deliberate and revelations are slowly dispensed and always at the most appropriate of moments. I strongly encourage you to become familiar with Miranda Beverly-Whittemore either with Bittersweet or June. Neither one will disappoint.

 

 

The Year in Review

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I can’t believe it’s time to wrap up another year. By my count, I’ve read about fifty books this year; there were surprises, winners and losers. I am not going to review but just list those that impressed me this year.

 

So let me start with some of my favorites:

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein tops the list. The author of The Art of Dancing in the Rain has a mystical way of writing that makes reading his books an absolute pleasure.

Longbourn by Jo Baker really caught my attention because Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite classics.

One that I received in exchange for a review, Till The Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma was a trip to India in a well-written story.

Sarah Jio, always a favorite of mine, once again makes the list with Morning Glory. This was on last year’s wish list and wishes do come true.

Troika by Adam Pelzmar spanned the globe from Russia to the United States with a surprisingly good story.

One of my favorite “favorites” was Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. This one kept me thinking long after the last page. I encourage you to read my review and consider it strongly when you next choose a book.

Unfortunately there were books that make the not so favorite list:

Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield was another on last year’s wish list. Now I wish it hadn’t been. I found her writing extremely disappointing especially after loving The Thirteenth Tale so much.

Another on that wish list was The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. Amy, what happened here??????

A title that you have seen on all the “best” lists this year doesn’t make my “best” but rather my “least” list. A Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, honestly I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

Simply ridiculous is what I’d say about A Storied Life of A. J. Firky by Gabrielle Zevin. I was expecting something good here but one again was disappointed.

Lastly, Away by Amy Bloom didn’t even get reviewed.

 

There you have it. 2014 summed up, page by page. I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year filled with adventure, romance and suspense. Thank you for following The Book Mark. I look forward to reading and reviewing in 2015.