June is an intriguing book that combines small-town America with old Hollywood and adds some dark family secrets rooted in murder and blackmail to the mix.
In the 1950s, Lindie and her friend June meet some Hollywood types when the movie Erie Canal is filmed in the small Ohio town where they live. Famous movie star Jack Montgomery is among them, and he falls for June. June falls for him too, but she is engaged to someone else. Jack also happens to be engaged, to a very manipulative, selfish woman, and choices need to be made. June’s choice is made for her when there is a murder, and this affects June and those close to her for years to come.
In the present, Cassie Danvers moves from New York to the old house in Ohio she inherits from her grandmother June. Cassie is dealing with her grandmother’s passing and a breakup and wants to escape. However, things get complicated when she finds out she has inherited the fortune of Jack Montgomery. Cassie has never met Jack and has no idea how he knows her or why he would leave her money.
Jack Montgomery’s daughters come to visit, demanding DNA testing to determine if Cassie is related to their father. What they discover makes for a well-constructed, interesting story.
I like the small town setting and how the story goes back and forth between the past and present, and I like how the old house Cassie is living in seems to be alive. I love old houses, and I do wonder what stories they might tell if they could talk. The author does a good job describing the story’s setting and life in a small town.
I initially didn’t like Jack’s daughters, Tate and Elda (Esmerelda), but later in the story I came to understand that Tate is a damaged individual trying to hang onto her fantasies, and Elda is more decent than it appears at first. I didn’t like Hank, Tate’s assistant. I think part of that is that the male name for the female character didn’t seem to fit, but Hank’s character is a good example of what can happen when your life’s whole purpose is fame or money also. However, all of the characters are flawed.
June is a well-written account of friendship, secrets, love and doing the right thing and is worth reading.