Twenty-something Cassie Danvers is mourning the death of her grandmother June Danvers – the woman who reared her after her parents died – at the crumbling mansion in a small town in Ohio that she inherited upon her death. Full of guilt because of the unsatisfactory last conversation between the two of them, she can barely get out of bed.
She does get out of bed, however, to answer the door to a man who delivers the shocking news that she has inherited the whole estate of famous actor Jack Montgomery, someone she only knows from magazines, newspapers, and old movies. She is understandably confused and shocked to hear this news.
She is further shocked when Montgomery’s also-famous daughter Tate soon shows up, along with her entourage, to claim the inheritance as her own. Cassie and her sister dig deeper and learn many secrets about Cassie’s grandmother June and Tate’s famous father.
Author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore wrote another novel that I enjoyed a great deal – Bittersweet. Her writing sets a scene clearly and her characters are realistic and interesting. In June: A Novel, the author tells the story via Cassie’s current detective work and flashbacks – told primarily from the point of view of June’s friend Lindie – about something that happened in 1955. What Cassie learns gives her a whole new picture of her grandmother June.
Via the flashbacks, we learn that Jack Montgomery starred in a movie that was filmed in the small town in which June lived. A series of events ultimately results in Cassie’s inherited windfall. But who could ever have believed such a story given June’s down-to-earth and conservative nature?
Beverly-Whittemore’s novel Bittersweet took me a long time to get into, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. The exact thing happened with June: A Novel. A very slow start. I even considered abandoning the book. I am so glad I stuck it out. June is a wonderful tale with a highly satisfying and surprising ending.
It would be a good book club read.