I picked up Three Junes by Julia Glass without much enthusiasm. It looks very much like something Cosmo would recommend as a light and beach-y read (which is really not my bag), or what’s commonly referred to in the parlance of our times as “Chick Lit.” (I have always had a problem with that term. “Women’s Literature” is hardly better; ask yourself, is there really such a thing as “Men’s Literature”? Anyway, I digress.) Three Junes did, however, win the 2002 National Book Award for fiction, so I decided not to be so snotty about cover art and give it a try. It was totally worth it--this is some enjoyable literary fiction, let me tell you.
The story centers on the MacLeods, a family that hales from rural Scotland, and relates the events of three momentous Junes through the perspectives of three different characters: Paul, father and newspaper owner; Fenno, gay son and New York bookstore owner; and Fern, an aspiring young artist and former love interest of Paul. I enjoyed how Glass delves into the inner lives of her characters and the way she conveys the complexities inherent in their relationships with one another. Pick up Three Junes to experience a gorgeous rendering of a family complete with its strengths as well as flaws.