June: by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Everyone has “that perfect summer.” You know the one that is magical in your memories. That kind of summer where love blossoms and love fades. The kind where grand parties are held on sprawling lawns, and the lemonade is perfect with Amantha’s secret recipe. These grand and glorious memories are often in the mind of the participants, but also become memories of the very house itself. Or at least that was true of Two Oaks and that magical summer of 1955 when the movie crew came to town. When there was love and magic, betrayal and revenge, dead bodies and dead babies, and what seemed like all the time in the world.
Or so the house thought. Until time dried and flaked its glorious paint off, and many a rain showers put a hole in the roof that birds and bats took advantage of, and of the last time Jack and June brought love to Two Oaks, with its overgrown gardens and unkempt lawns. Until it became 2015 and Cassie brought life back to Two Oaks.
Cassie inherits this run down yesteryear mansion that she is in love with, and in turn, the house and its ghostly inhabitants are thrilled to see her too. So much so they show themselves as they were the last party at Two Oaks, and scare Cassie so much that the house decides it needs to be still and patient. The day will come when Cassie’s eyes are open wide and once more Two Oaks will be the talk of the town. Cassie of course comes with her own broken past and unpaid bills. Reclusive until descended on by realatives of this consuming romance between Jack and June.
This magnificent novel does a superb job of bouncing between June 1955 and June 2015. As intricate and elegant as an empty spiders web, slowly Cassie begins to unwind the events of that fateful summer in 1955 when Jack met June and the whole world seemed right. When Lindie would climb up Two Oaks and get June for a midnight getaway ride on her bicycle, enjoying the night sit and sounds of crickets, and mostly June’s hands around her waist. Linda Sue (Lindie) was the first to tell June that Jack Montgomery was coming to film his next movie right in their very own small town.
As I read back and forth in time, solving each new mystery right beside them, I found myself drawn to Lindie and her boyish dressing since in the 1950’s people were not so kind on such matters. Younger than June, but with brains and spunk to match, she was an irresistible character.
Cassie inherits Two Oaks after her grandmother dies from a brain tumor.Following the clues left behind from a romance so powerful, so secret, so seductive and dangerous Cassie slowly learns of her grandmothers past, and a love so hot it consumed everything around it.
For me, this novel was captivating. The characters were so vivid and like able, that even though I am not to fond of romance reads, it held enough magic, haunted houses, and mystery that I have rated this fantastic book a 5 out of 5 stars! Any less, and Two Oaks would be dismayed with my review. Everyone knows you don’t make a haunted house angry!