Released: May 16th 2017
Warnings: Animal deaths
A Million Junes is a slow burn kind of book. It starts out sounding more like literary fiction than fantasy, but slowly it bleeds more and more from one to the other. It happens so naturally you almost don’t even notice it. Because of the slow start, it did take me a little while to get into it (I kept putting the book down for breaks and such) but once I hit the halfway mark I was pretty invested in seeing what happened to the characters.
Warnings first: There are some animal deaths in this book. They are quick and thankfully not very detailed. These occur as a sign that bigger events are about to happen.
Emily Henry has provided a book that is one part literary fiction, one part fantasy, and one part love story. The end result is an inspirational book about the ability to remember the past without letting it consume you. I felt that there were several poignant points made throughout the novel, particularly relevant for some events happening in my life at the time I was reading it. I am grateful for the perspective this book provided me.
June O’Donnell lives in a magic house, on magic land. The majesty and beauty of the land is tainted by a curse on her family; the very same curse is the cause of contention between her family and the Angerts. The whole feud (and reason for the quarrel) is very reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, which I’m sure was intentional. It’s even joked about once or twice. I love the little added twist that the two main characters are both budding writers, it seems like an appropriate hat tip.
June and her supposed sworn enemy (but actual true love) Saul Angert use the magic of the land to catch glimpses of the past; allowing them to simultaneously see lost family members, and to solve the mystery their family refuses to explain to them; why the O’Donnells and the Angerts hate each other so much. Both of them have lost somebody very precious to them, so the memories they are granted are heartbreaking, yet they can’t bring themselves to stop searching them out.
I really enjoyed Emily Henry’s writing style; it felt to almost stroll along in an unhurried manner, while still taking you to the point before it got tedious. It resulted in a relaxing and enjoyable read (the only exception being during the culmination of all the events, of course). The conclusion supported some of the points Henry wanted to make; such as how to learn to let go and the persistence of memory. Overall I found this to be a worthwhile read and am glad I took the time to do so.