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"Three Junes" - a must read

 
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Mats
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Feb, 2005 2:34 pm    Post subject: "Three Junes" - a must read Reply with quote

Julia Glass's first novel "Three Junes" is a rip-snorter of a read. It's structure borrows something from Durrell's "Alexandrian Quartet" where we see events unfolding from different characters' point of view. We begin with a man mourning his wife's death and depairing of his sons; we then see the world from one of his sons' point of view. The closer in the 'three' is the tale told by a third person, known both to the father and the son.
There is some 'ah, this too much of a coincidence' in the story, but, it is so well told that it doesn't intrude.
Read this novel and you are guaranteed of time well spent !


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llizard (aka ejm)
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Feb, 2005 3:02 pm    Post subject: Re: "Three Junes" - a must read Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
Julia Glass's first novel "Three Junes" is a rip-snorter of a read. It's structure borrows something from Durrell's "Alexandrian Quartet"


Excellent! I'm looking for something new to read. But, oh oh. It took me about ten tries before I managed to finish the first book of Durrell's "Alexandrian Quartet". I loved the first few paragraphs but then always found myself wandering. I finally knuckled down and finished the first book and then out of a sense of duty because so many people said it was such great literature, I slogged my way through the other three books. By the end, I was thoroughly disgusted with almost all the characters and extremely relieved that it wasn't "Alexandrian Quintet".

MEF, would you agree with just about everyone else and say that Durrell's books were ripsnorters as well? Or are you saying that the similarity is only with the structure?


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Mats
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Feb, 2005 3:48 pm    Post subject: Just structure Reply with quote

Lizard, just the mechanism of different people looking at the same events is all I intended with the AQ comparison. It was a bad example to use; I too struggled over 10 years to read all of the AQ.

"Three Junes" and Julia Glass are separated by lightyears from the somewhat "I'm a pretty important guy" Lawrence Durrell and the AQ.

She spent the better part of a decade putting this first novel together; she has no arrogance .

The central charcters in "Three Junes" are ones that are not hard to love.


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llizard (aka ejm)
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Feb, 2005 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a relief! Thank you for the reassurances.

I get nervous every time I see "Alexandria" and "quartet" in the same sentence. When I think about it, the only time I've really enjoyed anything about Lawrence Durrell is reading about him in Gerald Durrell's memoirs of Crete, "My Family and Other Animals"


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MrsBrown
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Feb, 2005 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: "Three Junes" - a must read Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
Julia Glass's first novel "Three Junes" is a rip-snorter of a read.

Rats! I read this AFTER I went to the library last night. I'll look for it next time we go.
llizard wrote:

Excellent! I'm looking for something new to read.

I just finished Lives of the Saints by Nino Ricci. I picked it up at the library on the shelving cart where I like to look for books. It was an absorbing story of a boy in Italy whose mother became the town pariah. I'm reading the second one of the trilogy right now--it's not as good.

For my book club, I had to read Deafening by Frances Itani. Another absorbing book. It's about a deaf woman in early part of the 20th century. Some of the information about language acquisition was fascinating. I watched myself talk in the mirror a few times to see the differences (or not) about how certain sounds are made. eg. Ch and J look the same.


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llizard (aka ejm)
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Feb, 2005 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the recommendations, MrsBrown. I'll add those to the list with "Three Junes" on it. (If you hadn't recommended it, I would never have chosen to read "Lives of the Saints" because of seeing the first little bit of the miniseries of the same name with Sophia Loren. I found the miniseries to be rather dull.)

I just got Carol Shields "Larry's Party" out of the library. So far it is quite promising. I remember feeling the same way about her novel, "The Stone Diaries". Oddly, I don't remember absolutely loving "The Stone Diaries" by the end - but I do recall really liking the a lot of it.


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MrsBrown
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Feb, 2005 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

llizard wrote:
...snip..."Lives of the Saints" because of seeing the first little bit of the miniseries of the same name with Sophia Loren. I found the miniseries to be rather dull.)


I wasn't aware they'd made a mini series of this book--perhaps of the whole trilogy? I looked at a synopsis on IMDB and it looks like it's only like the book in name only. The names of the characters are familiar but the story seems nothing like what I"ve read. Perhaps I'll read the third one after all. The second book of the trilogy, called In A Glass House was terribly disappointing after the first book. Why is it that the first and third books of trilogies are often quite good but the second books of trilogies are often not very good?


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Mats
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Feb, 2005 8:09 pm    Post subject: Larry's Party Reply with quote

I thought "Larry's Party" was really well done, as was "Unless". The first Ricci novel was OK, but the sequels couldn't hold my attention.

Someone I've discovered recently is Lesley Kreuger. I read "Drink the Sky" and "The Corner Garden". Both were really engaging novels.

This weekend I finished "I'll Tell You a Secret" by Anne Colman. It is a memoir of her relationship with Hugh MacLennan whom she met in 1950, when she was 14 years old and he was 43. She traces this relationship as it continues over the next 7 years. I was really impressed by her work.

A book I haven't yet read, but am looking fowrard to is "Wolves Eat Dogs" by Martin Cruz Smith. It is yet another in the superb Arkady Renko series which began about 100 years ago with "Gorky Park".


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MrsBrown
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PostPosted: Thu 31 Mar, 2005 10:03 am    Post subject: Re: "Three Junes" - a must read Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
Julia Glass's first novel "Three Junes" is a rip-snorter of a read. ...snip...Read this novel and you are guaranteed of time well spent !


I finally finished a novel that I didn't particularly like but felt compelled to finish anyway--it started out well but then turned not very good. Don't you hate that? I was looking forward to reading Three Junes so I settled in last night to start it. I was reading along, enjoying the writing and thinking, "ah, a good book. Wait, this seems familiar". I looked in my booklist and found that I had already read it 2 years ago. Rats. I did mark it as a book I liked--I have a system where I star the ones I REALLY like and would recommend to people eg. The Red Tent and tick mark the ones I like but not necessarily recommend to others.

Spoiler (highlight to read):
I very much liked the structure of the book. As you say, MEF, it's a worthwhile read. But, I really didn't like the character of Mal, enough so that I probably won't read the book again.


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