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Julia Glass Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Three Junes (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Whole World Over (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
I See You Everywhere (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Widower's Tale (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
And the Dark Sacred Night (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A House Among the Trees (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Vigil Harbor (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Chairs in the Rafters (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Julia Glass is a literature and fiction author born in Boston, Massachusetts. Her novel Three Junes won the 2022 National Book Award for Fiction. She has also received fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and National Endowment for the arts.
Julia has won several prizes like the Tobias Wolff Award and the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Medal for her short fiction being the best novella.

Three Junes

The novel is set in Scotland, Greece, Greenwich Village, and Long Island tracing the members of a Scottish family while they confront the fulfillments and betrayal of love. Around June 1989, Paul McLeod is a newspaper publisher and recent widower traveling to Greece and falls in love with a young American artist reflecting on the complicated truth of his marriage.

He remembers his marriage to his late wife, who was passionate about raising dogs. The novel opens up as Paul is on a guided tour of the Greek Islands after becoming a widower. During the vacation, Paul becomes friends with an American artist named Fern.

It gives him a quiet time to reflect on his past life and how having a family makes him feel. He finally decided to become a British expatriate and went to live in Naxos, leaving most of his past life behind. Fenno is Paul’s son and is a reserved owner of a bookstore in Greenwich Village.

He’s called back to Scotland after his father, Paul, unexpectedly passes away. His younger twin brothers and their spouses plan for the funeral, and secrets from the past are uncovered.

Six years later, Paul’s death pulls these three adult sons and their families to their ancestral home. Fenno is the eldest and an introspective gay man narrating the events of the unforeseen reunion. Apart from having a life as a bookseller in Greenwich Village, Fenno is shocked by several revelations threatening his well-crafted defenses.

Four years later, in June, an opportunity to meet on the Long Island shore brings Fenno close to Fern Olitsky, an artist who once captivated his father. Recently pregnant, Fern must weigh her guilt on her past against her future dreams and know what family means to her.

Fenno usually returns to Scotland during Christmas, but he makes more trips after his mother’s death and later his father’s. His interactions with his brothers and their wives during all the visits offer more history.

Fern shows up again in 1999 as a widowed and soon-to-be mother. She’s currently staying on a beach of Long Island with Tony, a babysitter, and friend of Fenno, who were brought together through a dinner party. Fern had confided in Paul during his trip to Greek, and she’s currently having a long conversation with Fenno.

The author lets the reader see Paul’s family through his perceptions, frustrations, and feelings. Julia also throws in some flashbacks to Fenno’s New York City life, a time during the AIDS crisis. Three Junes refer to three different months and different times in the life of the McLeod family.

The last June happens around ten years after the first one, where Fern young artist from the first section, is pregnant. Though she has been having a stable relationship with her boyfriend, she has no idea how to inform him about her pregnancy as she reflects on her first failed marriage.

The story shows a haunting portrait of the redemptive powers of love. It’s about friendships, love, loss, and family connections. Characters are authentic, complex, and wholly formed with their strengths and weaknesses.

Julia Glass is an excellent storyteller as she maintains smooth prose and skill, keeping the reader engaged from the beginning. The characters are vividly portrayed, leaving the reader craving for more.

Although the story is told from Fenno’s point of view, the author still manages to convey the personalities of his brothers and the awkward relationship Fenno had with Veronique, Dennis’s French wife.

Julia uses her unique skills to weave the past into the present along with the multiple general layers and complications of life. She tells two of the stories from two different points of view, one from Fenno’s father traveling to Greece after losing his wife as he tries to come to terms with the ambivalence of their marriage. The other is the young woman the father meets while on his vacation in Greece.

The two characters have to decide whether they can let the pain from their past go so they can explore life and love.
The Widower’s Tale

Seventy-year-old Percy is happily settling into retirement in a historic farmhouse outside Boston. Percy is a retired librarian and spent most of his work days at Harvard University. He keeps himself occupied by watching movies, swimming, and reading books.

Events in life change after renting his vacant barn to nursery school, bringing all types of people to his compound and life. He feels his routine is being interrupted when he’s convinced to let a preschool take control over his barn.

As Percy watches his refuge operated by teachers, parents, and children, he is forced to reexamine the solitary life he chose three decades ago after the unexpected death of his wife. He can no longer remain detached from his community, his adult daughters, and to his surprise, the uncertainty of falling in love.
He already has a straining relationship with his daughters and finds love and years of being a widower.

Percy values his bond with his eldest grandchild, Robert, who is studying at Harvard. Robert has decided to follow in his mother’s footsteps, a famous physician. However, he starts questioning his ambitions after being confronted by a charming roommate once he starts practicing ecological activism targeting Boston’s most prosperous suburbs.

In the meantime, two other men get involved with Percy and Robert. One of them is Ira, who’s a gay teacher at the preschool, and Celestino, a gardener employed by Percy’s neighbor. Each of them struggles to overcome a sense of their exile.

The choices made by the four men and the women around them collide one evening during spring, upturning everyone’s lives.

The author uses the same amount and affection to weave a captivating story about a certain family’s rivalries, secrets, and loyalties. It’s refreshing to read about Robert and all that is happening in his unforeseen adventures.

The story comprises multigenerational relationships about love and self-forgiveness, betrayal, family loyalty, and the web of human connections.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Julia Glass

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