Review: Centuries of June by Keith Donohue

June 28, 2011 Crown Publishers, Literary Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Review 6

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (May 31, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0307450287
  • Source: Publisher

    Jack awakens on his bathroom floor, amid all the grit and grime found on the average bathroom floor.  Unsure of how he got there, he soon discovers a decent-sized hole in the back of his head, his body covered in blood. He assumes he slipped on the floor, or even more likely, tripped over his cat, Harpo, striking his head on the sink or the bathtub.

    Before he can remove himself from the bathroom, Jack is joined by an elderly gentleman, initally assuming it is his father. The man asks him to recollect what happened the evening before. The old man states that he saw eight sets of feet in Jack’s bed.  But before Jack can look for himself, a woman appears in his bathroom.

    Her name is Dollly and she begins telling Jack & the old man a story about a young Native American woman, Yeikoo.shk, who marries a man that can transform into a bear.  Several woman follow Dolly’s lead, each telling a story woven from folklore, mythology, and history, including the Salem witch trials. One-by-one, each of the eight women his bed reveal a story, all linking to a similar theme.  Jack sees a familiar resemblance in each of the women, but it isn’t until the last woman appears that the really meaning behind their visits are revealed.  Each woman is unique, each wielding a different weapon, attempting to kill Jack.

    Set quite literally on the floor of Jack’s bathroom, Centuries of June takes the reader on an extremely detailed journey through history, each woman is a vehicle for another story.  Their stories border on the impossible & unbelievable, but all are about women who face horrible wrongs or betrayal, at the hands of men. Donohue tells each of their stories in a unique way I’ve never witnessed in fiction.

    While it carries the same mythical and fantastical overtone as Donohue’s other books, Centuries of June is a tremendously bold move in my opinion. Donohue intricately weaves together multiple genres, including mystical realism and suspense, genres not normally molded together. The result: a tremendous piece of literary fiction.  Centuries of June isn’t a book that lays everything out at face-value. Instead, the reader must delve into the text, truly embrace the writing, before truly getting to the root of the story. Readers who want everything laid out for them in black & white won’t be thrilled with this method, but those who dare to take the plunge will reap the benefits!

    Highly, highly recommended!

    Be sure to check out Keith on his website, on Facebook, and on Twitter!

    Check out the hilarious video Donohue created, attempting to show ways to mask the “controversial” cover of Centuries of June:

    Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me the opportunity to participate in this tour! Be sure to check out the other stops on this tour:

    Monday, June 20th:  The Whimsical Cottage
    Thursday, June 23rd:  Reflections of a Bookaholic
    Monday, June 27th:  In the Next Room
    Wednesday, June 29th:  Simply Stacie
    Tuesday, July 5th:  Booksnob
    Thursday, July 7th:  Unabridged Chick
    Monday, July 11th:  Books Distilled
    Tuesday, July 12th:  S. Krishna’s Books
    Wednesday, July 13th:  Man of La Book
    Thursday,  July 14th:  Books Like Breathing
    Friday, July 15th:  Jen’s Book Thoughts
    Monday, July 18th:  A Chick Who Reads
    Tuesday, July 19th:  Drey’s Library
    Wednesday, July 20th:  Fyrefly’s Book Blog
    Thursday, July 21st:  Wordsmithonia
    Friday, July 22nd:  Sara’s Organized Chaos
    Monday, July 25th:  Bloggin’ ’bout Books

    6 Responses to “Review: Centuries of June by Keith Donohue”

    1. Amy
      Twitter: JustBookReading

      This sounds like a wonderful read. I love the idea of a story told through the lives of women too.

    2. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours
      Twitter: age30books

      This books sounds completely different than anything I’ve read before … I’m intrigued!

      Thanks for being on the tour Jenn. I’m glad you enjoyed this one so much.