June's Literary Blog

How they affect us.
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Monday, April 27, 2015

Smiley Faces
The stack of books from this past Christmas’s “Santa Surprise” box lay fallow on a living room credenza for the past few months. Seems I’ve been a bit too busy with other literary pursuits…With twinges of remorse and guilt, I have mostly ignored these twelve buddies of mine beckoning to me, sorely neglecting to even opening their covers to peek at what literary wonders are inside.

Finally, this weekend, with a slight cold once again lingering – I must have caught it out on the courts during last week’s sudden onset of colder, almost winter-like weather – I decided to take a long, well-deserved break from my normal bookish and household chores and, as it were, attack the stack. And the first to appeal to my sniffling, stodgy, I-want-to-escape-from-it-all mood…was…is Some Luck by Jane Smiley. I’ve been totally immersed in it for the past three days and while I have yet to finish it, I just had to take a moment to tell you about it.

The first of her American trilogy published last fall is probably the most exquisite novel I have read in quite a long time. Exquisitely written, exquisitely crafted plot line(s), and exquisitely drawn characters so true to life that most, if not all of us have met most, if not all of them in real life at one time or another. Walter Langdon reminds me of my father; Rosanna, a straight-laced second cousin whom I love dearly; Eloise Vogel, a dear friend of mine; John, a fellow I used to date in the mid-west…the list goes on. Set in Iowa between the end of World War I and a short time after the end of World War II, Some Luck compassionately spins the stories of the Langdon family…epically depicting their daily lives, their hopes, their dreams, their disappointments, their loves, losses, and brave, courageous accomplishments…exquisitely touching upon all aspects of life and definitely exploring all the nuances of familial and familiar relationships.

This is, despite her many numerous other prize- and award-winning books – thirteen fiction, six non-fiction, and five novels for young adults – Smiley – exquisitely – once again at her very best.

So what did I do when I was so immersed and captivated in the middle of a chapter and about to fall asleep in the wee hours of the morning? I crawled out of bed and raided my upstairs library where I found a whole shelf of Smiley books…their well-warn spines, um, smiling at me…all waiting to be read and/or re-read. I culled out Horse Heaven, A Thousand Acres, The Age of Grief, Moo,  and my all time great Smiley novel, The All-true Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton, which I received as a late birthday gift a few years ago and absorbed with such rapt attention in two days, that Lidie now lives deep within my very soul.

I toted this choice pile down to the living room and lovingly arrayed them next to my Christmas reads, knowing and promising myself as I finally fell asleep that once I finish Some Luck (probably right after I post this) and await the delivery of the second in Smiley’s American trilogy, Early Warning (to be released tomorrow), I will be indulging in yet another one of my favorite authors’ literary offerings.

Reading all the while, of course, with a smile upon my face.

2:49 pm edt          Comments

Friday, April 17, 2015

One Dark and Stormy Night…
…about a month ago, I began reading a Gothic romance. This is not a literary genre that I am, er, was particularly fond of. I’d read a few in my time, yes…but dark and eerie is not quite my speed. Except for…maybe…Dark Shadows – the original television series watched many years ago with a few college buddies in the dim recesses of a college lounge between classes – but I’ll reserve that for yet another future blog entry.

Anyway…the Gothic romance that completely caught my fancy that rainy, windy February night is Fiercombe Manor by Kate Riordan, a British author whose novel tackles not only the essence of the genre, but intertwines a number of women’s issues of the time in which it was written and that of today.

One is the treatment of post-partum depression at the turn of the last century, another the stigma of having a child out of wedlock in the 1930s.Today, depression is easily treated – at least most of the time. Having a baby with benefit of spouse is so commonplace these days, it has almost become an accepted norm. But back then? Back in the day…both were causes of alarm, consternation, misunderstandings, and, often, misguided, cruel treatment. Riordan cleverly treats these themes in her third novel with great compassion – whipping up an intriguing story that compelled me to forget the raging storm outside.

I have more thoughts about this novel, which I wrote in my review for www.authorexposure.com. You just might want to take the time to access it. While there, please noodle around the revitalized site and check out all the new and exciting features that may spark your literary interests.

Who knows? You just might find a new genre to add to your reading repertoire.  

5:16 pm edt          Comments

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June J. McInerney, the host of this Literary Blog, is an author, poet, and librettist. Her currently published works include a novel, a book of spiritual inspirations, two volumes of poetry, stories for children (of all ages) and a variety of children's musicals. Her titles include:
Miss Elmira's Secret Treasure: A Novel of Phoenixville during the Early 1900s
Colonial Theatre: A Novel of Phoenixville during the Roarin' 20s 
Phoenix Hose, Hook & Ladder: A Novel of Phoenixville during World War I
Columbia Hotel: A Novel of Phoenixville during the Early 1900s
the Schuylkill Monster: A Novel of Phoenixville in 1978
The Prisoner's Portrait: A Novel of Phoenxville during World War II
Rainbow in the Sky
Meditations for New Members

Adventures of Oreigh Ogglefont
The Basset Chronicles.
Cats of Nine Tales
Spinach Water: A Collection of Poems
Exodus Ending: A Collection of More Spiritual Poems

We Three Kings

Beauty and the Beast


Noah's Rainbow

Peter, Wolf, and Red Riding Hood



Originally from the New York metropolitan area, June currently lives near Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania with her constant and loving companions, FrankieBernard and Sebastian Cat. She is currently working on her sixth novel.

June's novels can be purchased at amazon.com, through Barnes and Noble,
at the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area,
the Gateway Pharmacy in Phoenixvile, PA

For more information about her musicals, which are also available on amazon.com,