My struggle with getting into the book began with the first sentence, which made it apparent that the house, Two Oaks, a rambling, ramshackle estate which was once grand and built in nowheresville, Ohio. Despite the house being described in detail (inordinate detail, seemingly never-ending detail), I never got the impression, as a reader, that the house had an actual personality, besides being large and fancy and in a state of disrepair. It felt like Beverly-Whittemore was desperately trying for the narrative voice style like at the beginning of Sabrina (you know: the outdoor tennis courts and the indoor tennis courts) or that of Midnight In The Garden of Good And Evil with the old-fashioned (and old moneyed) small town charm and failing miserably. Not only was that disappointing, but it left me without a compelling "in" as a reader. There are tons of large old houses that haven't been well cared for in the world. Why should I invest my time reading about this one? I still don't know.
On top of that, the more annoying part of June is that Beverly-Whittemore seems to think she's charming, or perhaps someone told her that at some point. She seems to think she's being clever when she names a character June and then talks about the character and the month of June in the same sentence when the narrative doesn't require it (nope--just annoying and slows my reading down). It's like she aimed for somewhere twixt twee and glamorous. Unfortunately for her, she landed on basic. Her sentences feel like they are never going to end, and they also feel like they aren't really adding much information or description or even mood to the book. She wants so desperately to be literary, but most of her prose is as overwrought as the railings of Two Oaks I'm sure you could spend several collected pages reading about if you really wanted to. Unless this sounds appealing to you, I really can't recommend June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore.