Centuries of June opens with a man bleeding out on his bathroom floor. He has a hole in his head and doesn't know how he ended up in this predicament. With the help of a man he believes to be his father he tries to backtrack and figure out exactly what transpired to bring him to the bathroom floor. However, in his efforts to recollect, he is interrupted by a series of women who arrive and share their personal stories; their stories of how they met their demises. The stories span centuries, but the time in the house remains 4:52 am, and the only thing in the man's house that seems to be anywhere near normal is his cat.
Centuries of June is quite different from my normal reading fair, and I must admit that I was apprehensive about reading it. However, it didn't take long for Donohue to hook me in this humorous, zany plot. Mixed with the humor are wonderful rich tales of the experiences of women through time: exploration of the New World, witch trials, slavery. Their stories remind us of the struggles they endured and their wills to prevail.
There are elements of the book that can be a tad racy, but not to the level that I would classify this as anything of a romance, but for those sensitive to such topics, there may be some passages that could be construed as offensive.
For me the most captivating mystery about this book was the fact that absurd humor is usually not my bailiwick, but I was drawn in and intrigued by it. Why does this entire plot transpire in the man's bathroom? No one finds it odd that no time is passing? These oddities simply added to the mystique and built, not so much suspense, but curiosity.
The pace of this novel is slow to match the tone and plot. The reader is viewing the events through the eyes of the man from the bathroom floor.
For me, I was transfixed, turning pages with puzzlement and wonder. Where exactly is Donohue taking this? I know I must find out.
Centuries of June is available in hardcover (ISBN: 978-0-307-45028-9) from Crown Publishers and on unabridged audio from Random House Audio, narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Mark Bramhall.
And my review of Centuries of June is part of the TLC book blog tour for the book. You can find more bloggers included in the tour here. And you can learn more about Keith Donohue and Centuries of June at Keith's website.