Sally's Reviews > Centuries of June

Centuries of June by Keith Donohue
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Apr 30, 11

Read from April 29 to 30, 2011

Centuries of June by Keith Donohue

It sorely grieved me to put this book down after turning the last page. It is as captivating and enthralling as Keith Donohue’s first book, The Stolen Child. Donohue is a master storyteller, and he proves it yet again in this latest book. His talent is evident through his use of language, weaving a tale that keeps the reader spellbound.
Centuries of June begins in the narrator’s bathroom, which is the main stage for the central plot and all the subplots. His use of language, both high and low, allow the reader to understand the various points-of-view, as told through the voices of the many women the narrator encounters throughout the novel. Donohue easily transforms the small lavatory into a theatre of stars, some of whom are recognizable from history and some who are not.
Donohue’s characters vary from the earthy to the sophisticated, but are never simplistic. Their personalities are individualistic, but connected to each other. Their interactions allow them to come to life, fully formed. Each has a story to tell, and through those stories, the reader thus comes to understand the raconteur with all his idiosyncrasies. What ties the subplots together is the relationship of each to the narrator, who seems as clueless as the audience. Together, the reader and the narrator, learn the lessons and histories of a man who is searching to understand his own place in the world, a world that has lost all meaning. Only by traveling over time and space, within the confines of one room, the bath, can he hope to find out who he is, where he belongs, and why he exists. One wonders if he will find his path, or will he be too late?
Keith Donohue has once again woven a tale of intrigue, action, and empathy into a masterful novel, which is sure to please almost any reader. There is action and mystery behind every character, which is only divulged as each one tells her account of the circumstances of her life. The reader will fall in love with the individuals and the obstacles they encounter, finding satisfaction in the conclusions the chronicler draws from them.
It was a pleasure to spend time with Donohue’s characters, getting to know them with an intimacy that many authors struggle to find. The author seems to convey that familiarity with ease. He draws from a sense of confidence which is transmitted through the voices of his characters’ personae. Bravo, Keith! This is another well-written and excellently scripted novel to captivate and capture the audience’s attention. What a lovely read.
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