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A Sunday in June: A Novel Paperback – February 16, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; Reprint edition (February 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786886897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786886890
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,595,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Perry's haunting, impressive Stigmata (1998) told of a girl, Lizzie, institutionalized for her dangerous paranormal connection to her great-great-grandmother; her second novel reveals a similarly troubled relationship between Lizzie's grandmother, Grace, and the same spirit. In 1915, in Johnson Creek, Ala., 15-year-old Grace watches out for her two younger sisters, Mary Nell and Eva, whom folks say have second sight. Parents Frank (a Creek Indian) and Joy (daughter of a former slave) Mobley discourage such talk: their aspirations for their daughters involve good marriages and careers, not "hoodoo." Grace's own paranormal powers become apparent when she finds her grandmother Bessie's diary. She experiences a terrifying vision as she reads how Bessie came from Africa as a girl named Ayo, chained in the filthy bilge of a slave ship. As the years pass, the visitations-and their sometimes physical effects, like scars on Grace's wrist from a slave ship's manacles-continue. In 1921, Eva, barely 13, is raped by Mary Nell's ne'er-do-well husband, Lou Henry-an event that Mary Nell "sees" while sitting in church. Torn by conflicting loyalties and shamed that she remains barren while Eva carries the child she desperately wants, Mary Nell follows Eva and Grace to Tuskegee and steals Eva's infant son. Three years later, Mary Nell returns to Johnson Creek to raise the boy as her own. The novel's final section-spanning 1925-1963 in a series of truncated episodes-brings the younger sisters together again as troubled Grace forges her own path far away. Perry's novel repeats itself (and hearkens too much to its predecessor), but it's an absorbing read, a portrait of hard lives bravely lived.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

This is the second novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper editor Perry, and it is a prequel to her first, Stigmata (1998). In Johnson Creek, Alabama, in 1915, Grace, Mary Nell, and Eva Mobley appear to have inherited the gift of second sight from their grandmother, a former slave from Africa. Because their mother, Joy, disapproves of their special ability and prizes fitting into the community above all other values, they are left to struggle with the aftereffects of their often gruesome visions, with no ability to process them correctly or to act upon the knowledge gleaned from them. Mary Nell and Eva, especially, seem to have an almost telepathic relationship. But over the next 40 years, the three women are nearly destroyed by their gift. With distinctive dialogue, evocative prose, and themes that encompass the legacy of slavery and the importance of connecting with the past, Perry continues to spin the mesmerizing story of the Mobley family. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pamela on February 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Every now and then a literary work comes along that is magical. "A Sunday in June" is such a novel. While being a work of speculative fiction, the book manages to address some tough and very real subjects. The taboos within these pages tend to be in the closets of many families. Without giving too much away, I can tell you that it evokes quite a few emotions (so get out your tissues.) It is a very fast and enjoyable read and is highly recommended.
Pamela Walker Williams
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on January 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In a world of the unseen, The Mobleys are plagued by gifts that are not privy to the norm. Grace, Mary Nell and Eva, the daughters of Frank and Joy, are constantly driven to odds against the world. Amongst shattered dreams and stolen moments, the three girls are brought full circle through turbulence, turmoil and adulthood.
Mary Nell and Eva share the sight of knowing the future. As little girls, they were inseparable; from the bed they slept in, to every waking thought. The painful process of growing up leads them through a whirlwind of events: Mary Nell gets married to the town's bad boy, her husband rapes her sister Eva at thirteen and Eva gets pregnant and has a baby. Although Mary Nell witnessed the rape with her own "sight", she still blames Eva for her husband's disloyalty. After being raped, Eva is never the same and longs for the same sisterhood bond she shared with Mary Nell. Through all of this turmoil, Mary Nell develops a deep-seated resentment and steals the very same baby from Eva that she could never give her own husband, developing a life of hatred and bitterness towards Eva.
Grace, the oldest, has the gift of knowing the past. Through this gift, she experiences hardship and pain, as the spirit of her dead great-grandmother Bessie and her alter-ego Ayo completely engulf her on a regular basis. Not only does the spirit give her insight and depth of the struggles she endured as a slave while in Africa and the States, Grace also has the ability to feel the same pain as her grandmother did, complete with scars, blood and bruises. Grace gets married, has kids and tries to move on, but eventually has to leave everything behind, trying to run from the one thing that has always had full rein over her life...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Sunday in June is the long awaited prequel to Stigmata. It is the story of the Mobley's "curse" that has besieged their family for generations. Set in 1920's Johnson Creek, Alabama and spanning four decades, the novel largely focuses on the two younger sisters, Mary Nell and Eva, who possess psychic abilities and often experience the same visions. Their visions throughout their childhood are prophetic and accurate, but one vision involving Mary Nell's future husband terrifies the girls and threatens to tear the family apart. Their destinies collide one Sunday in June and the sister's relationship changes forever.
At the same time, the oldest sister, Grace, discovers a trunk that contains artifacts from her ex-slave grandmother (Ayo). Ayo's spirit visits Grace causing her to relive Ayo's horrific middle passage, experiences as a slave (beatings, rapes, etc.) and will eventually drive Grace and her descendants to madness as detailed in Stigmata.
The book chronicles the lives of the sisters as they grow into adulthood and how their "gifts" severely influence their choices in life. It shows how ill-equipped the parents were at handling their daughters' talents and chose largely to dismiss the signs as insomnia or bad dreams. While I loved Stigmata, I liked A Sunday in June; although both books were well constructed with compelling plots filled with lyrical prose. A Sunday in June is not a quick read; it is one that must be absored slowly. The author's message is deep but rings loud and clear - the pasts affects us all and she emphasizes the importance of seeking resolution and healing from family trauma.
Reviewed by Phyllis
APOOO BookClub, The Nubian circle Book Club
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Format: Hardcover
From the author of "Stigmata" comes the long awaited prequel, "A Sunday in June." The story takes us through an amazing journey through the lives with three sisters who each have a special gift of "sight." Born two generations after slavery ended, the sisters each endure a terrible secret that threatens to destroy their family.

Phyllis Alesia Perry does a wonderful job creating characters that we want to share their struggles. This journey takes us through rural Alabama with a voice so strong that the reader is immersed in Johnson's Creek rooting on Grace, Mary Nell, and Eva--the Mobley girls, in hopes that they will each triumph over their individual adversities.

Although the novel had a slow start, by the fifth chapter the reader is strapped to an speedy rollercoaster ride as your emotions run the gamut. Once you learn the sisters' secrets, it is difficult to put the book down as you desperately will each sister to save themselves and resolve issues that are bound to tear their relationship apart.

This is an incredible read for discussion groups as you will study such issues as family secrets, sisterhood bonds, and how much does the past affect our future. After completing this novel, a reader is bound to pick up "Stigmata" if they haven't already to find out how some of the issues are resolved.

All in all, Perry does a magnificent job creating such a difficult tale about "A Sunday in June."

--Review by **Tiffany**
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