A Day in June
by Marisa Labozzetta
Guernica World Editions

"All marriages have spells . . . like a chronic illness: the symptoms subside . . . you feel good; they flare up . . . you feel bad: occasionally the illness is fatal."

The small, picturesque town of Brackton, Vermont, is suffering a failing economy. Enter Eric Boulanger, a photographer and hometown boy who proposes that the Chamber of Commerce have a contest in which the winning essayist will be gifted the wedding of a lifetime, and "Brackton Is for Brides" will become the town’s slogan. The winning essay, written by a paralegal and aspiring writer, Ryan Toscano, is chosen for its sincere and honest portrayal of the deep love shared by her and her fiancé, Jason McDermott. The only problem is that Ryan and Jason aren’t together anymore.

When Ryan receives notice of her winning the contest, she is conflicted. Jason left her to become a Jesuit priest, so she still hopes he will come to his senses and return to her. Her grandmother, Faye, urges her to travel to Vermont and meet with the townspeople. After all, she still has five months in which to meet and fall in love with a replacement groom. Though Ryan plans to tell the Chamber of Commerce the truth when she and her roommate Tiffany visit, she finds herself unable to tell Eric her essay was nothing more than one of her fictional stories based on wishful thinking.

Labozetta has a marvelous way of pulling the reader into the story. Her characters are wonderfully well-written with delightfully deep dialogue and a fast-paced plot. From the laugh-out-loud sarcastic barbs between Chamber of Commerce rivals to Jason’s existential ponderings about morality and mortality, the author handles both humorous and agonizingly sad situations with an insight into human nature that renders her characters fully rounded. Surprising plot twists keep readers interested right up until the very end. Part love story, part philosophical discourse, this one leaves an impression.

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