Skye In June, The

Fiction - Mystery - Historical
368 Pages
Reviewed on 03/10/2009
Buy on Amazon

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

June was born in the 1950’s in Scotland to Catholic parents, Cathy and Jimmy McDonald. It was traditional to name a child after a saint. Cathy broke tradition and insisted on the name” June” for her last child. June was an unusual child. From an early age, she had a special connection with her sister Helen. After a tragic, event the family moved to the states in hopes of a better life. Jimmy was an abusive husband and father. He held a tight rein on his family. June marched to her own drummer and seemed to always be in trouble for doing things her own way and questioning the “rules.” She had a curiosity for the occult and mixed her Catholic worship with bits of witchcraft.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading The Skye In June. I soon found myself caught up in June’s life. J. Ahern has a talent for vivid characters and out-of-the ordinary plots. The Skye in June is fraught with emotions: sadness, laughter, tearfulness, anger. I was left wanting more. I want to know more about June’s life. What happens next in the McDonald family? If I could have given this book a 10, I would.

Jamie L. Craddock

I loved reading this book! I spent a lot of nights up way past my bedtime because I just wanted to read one more chapter.
I'm not Catholic or from the Bay Area, but it was still easy to connect to the characters and the story.
I really felt like I was there with June through the whole book. I got mad with her and I got sad with her. I can't wait to see what happens to June and the rest of her family next (hint hint) :)

V. Bryan

I could not put this book down - Ahern lures her reader into this story by tapping into all of ones emotions... laughter, sadness, perseverance etc... Being born and raised in San Francisco I especially liked reading about the City back in the day. Also, coming from a large Catholic family I could relate to how the MacDonald girls talked and behaved toward each other just as sisters do.

M. Stallings

The Skye in June is a delightful read just in time for summer. The story chronicles a traditional Catholic family's move from Scotland to San Francisco and the changing values of the 1950's and '60's and how secrets from one generation impact the next. The story builds to a surprising conclusion but I was sorry to see the book end and look forward to a sequel.

Ted Ewert

I found this book to be captivating from the first page to the last. It is a thoroughly enjoyable window into the early life of an immigrant family and the dynamics of moving to a new country.
The psychic subplot gives this story a unique flavor that only adds to an already insightful and entertaining book. I would highly recommend this book.


Had it not been for my busy work and school schedule, I would've finished reading 'The Skye in June' weeks ago! Ms. Ahern's writing is enticing and flows well, making the novel an easy, breezy read.

Though I was never brought up with religion nor faced with strict, abusive parenting, I could still identify with many of the characters in the novel. The story telling was so real, so vivid, that I could feel the heartache Cathy felt through her relationships and haunting past; I knew the anger and resentment June held towards her parents, and I am all too familiar with the experiences that each of the MacDonald sisters endured: the fears, the joys, the ups and downs of growing up.

When I first opened the book, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. But as soon as I read the first conversation between Cathy and her husband Jimmy, when he snarled at her, "Me and the lassies need you at home. That's where you belong woman" (Ahern 12), I was hooked. My initial response to the line was something along the lines of, OH hell no, she's not going let him talk to her like that is she? When the simple combination of ink and paper is able to evoke even the slightest emotional reaction from me, that is when I know that the author has successfully used her writing and story telling skills in bringing a story to life.

The Skye in June deserves all five stars and more. The only gripe I have to mention is reading the words "The End." Here's where the book pulled another reaction from me: Oh hell no, she's not going to stop writing there is she? I sure hope not. I have my fingers crossed for a sequel, and while I wait I'm going to give this delightful story another read!

M. Bell

I was given this book as a gift and was skeptical since it's not the kind of story I usually read. But, I truly enjoyed every bit of it. As a native of San Francisco growing up during the same time period the book brought back many memories of the time and my childhood surroundings. It's a good mix of joy and sadness with a healthy dose of fun thrown in. A very good read.

L. Hicks

June's description of San Francisco made it seem that I was walking next to her the entire time. This book was hard to put down. What a warm story about a very young girl learning to accept her psychic gift and trying to fit in with her family and the outside world. I think I will have to give this book a second read.

Patricia Stones

June Ahern's writing style is just like sitting down with her in your kitchen, enjoying a cup of tea, and listening to her unusual life story. The author's writing style flows with ease and colorful descriptions, I can almost feel the damp air on my face on a foggy evening in San Francisco, or inhale the salt-air of the North Sea pounding the shores of the Isle of Sky. Reading about June's struggle as a child, to understand her world around her, experiencing many losses, as well as relishing the love and support from her strongheaded band of sisters, is tender to witness. I love how she fights to maintain her special gifts and develop her psychic powers, with the female support of strong women and girls in her life, against the disapproving authority figures in her family, religion, and community.
Many of the book's characters are representative of immigrants from Europe during the 1950's in San Francisco, and the chronolog of her daily life in Eureka Valley, hiking up and down Castro Street, hanging out on Haight and Ashbury during the 60's, is as good as any to get a "real-life" snapshot of San Francisco history during that era. A very enjoyable read, wishing there was more...

Kathryn D. Bazzoli

June Ahern had me on the first page. Little June, her family and friends,
all became such a part of me. It was as if I had known them all my life.
I was not raised Catholic, nor raised in San Francisco. I am not from a
large family, and have only one sister. So how did I relate so easily and completely with this story? Because June Ahern is an incredible writer. I already miss the characters so much, I have begun reading the book a second time. The only thing I did not like about the story is found at the bottom of the last page, it says "The End".