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Tell the Wolves I’m Home: A Novel | [Carol Rifka Brunt]

Tell the Wolves I’m Home: A Novel

1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life - someone who will help her to heal....
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Publisher's Summary

In this striking literary debut, Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you don’t know you’ve lost someone until you’ve found them.

1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life - someone who will help her to heal and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.

Carol Rifka Brunt’s work has appeared in several literary journals, including the North American Review and the Sun. In 2006 she was one of three fiction writers who received a New Writing Ventures Award, and in 2007 she received a generous Arts Council England grant to write Tell the Wolves I’m Home, her first novel. Originally from New York, she currently lives in England with her husband and three children.

©2012 Carol Silverman (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A gorgeously evocative novel about love, loss, and the ragged mysteries of the human heart, all filtered through the achingly real voice of a remarkable young heroine. How can you not fall in love with a book that shows you how hope can make a difference?” (Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author)

“Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a charming, sure-handed, and deeply sympathetic debut. Brunt writes about family, adolescence, and the human heart with great candor, insight, and pathos.” (Jonathan Evison, New York Times bestselling author)

“Tremendously moving…Brunt strikes a difficult balance, imbuing June with the disarming candor of a child and the melancholy wisdom of a heart-scarred adult.” (Wall Street Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (505 )
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  •  
    Cynthia 05-14-14
    Cynthia 05-14-14

    Long commute; lots of books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Terrible Narrator!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the story and its themes. It brought me back to a time when I was a young woman. That said, I just couldn't stomach the narrator. She was so flat and lifeless. I just got a recommendation from Audible for another book I might enjoy, which is probably true, except that Amy Rubinate is the narrator. I'll skip that one!


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barbara United States 01-22-14
    barbara United States 01-22-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Moving future classic"

    We'll written from start to finish. No student should leave high school without reading this and talking about it in English class. As the fifteen year old narrator reflects on her complicated family relationships we learn about her as well as her parents, her sister, her uncle and his partner. The characters are complex and beautifully revealed by the author Carol Rifka Brunt. In Brunt's hands the AIDs crisis of the 80s is sensitively and gently handled. Having lived in the New York City area I found the portrayal of a young girl coming of age near the City and dealing with the loss of her gifted uncle to AIDS to be credible and deeply engaging. I am looking forward to Brunt's next effort

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Brookline, NH, United States 07-29-13
    Lynn Brookline, NH, United States 07-29-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    138
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    "Authentic and Compelling"

    This book goes back to the 80s when fear and ignorance about AIDS brought out the worst in people. That is the backdrop to this story, but the heart of it is about love and acceptance.

    June, the main character, is a fifteen year old girl coping with the loss of her uncle - the one person she felt truly understood her and accepted her for who she was. It is about the loss of her sister as the two girls, once extremely close, begin to make their separate ways in the world. And, it is about the loss of her image of her mother as she starts to see her as a person, complete with flaws. June has to let go of these things to be able to accept herself.

    At the same time she is letting go, a new friend comes into her life. This person sees her clearly, in a way that unnerves her and puts the question of who she is and who she is capable of loving front and center.

    The author handles the intensity of these relationships and the depth of emotions in a gentle and authentic way, allowing you to feel the pain of those adolescent years as you experience June's struggles. The voice of the character (and the narrator) rings true, and I found myself lost in the story and brought back to experiences in my life where acceptance by others was as crucial as acceptance of myself.

    I highly recommend this book. I appreciated that it touched on heavy subjects without becoming maudlin. It is well-paced, well-read, and easy to become immersed in.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon High Point, NC, United States 03-01-14
    Shannon High Point, NC, United States 03-01-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    24
    15
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    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "A picture is worth a million words"
    Would you listen to Tell the Wolves I’m Home again? Why?

    Tell the Wolves I'm Home was very interesting and an easy listen but, I'm undecided on if I would listen to it again. The narrators voice seemed very electronic and flat at times which really threw me off at times. Perhaps I would read the book though.


    What other book might you compare Tell the Wolves I’m Home to and why?

    I could not compare this story with any other that I have read personally.


    Did Amy Rubinate do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes, when it came to the characters Amy Rubinate performed awesomely at making each character his or her own. However the generic narration would be a bit flat and monotone at times, it sounded like a operator recording.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Love Against All Odds


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara FT LARAMIE, WY, United States 09-04-13
    Barbara FT LARAMIE, WY, United States 09-04-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Love"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I was so moved with this book it brought tears to my eyes more than once. At the same time I laughed out loud too! loved it threw and threw.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gretta


    Have you listened to any of Amy Rubinate’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    N/A


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Oh my goodness yes


    Any additional comments?

    Read it you'll love it too. MOVING.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHRIS Tavares, FL, United States 07-26-13
    CHRIS Tavares, FL, United States 07-26-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    12
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    1
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    "Coming of age in early days of AIDS"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    to my female and gay friends. not a guy book


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    June;


    What does Amy Rubinate bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    love her womanchild voice


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes, but at over 12 hours, that wasnt possible


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "MOVING"
    If you could sum up Tell the Wolves I’m Home in three words, what would they be?

    READ IT WITH YOUR SISTER


    What does Amy Rubinate bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I ENJOY THIS NARRATOR


    Any additional comments?

    THIS STORY COVERS THE LOST OF A LOVED ONE, THE HORROR OF AIDS, THE LOVE BETWEEN SIBLINGS, AND HOW LOVE CAN HEAL YOUR WOUNDED HEART. I SPENT A LOT OF TIME CRYING ( I SUGGEST A BOX OF TISSUES)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather United States 10-02-12
    Heather United States 10-02-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Truly excellent and the narrator is superb"

    I was so sorry when this book ended! I intend to find more books narrated by Amy Rubinate. She is excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth 10-15-14
    Beth 10-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    15
    8
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    "Just Leaves Me Flat"

    I thought the themes and characters of this book would appeal to me, but after almost 20 chapters I just can't keep going right now. I'll try to finish it some other time, and will update this review if I change my mind, but it just doesn't stack up. Mostly, I think, it's the narrator. Hard to put my finger on what I don't like about her, but I just can't get to like her voice or way of reading. Too 'breathy" I saw her described in another review, and I agree with that. But also something about her cadences and intonation - too dramatic for some parts, too flat for others? Not really sure how to describe it, but it doesn't work for me.

    And the story is slow. You can kind of guess where it's going but it's taking a really long time to get there, with no clear reason for all the stuff in the meantime. And some parts of the plot and some characters' words and actions seem two-dimensional, not nuanced enough, and/or unrealistic. Greta is too uniformly cruel and creepy to June, the mom is not engaged with her kids or the brother in the way one would be under the cirvcumstances, the dad might as well have been left out so far, there's been so little about him. And they all have attitudes about AIDS that seem really dated for a novel from 2012. Maybe it's the difference between the world I inhabit and the "real" world, but I think we've come a ways since most people saw gays and AIDS in this light.

    Might be more appealing to teens.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle san diego, CA, United States 06-23-14
    Michelle san diego, CA, United States 06-23-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    91
    ratings
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    167
    51
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    4
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    "Frankly, I could care less about these characters"

    While the writing is excellent, I found myself not caring what happened to either self-absorbed sister and while yes, the author does perfectly capture what it's like to have a sister you both love and hate - in the end I just couldn't wait for the book to end. Narration was monotone and off as others have mentioned, it frequently took me out of the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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