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.
“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)
The narrator was fantastic. I didn't know what to expect with this book, but I am so glad I gave it a listen. I don't know that I have ever read or listened to a book that was so touching. That felt so personal, honest and private.
Had this been categorized as a YA novel as it should have been i'm sure I would have passed on it. However, It wasn't so bad I could't finish it and most of it was pretty good. This said, it is, at times, overly dramatic and filled with the all the pathos of the teen years. For those who appreciate those qualities it is probably a very good read (listen).
Vague. The author missed a great opportunity to expand on the characters and how their relationships to each other affected the plot. Without giving anything away, important events involving a minor are glossed over. I felt there were two concurrent plots and although one was addressed, the second one never developed.
I felt like I was in the midst of a circular argument as told from an immature person's perspective.
I really liked Toby, and how he tried to connect with the young girl he didn't know so she could still have a piece of her uncle, and so could he.
Probably the ending... I can't say why without spoiling it.
This is a coming of age story with an interesting twist-it's set in a time when the aids epidemic is new and scary, and it's based around a young girl who's whole world is entirely altered by it.
Having lived in a time when this sad disease has been around for a long time, it was interesting to hear how it would have been for someone back then when it was new and had yet to have any kind of treatment for, and it was very sad to hear about how it altered her relationships and shook up her entire family. The heartbreak from the death and secrecy really makes this a not-so-typical coming of age story, however there are quite a few things thrown in that brings it back down to that category. Things such as learning to deal with their parents and being a "latchkey kid", fighting and growing distance between siblings, and learning more about boys and growing up than you expect to at fourteen.
Don't let that fool you, the main character has anything but normal relationships and feelings-some of which are a little worrisome and some of which account for those awkward teenage years.
Don't expect a very happy ending...
Still, it's a good read and I would recommend it.
What the girls do the painting had me on the edge of my seat. It was imaginative and crazy. I liked the story line and the intimate glimpse into the start of the AIDS epidemic.
I’ve been playing this weird reading game with the books in my personal library lately. I don’t ever buy books on a whim. I usually either know what they’re about, or have heard of them through a second hand source, like a review or an NPR author interview. In the last few years however, my memory has gotten very shoddy, so I’m starting to have a hard time remembering why I bought certain books, or what they’re even about without reading the dust jacket. That’s where the dangerous fun comes into play! I’ve stopped reading my dust jackets! I know, right? Crazy book lady has gotten in over her heard. I’m just picking them up and reading them. Who the heck does that?
This Russian Reading Roulette game motivated me to pick up Tell the Wolves I’m Home. Days after finishing it, I’m still wondering what the heck I just read. I don’t even know how to talk about it. Is that weird? Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome book! I think I’m probably just suffering from sensory overload. It is a thickly layered book about family, first loves, friendship, and so many other things. I also felt like it was told in an odd sort of modern day fairy tale way. Well, sort of modern. It’s set in 1987—thus the basis of its appeal! So there you have it. A review that tells you almost nothing about what this book is about. If I’ve piqued your curiosity, then good! Maybe this book will motivate you to play the game, too.
I especially enjoy historical mysteries. I don't like to know how things end before I begin.
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
I was born in the mid-80s, so the beginning of the AIDS epidemic is something I'm familiar with but don't know much about. This book really shined a light on that time for me without making the story about the disease. Instead, the book focused on what it means to be a family (in the most authentic, least saccharine way) and did an amazing job of describing how confusing and challenging it can be to be an adolescent at any time. This was a great book, and I'd recommend it to anyone – even if it wasn't typically their thing!
This is typically not the kind of book I'd pick up, so I don't have any other books to compare it to. But I'd seen positive reviews of it on some book blogs I follow and decided to listen to the audio version; I'm glad I did!
In recommending it to a friend, I sent the following quote: “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 of West of Here
That captured my feelings about the book exactly.
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