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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 (676 )
5 star
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3.9 (604 )
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3.9 (603 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Sharon 06-19-14
    Sharon 06-19-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Five Stars??? Really?"
    Would you try another book from Carol Rifka Brunt and/or Amy Rubinate?

    No, I would definitely NOT try another book by this author. Very weird story. A fourteen year old in love with her uncle? Absentee parents - her sister is a horrible person. It was all too much to believe. And the narrator? No thank you! Others have described her as very flat and lifeless. That's an understatement.


    What could Carol Rifka Brunt have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    She could have refrained from writing such a ridiculous story.


    What didn’t you like about Amy Rubinate’s performance?

    She was very 'breathy', almost whispering at times, reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe. And very painful to listen to. Much too monotone.


    Any additional comments?

    I still cannot believe I finished this book. I almost never quit a book once I start it. I'm always hopeful something will make it better. Well, this one proved me wrong and only got worse. More than a few times during this book I wanted to move on - I now know that's exactly what I should have done. Spared myself the agony of finishing this awful piece of nonsense. Seriously? A fourteen year old takes a dying aids patient out of a hospital in the middle of the night and brings him to her parents home? Knowing how her parents feel about this man? And the cage in the basement? Who is giving this book five stars? Pranksters?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EviePea48 05-08-14
    EviePea48 05-08-14

    I live, breathe, read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Beautifully textured tale!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Louisville, KY, United States 12-20-13
    Gary Louisville, KY, United States 12-20-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The narrator annoyed me"
    Would you try another book from Carol Rifka Brunt and/or Amy Rubinate?

    I enjoyed the story, but the narrator didn't add the richness they usually do. I was into the story enough to keep listening, but her voice and performance didn't add to the story at all.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the flashbacks the story brought to a time in my life when it was first touched by AIDS and the panic it brought when mentioned. I thought it was a complex story with the potential for strong, defined characters, but I think the writer missed an opportunity and the narrator's whininess left me wishing for someone else performing.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth W. Atlanta, GA 10-18-13
    Elisabeth W. Atlanta, GA 10-18-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    52
    3
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    Story
    "Well-written fiction about an interesting time"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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!


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

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Rock Hill, SC, United States 08-25-13
    Susan Rock Hill, SC, United States 08-25-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tell the book I'm gone!"
    What would have made Tell the Wolves I’m Home better?

    Anything! I found the story excruciating. The endless descriptions of every thought that went through the girl's head about everything and everyone was endless. I constantly found my thoughts wandering and just could not be interested in every thought she was having.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Carol Rifka Brunt again?

    Possibly.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Amy Rubinate?

    Sure.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I don't know. I couldn't finish it.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-27-13
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    "Alex Award Winner"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I wasn't too thrilled with the narrator's voice. She did a great job with the book, but I felt that the voice was just slightly too old for the main character.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was interesting to go back in time and learn what it was like to not understand AIDS, and not just for children, but not even the medical and scientific communities understood what it was yet. It's heartbreaking to think about the trauma AIDS patients suffered at the hands of a society that didn't know yet what to do with this disease.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Olathe, KS, United States 03-24-13
    Jennifer Olathe, KS, United States 03-24-13 Member Since 2010

    Middle aged wife, mother, student and full time worker. I listen to books using my phone, especially when I drive/travel for work.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    5
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    "A Family's Story"
    What made the experience of listening to Tell the Wolves I’m Home the most enjoyable?

    Good story with interesting and believable characters. The setting in a past time frame and references to historic issues of that time were interesting. I was able to reflect on those times and remember them.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Bruner Cleveland, OH 03-11-13
    A. Bruner Cleveland, OH 03-11-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story"

    I enjoyed listening to this book. I was able to connect with the characters, and enjoyed watching how their relationships changed during the course of the book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Picard Manvel, Texas USA 02-11-13
    N. Picard Manvel, Texas USA 02-11-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story addresses a difficult age and topic"
    If you could sum up Tell the Wolves I’m Home in three words, what would they be?

    masterful teenage perspective


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

    This book so perfectly captured the teenage reaction to a new disease in the world that affected the family personally. The relationships, conversations, feelings, and story overall were very believable.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenelle United States 01-30-13
    Jenelle United States 01-30-13 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    1
    1
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    0
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    "Get this book! You will love it."
    What made the experience of listening to Tell the Wolves I’m Home the most enjoyable?

    The book is so engaging that you lose yourself in the sound of the readers voice. I listened every chance I got.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tell the Wolves I’m Home?

    The way the story weaves through the lives of characters is just so well timed.


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

    The freedom to listen to the book when you have to other things such as drive or do a workout at the gym.


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

    Yes, I wanted to listen to the whole thing at once. Unfortunately, my life does not allow that but it was the quickest book I have been through in a while.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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