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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 (440 )
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3.9 (399 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lynn Brookline, NH, United States 07-29-13
    Lynn Brookline, NH, United States 07-29-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    victoria sandusky, oh, United States 06-19-13
    victoria sandusky, oh, United States 06-19-13 Member Since 2011
    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
  •  
    Cynthia Pennsylvania 05-14-14
    Cynthia Pennsylvania 05-14-14 Member Since 2012

    Long commute; lots of books.

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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!


    1 of 1 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
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    "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


    1 of 1 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
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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.

    1 of 1 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
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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


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather United States 10-02-12
    Heather United States 10-02-12 Member Since 2011
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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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robbie United States 10-15-13
    Robbie United States 10-15-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mesmerizing!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have and would - bought the Kindle book for my best friend for her birthday! Although the protagonist was a teenage girl, I was wrapped up in the story, and was really able to see the natural progression of the actions and plot, and not get caught up in why people made the choices they made. I loved the way facts came forward over the course of the story, and the way characters interacted. I didn't know what to expect when I started the book, and soon found I couldn't stop until I was finished the whole thing! Very interested to read more from this author!


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

    Her voice was really unique, and added to the uniqueness of the story. I found her to be a really great fit for the narration of this story!


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 06-10-13
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 06-10-13 Member Since 2010

    I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    142
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    168
    161
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    10
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    "Keep No Secrets"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes but first I would encourage the friend to listen to the narrator first. The plot is good, the characters are well developed and the story is also a learning experience.


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

    When June was able to tell Toby that she loved him.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Amy Rubinate’s performances?

    No. The voice of June was spoken in a monotone. Her voice would at times cause my stomach to do flip-flops. I would put aside my ipod and take a break. By doing this, I was able to finish the novel. I enjoyed the novel enough that I did get to the end of the book.


    Do you think Tell the Wolves I’m Home needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. The book was complete with its ending.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the coming of age for June. I was pleased with how the subject of aids was discussed. Toby, who was the partner of Finn, June's god-father, uncle and best friend were the three pivotal characters of the book. Before Finn died from aids, he expressed a heart felt desire for Toby to help June to understand who Toby was to Finn. June had to sneak away to see Toby because her mother, Danny, did not approve of Toby. She blamed Toby for giving the aid's virus to her brother, Finn. After many trips to the city of Manhattan, June and Toby did become good friends. He answered questions, shared places he and Finn liked to visit, explained that his and Finn's apartment was filled with all that was of both himself and her Uncle Finn. These were a few of the ways that Toby imparted to June just how much Toby and Finn shared love. June's sister, Greta, was nasty towards June because of the close relationship June and Finn shared. Spending time with Toby did teach June just how important Finn felt towards her whole family and not just her. Having been able to understand so much more about her life by learning about Toby and Finn's relationship, she struggled through the many avenues of not understanding how coming of age brings with it the ability to understand and believe in the strength of love. June was able to take back all that she had learned from Toby, especially the meaning of love, and she became the catalyst that brought her family together as one.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dina LAKE ZURICH, IL, United States 12-16-12
    Dina LAKE ZURICH, IL, United States 12-16-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    166
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    113
    55
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    25
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    Story
    "Need to Suspend Reality for this one"
    What did you like best about Tell the Wolves I’m Home? What did you like least?

    This was definitely a creative story of a young girl's relationship with her uncle/godfather and his partner - both who die of AIDS. It is also the story of intense sibling rivalry. The writing was good, though at times repetitive. I usually love coming of age tales, but there was something about this novel that just didn't work for me. I think it was because most of the story was realistic, while parts of the story required you to suspend reality. I think that the combination didn't work.


    Would you recommend Tell the Wolves I’m Home to your friends? Why or why not?

    Young Adult readers.


    Which character – as performed by Amy Rubinate – was your favorite?

    Main character.


    Do you think Tell the Wolves I’m Home needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, didn't think it was compelling enough to warrant a sequel.


    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
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