Title: Tell The Wolves I’m Home
Author: Carol Rifka Brunt
Date finished: 5/16/16
Genre: Fiction, literary fiction
Publisher: Dial Press Trade
Publication Date: 2012
Pages in book: 355
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library
Blurb from the cover:
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.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NAMED A FAVORITE READ BY GILLIAN FLYNN • WINNER OF THE ALEX AWARD
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.
My rating: 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: I read this book for the Terryville Library’s Fiction Lover’s Book Discussion group discussion for this month (May). Also, this book will count towards my “PopSugar 2016 Checklist” reading challenge, marking off the “a New York Times bestseller” square since based on the author’s post it was a bestseller in July 2013. This book tells the story of June Elbus, who befriends her Uncle Finn’s boyfriend Toby after Finn dies of AIDS. June’s sister Greta and their mother also play important roles in this story, as they are also struggling with their own issues. I found it interesting that jealousy was the main emotion that drove the actions of these three characters in the book.
Overall I really liked the book. It was sad but it was also moving and heart-felt and really just a powerful story. June’s feelings for her uncle kind of creeped me out a little bit but I thought it was interesting what Toby said at one point, about how he knows what that strange kind of love feels like. Being gay in the 1980’s was very frowned upon and I thought it was an interesting parallel that the author created between June’s love and how society at the time made Toby feel about his love for Finn. There were a lot of emotions in this book but I like to think that the love between characters really stood out above all the rest. Even when people were acting out of jealousy it was still tinged with love. There were some situations in the book that I found somewhat frustrating but I still very much enjoyed reading this novel.
The bottom line: I liked this book a lot. It was extremely moving and touching. It definitely wasn’t something I would have picked up on my own (without having to read it for book club) but I’m really glad that I read it. I would definitely recommend.
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page