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Tell the wolves I'm home : a novel (edition 2012)

by Carol Rifka Brunt

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1,4241235,301 (4.15)79
Member:twinkley
Title:Tell the wolves I'm home : a novel
Authors:Carol Rifka Brunt
Info:New York : Dial Press, c2012.
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:coming of age

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Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

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Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
This is a beautiful book filled with huge ideas and emotions lying right under the surface, like a picture painted over. ( )
  mlake | Apr 28, 2015 |
This is a tough book for me to rate. At a time when I’m finding it difficult to get through most books, it completely held my attention and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If it weren’t for a couple issues I might have given it 5 stars, but because of those issues I almost downgraded it to 3 stars.

It’s a beautifully written book. There are many memorable and lovely lines, so much insight in just a few words. I love the voice of the main character narrator, June. She is so engaging and interesting, and she’s a good storyteller. She is a believable 14 year old girl. I also really like some of the complexity of the other characters, even though the revelations never took me by surprise; in fact, the sister character I suspected what unfolded, but the way things were unveiled was well done. I appreciated how the sister-friend rivalry transpired, even though it was predictable, and even though it definitely veered into what I consider to be severe bullying, but I know that can happen in families. New York City and the 1980s were done to perfection and I had fun reliving certain things, even though at that time I was much older than the narrator, and even though one of the things was sad.

Some of what happened in the various relationships (and with the painting, etc. etc.) were awfully heavy handed with the symbolism but I forgave that. Everything was wrapped up a little too neatly, especially at the end, but I can forgive that too.

A couple things almost ruined the book for me though.

The cigarettes Toby gave to June when she was only 14, not only even just once but regularly, left me not liking Toby as much as I would have otherwise, or as much as I think the author intended for her readers. It drove me crazy. But hey, I’d have been angry at Toby for simply smoking around June and exposing her to secondhand smoke. The constant cigarette dispensing had me infuriated. The alcohol didn’t bother me as much, but it coming from the other kids disturbed me much less than the alcohol that came from the adult, an adult who was supposed to be watching out for her.

Also, a second thing, the whole being in love with the uncle and then being sort of in love with the uncle’s widower boyfriend seemed weird to me, not that a girl could have sexual/romantic feelings for an unattainable adult, as that happens all the time, but just the way it was written, for me, there were some false notes.


I’d had this book on my to read list and wanted to read it. I got to it because my real world book club is reading it. A couple friends have told me that they cried at the end. I didn’t; I was moved but not to the point of shedding tears. I did frequently smile at many points in the story. Overall, I really liked the book. ( )
  Lisa2013 | Apr 24, 2015 |
I shed tears reading this book. On the Mary scale of tear jerks it ranks on the high end of the sweet setting. As a matter of fact it was a terribly sweet and touching book. It's difficult to realize how ignorant we all were in the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and how those first victims suffered. During the time frame of this book the drug of AZT had yet to be made available to those so sick.

Anyway, a coming of age book that is slightly dated but in a good way. Who doesn't like an era where we had no cells phones and Dungeons and Dragons were are the high school rage? ( )
  Alphawoman | Apr 7, 2015 |
I'm speechless over this beautiful book. I'll be thinking about this book for a long time. The way this author writes is like a painting in itself, with each character skillfully and artistically drawn, and the writing masterful and thought- provoking and stunning. I need to savor her artistry and can't wait to read more by her. Even the title is exquisitely perfect for this lovely piece of art. ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
I'm speechless over this beautiful book. I'll be thinking about this book for a long time. The way this author writes is like a painting in itself, with each character skillfully and artistically drawn, and the writing masterful and thought- provoking and stunning. I need to savor her artistry and can't wait to read more by her. Even the title is exquisitely perfect for this lovely piece of art. ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Maddy, Oakley, and Julia
First words
My sister, Greta, and I were having our portrait painted by our uncle Finn that afternoon because he knew he was dying.
Quotations
You could try to believe what you wanted, but it never worked. Your brain and your heart decided what you were going to believe and that was that. Whether you liked it or not.
You could never see any wolves in there. They hid, probably trying to pretend they weren't in a cage. Probably knowing that they looked just like plain old dogs when they were behind bars.
The gold in our hair looked so perfect right then, and I knew we both saw it. We could see the way it made us look like the closest of sisters. Girls made of exactly the same stuff.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679644199, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2012: In Tell the Wolves I’m Home, Carol Rifka Brunt has made a singular portrait of the late-‘80s AIDS epidemic’s transformation of a girl and her family. But beyond that, she tells a universal story of how love chooses us, and how flashes of our beloved live through us even after they’re gone. Before her Uncle Finn died of an illness people don’t want to talk about, 14-year-old June Elbus thought she was the center of his world. A famous and reclusive painter, Finn made her feel uniquely understood, privy to secret knowledge like how to really hear Mozart’s Requiem or see the shape of negative space. When he’s gone, she discovers he had a bigger secret: his longtime partner Toby, the only other person who misses him as much as she does. Her clandestine friendship with Toby—who her parents blame for Finn’s illness—sharpens tensions with her sister, Greta, until their bond seems to exist only in the portrait Finn painted of them. With wry compassion, Brunt portrays the bitter lengths to which we will go to hide our soft underbellies, and how summoning the courage to be vulnerable is the only way to see through to each other’s hungry, golden souls. --Mari Malcolm

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:58 -0400)

It is 1987, and only one person has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus -- 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.… (more)

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