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Tell the Wolves I'm Home

by Carol Rifka Brunt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,6252493,539 (4.09)155
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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English (243)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (248)
Showing 1-5 of 243 (next | show all)
I wasn't super thrilled with this title. I kept getting really distracted by the protagonist's thoughts and actions that I didn't agree with. I understand that she might be a maturing teenager, but I liked EVERY OTHER CHARACTER in this story more than her. ( )
  Connverser | Apr 25, 2024 |
Family
  BooksInMirror | Feb 19, 2024 |
Excellent debut novel of a family dealing with the loss of their brother/uncle of AIDS. KIRKUS REVIEWBrunt's first novel elegantly pictures the New York art world of the 1980s, suburban Westchester and the isolation of AIDS.Fourteen-year-old June and 16-year-old Greta travel to Manhattan every few Sundays to be with Finn, their uncle. Finn is a renowned artist, dying of a largely unknown disease, and claims he wants to give them this last gift, though more likely it is the contact he craves. June and Finn have an intense relationship¥he is charismatic and brilliant and takes her to special places; he is part magic and part uncle, and June adores him. Greta is jealous; she feels Finn favors June and stole her away. When he dies, June is devastated. At the funeral they see the one not to be mentioned: Finn?s lover, Toby. June?s mother refuses to admit him to the service and blames him for her baby brother?s disease. Slowly, June and Toby develop a secret friendship, indulging their grief and keeping Finn alive through the exchange of memories. What she thought was simply Finn?s apartment she discovers was their shared space, and much of what she loved about the place, and Finn, belongs to Toby. As she and Toby embark on Finn-worthy adventures, Greta is slowly falling apart, hiding in the woods drunk, sabotaging her chance at a summer stint on Broadway. Finn?s portrait of the girls, worth nearly $1 million, is kept in a bank vault, and every time June visits (only she and Greta have keys) she notices additions to the painting that could only come from Greta. With Toby dying and Greta in danger, June lifts the covers off all of her family?s secrets.There is much to admire in this novel. The subtle insight on sibling rivalry and the examination of love make for a poignant debut.Pub Date: June 19th, 2012ISBN: 978-0-679-64419-4Page count: 368ppPublisher: Dial PressReview Posted Online: June 17th, 2012Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2012
  bentstoker | Jan 26, 2024 |
I'm torn between 4 and 5 stars.

I loved this story - I fell in love with the voice right away and enjoyed the story despite its sadness.

The reason I don't want to hand out 5 stars is because I had some trouble wrapping my head around Greta and really understanding the origins of the June/Finn relationship but I think details and facts matter less than the feelings and the feelings are clear and strong.

Can't wait to see what this author will come up with next. ( )
  hmonkeyreads | Jan 25, 2024 |
What a beautiful story– a unique and ultimately uplifting plot.
But my god. The number of words to get there. The self-indulgent, minuscule observances and thoughts of the protagonist, June. The superficial vitriol in both the mother and the sister lacks all nuance.
It's possible I am more harsh on the prose because I did not like the reader of the audiobook. Though skilled, I frequently found the voices she (or the producer?) chose for the characters annoying and difficult to listen to. Her men's voices are spot on, but all the women's voices in the book grate across my nerves.
I wish there were another version of this story– without the heavy-handed 80s references, without the meandering sentences that are supposed to give the reader an idea of June's inner life. (I think that's the author's intention, anyway.) I'd love to have the story that the author create told in other words and rhythms.
I'm glad I read it because of the plot, but it was hard to get to the plot through all the words. ( )
  deliriumshelves | Jan 14, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 243 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carol Rifka Bruntprimary authorall editionscalculated
Molev, VladimirTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Maddy, Oakley, and Julia
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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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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.

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