Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt - 355 pages
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.
My Review: 5 stars
This book totally took me by surprise and such a lovely surprise at that. The protagonist of this story is so believable, likeable and such a welcome brand of odd that you can easily picture her walking down the halls of her high school. The story is based on the unconditional love between family members, who is okay to love?, the making and breaking of art, the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the US and of course like all good stories: secrets and lies. This book kept me flipping the pages and I really didn’t want it to end. The author had a perfect understanding of the eighties and definitely didn’t overuse that knowledge. Throwing Trivial Pursuit, Dungeons and Dragons and the styles of clothes were right on. This is a fabulous coming of age story and would be a great read for a high school english class. There is so much symbolism to be discussed and dissected. I’m looking forward to reading more from this talented author.
Quotes I liked:
- “The bed was warm and ordinary and perfect, and it had been such a long, long day. Probably the longest day of my life. I felt like I had proof that not all days are the same length, not all time has the same weight. Proof that there are worlds and worlds and worlds on top of worlds, if you want them to be there.”
- “Don’t you know? That’s the secret. If you always make sure you’re exactly the person you hoped to be, if you always make sure you know only the very best people, then you won’t care if you die tomorrow.” “That doesn’t make any sense. If you were so happy, then you’d want to stay alive, wouldn’t you? You’d want to be alive forever, so you could keep being happy.”
“No, no. It’s the most unhappy people who want to stay alive, because they think they haven’t done everything in they want to do. They think they haven’t had enough time. They feel like they’ve been shortchanged.”
- I thought of all the different kinds of love in the world. I could think of ten without even trying. The way parents love their kid, the way you love a puppy or chocolate ice cream or home or your favorite book or your sister. Or your uncle. there’s those kinds of loves and there’s the other kind. The falling kind.”
- “ There was something so electric about it. So dangerous. Those little touches were everything. I lived for them. You can build a whole world around the tiniest of touches. Did you know that? Can you imagine?”
Tags: Fiction, 2012, Coming Of Age, Sisters
Labels: 2012, Coming Of Age, Fiction, Sisters