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Tell the Wolves I'm Home Hardcover – June 19, 2012
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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
Tell the Wolves I'm Home was named one of the Wall Street Journal's Top 10 Novels of 2012, one of Oprah.com's Best Books of 2012, one of Kirkus Reviews' top 100 books of the year, and one of Booklist's Top 10 First Novels of 2012 as well as a 2012 O Magazine Favorite Read. It is also a Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist for Fiction and a Shelf Awareness Reviewer's Choice pick for 2012.
“A dazzling debut novel.” – O Magazine
“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."—The Wall Street Journal
“In this lovely debut novel set in the 1980s, Carol Rifka Brunt takes us under the skin and inside the tumultuous heart of June Elbus…Distracted parents, tussling adolescents, the awful ghost-world of the AIDS-afflicted before AZT—all of it springs to life in Brunt’s touching and ultimately hopeful book.”--People
“[A] transcendent debut… Peopled by characters who will live in readers’ imaginations long after the final page is turned, Brunt’s novel is a beautifully bittersweet mix of heartbreak and hope.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Carol Rifka Brunt’s astonishing first novel is so good, there’s no need to grade on a curve: Tell the Wolves I'm Home is not only one of the best debuts of 2012, it’s one of the best books of the year, plain and simple. In a literary landscape overflowing with coming-of-age stories, Tell the Wolves I'm Home rises above the rest. The narrative is as tender and raw as an exposed nerve, pulsing with the sharpest agonies and ecstasies of the human condition.”—Bookpage
“A poignant debut…Brunt's first novel elegantly pictures the New York art world of the 1980s, suburban Westchester and the isolation of AIDS.”--Kirkus
“In [Tell the Wolves I’m Home], 15-year-old June must come to terms with the death of her beloved uncle Finn, an artist, from AIDS in 1980s New York. …What begins as a wary relationship between former rivals for Finn’s affection blossoms touchingly.”-PW
“[This] gut-wrenching portrayal of a 13-year-old coping with her beloved Uncle Finn’s death from AIDS more than delivers.”—Daily Candy
“[A] striking first outing…Brunt weaves a terrific coming-of-age story, painting a vibrant picture of June’s dreams and insecurities as she teeters on the border between childhood and maturity.”—The Onion A.V. Club
“An uplifting debut novel about loss, love, and unlikely friendships in the midst of the 1980s AIDS epidemic …a literary pleasure read.”—BookBrowse
“[A] beautiful novel of love and loss… accessible, sensitively told, and heartbreaking.”--School Library Journal Blogs (Starred Review)
“If summer reading means being wholly transported to another era, I recommend Carol Rifka Brunt's brilliant and thoughtful debut novel Tell the Wolves I'm Home.”-- David Gutowski, of Largehearted Boy, on The Atlantic Wire
“With this debut novel that flawlessly encapsulates the fragile years during the mid-'80s when the specter of AIDS began to haunt society at large, Carol Rifka Brunt establishes herself as an emerging author to watch…TELL THE WOLVES I'M HOME will undoubtedly be this summer's literary sleeper hit.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Brunt's debut novel is both a painful reminder of the ill-informed responses to a once little-known disease and a delightful romp through an earlier decade. The relationship issues with parents and siblings should appeal to YA audiences, but adult readers will enjoy the suspenseful plot and quirky characters”—Library Journal
“A fresh yet nostalgic debut novel about a 1980s teen who loses a beloved uncle to AIDS but finds herself by befriending his grieving boyfriend. Filled with lost opportunities and second chances, Tell the Wolves I'm Home delivers wisdom, innocence and originality with surprising sweetness. Its cast of waifs and strays will steal your heart as they show each other the way to redemption.” –Shelf Awareness
“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 of Pictures of You
“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 of West of Here
“Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tale as charming and magnetic as the missing character at its heart. It’s a love story of the most unusual kind—several love stories, really—vivid and madly relatable, heartening as well as heartbreaking. Brunt is a captivating storyteller and a wonderful new voice.”—Rebecca Makkai, author of The Borrower
“Not since To Kill A Mockingbird have I read a piece of fiction that so beautifully captures the point of view of a young person, especially one so inspiringly unable to accept the prejudices of others….at turns getting away- with-it exhilarating and pass-the-tissues heartbreaking — but also a testament to the power of secrets kept and revealed.”—Metrosource
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I cannot wait to read another one of Brunt's works. A sequel to this book would be perfect so I could discover how the lives of these characters I grew to love evolve.
This book is rated at the highest scale of the 5 stars!
You have to think from the mind of a young person dealing with the heart first as always and then the different people surrounding her life and what was happening inside each and every one of their hearts, including the person who ever so slowly faded away with the wings of a angel long before the words hit the first page
I miss him now and he was fictitious........ oh by the way sorry about my spelling I'm only human . We all are .
Where is the love ? Nite .
Greta: June's older sister feels that her uncle, Finn, takes away from the closeness that she and her sister once had. Instead of voicing this, she lets her jealousy boil under the surface and it comes across as resentful, detestable, and detached. She feels pressure from her mother to be the perfect child. Without anyone to lean on, she is falling apart and develops a nasty alcohol habit.
Finn: Although he isn't alive through most of this novel, he plays a huge role throughout the entire book. It is basically everyone's relationship with Finn that develops the story.
Toby: Is Finn's partner of 9 years until Finn's death. June doesn't even know that he exists purely because her mother is jealous of him as she believes that if it weren't for him that she would still be close with her brother. Toby is the one who gets blamed for so much when he is just trying to get by day-to-day. Although he presents himself as nothing much in life, I find him to be one of the most compelling characters. He takes the brunt of Finn's family issues with AIDS, purely because of his love for Finn. I feel that he is so endearing and treats June with so much love and tenderness and always offering support that he nestled his way into my heart.
When June's uncle Finn dies, she learns of Toby's existence. Finn left a note for her to take care of Toby and also told Toby to care for June. Although, at times, June is jealous of Toby's relationship with her uncle she has to learn to accept things the way that they are. They also discover how their time together has slowly helped them through their grieving process. June also discovers that although she had never met Toby before, she really had a connection with him after all and didn't even no it at the time.
The title of the book is based on a portrait that Finn painted of June and Greta. As time goes by, just about everyone adds a little something to the painting, and I truly think Finn would have liked it that way since he wanted to portray everyone to their core and not superficially.
This is basically a story about jealousy, grief, and overcoming deep wounds to see what is really below the strong emotions. It is also a story about healing and forgiveness. I don't know if it is because I would basically be the same age as June in the 80's, but I really connected to June's character.
The characters of this novel are wonderfully developed and I felt as though I knew each character individually and could list off every individual idiosyncrasy of their personalities. I was deeply touched by this book and would say that it is definitely one of my favorites.
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