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Tell the Wolves I'm Home Paperback – June 4, 2013
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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
About the Author
Carol Rifka Brunt’s work has appeared in several literary journals, including North American Review and The Sun. In 2006, she was one of three fiction writers who received the New Writing Ventures award and, in 2007, she received a generous Arts Council grant to write Tell the Wolves I’m Home, her first novel. Originally from New York, she currently lives in England with her husband and three children.
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June soon discovers that Finn had a longtime partner named Toby; June's mother forced Finn to not reveal his existence as a condition for spending time with June and her sister Greta. The friendship that develops between June and Toby is the catalyst to heal them both...if only they will let it.
It's a heartwarming book yet it seems to me that Tell The Wolves I'm Home works better as YA (young adult) literature. It has all the elements: teen protagonists, a theme that is subordinated to more tangible aspects of plot, setting and character, very telegraphed messages, and an educational aspect about what it was like to be gay at the advent of the AIDS epidemic. The message is one of tolerance and forgiveness - a message that is too often lacking in the country today. If I were reviewing this book as YA literature, I might have very well 5-starred it.
But I came into the book with other expectations. There are some fine portrayals here; June's testy relationship with her slightly older sister, Greta, is quite authentic. The unveiling of family secrets and motivations is likewise compelling. And the backdrop of the 1980s - a time of many anxieties and also possibilities - works nicely.
My rating is based solely on my own reading experience and should not distract other readers from picking up this book about two lonely people, trying to come to terms with their grief. Many readers/reviewers I respect connected far better than I did.
The world has some real difficulties, genocide, femicide, economies collapsing, and yet we are told that another book on gay prejudice and Aids is relevant and worth our money and time.
No other group in the United States has so corrupted and co-opted the media as has the gay community. And no other group has been so willing to take up their cause as have women. Weird because gays and women's rights are wholly antithetical to each other. The gay community promotes their form of sex (being the "backdoor" as it were), as just so much fun. And women have bought into this. And yet for women, there are few things that can so endanger the health. Most women, being much smaller than men, aren't made for "backdoor" sex, and of course, the whole combination of that "stuff" from the backdoor and sex are, according to nature, to be separated. One wonders if women have any brains left at all.
As usual, I was looking for a great read, but won't read this one because more claptrap about the poor suffering gay community is not on my list of sufferings that deserve commiseration. When the gay community decides to grow-up and be circumspect and responsible regarding sex, then there won't be any Aids. And now according to news reports, a new form of meningitis is being unleashed within the gay community. Soon to reach heterosexuals if history is our guide.
Please, there are other topics much more deserving of our concern and care.
This story is beyond the pale.
A 14 year old girl and her beloved uncles lover become friends during their grieving process. The girl goes around with totally no adult supervision and lives in an affluent suburb of NY, unbelievable but possibly a frequent situation. It was such an unlikely story, why was a 30 year old man running around with a 14 year old. You may say love comes in different forms etc etc but this story turned my stomach, as a parent and grandmother.