Rating: ***** Suggested Age: 14
Summary: “In this striking literary debut, Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you don’t know you’ve lost someone until you’ve found them. 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. An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.” (Summary found on Goodreads).
This book by Carol Rifka Brunt is absolutely fantastic. I finished it during math class today and while I did shed a few tears, I probably would have bawled if I wasn’t around so many people. This is a very emotional book and for mature readers. Some topics this book handles are AIDS, homosexual relationships, and underage drinking and smoking. With that said, it is an extraordinary story with a deep message behind it all. I fell in love with the characters and rooted for them throughout the whole entire book. I even got that feeling when the story reached its climax and everything seemed to be falling apart that all I wanted was for it all to work out. Though, I knew it wouldn’t because books aren’t like that and life isn’t like that. In life we don’t avoid all the obstacles, we push through them. In life people die, there’s no way to avoid it. I’m thankful that books don’t sugar coat life anymore, that they just show it how it is. Personally, I like a book without a happy ending. Sure, the loose ends are tied up and things are starting to get better, but there are always the sad true-to-life parts. Along with all that, Brunt also writes extremely well. Every sentence made me fall in love over and over with the novel. She tells this story brilliantly and in such a fashion that puts an image in your head of not only the main action, but everything else happening on the sidelines. She doesn’t just write about the main character sitting in her room, she writes about the sirens in the distance that may have no affect on the plot line, but make you feel like you’re sitting right there with her. Not many writers can do that and I applaud the ones who do. This book is marvelous. I could go on and on all day about Tell the Wolves I’m Home. I recommend this book to every single human being out there (unless you’re under the age of 14).