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Tell the Wolves I'm Home [Kindle Edition]

Carol Rifka Brunt
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 once inseparable older sister, June can only be herself in Finn's company; he is her godfather, confident, and best friend. So when he dies far too young of a mysterious illness that June’s mother can barely bring herself to discuss, June's world is turned upside down.

At the funeral, she notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd, and a few days later, June 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.

A the two begin to spend time together, June realises she's not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he might just be the one she needs the most.

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.

Product Description


Advance praise for "Tell the Wolves I'm Home"

"[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)

"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"

"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 turns getting away- with-it exhilarating and pass-the-tissues heartbreaking -- but also a testament to the power of secrets kept and revealed." --"Metrosource"

'An astonishingly assured debut, set in 1980s New York at the height of the Aids crisis... It s a bittersweet tale of unrequited love, family portraits and uncovered secrets' --
Marie Claire s Good Book Club choice

'Almost painfully fine-tuned, this rite-of-passage novel draws us into the unspeakable gap between nostalgia for childhood and the fascinating horrors of adulthood' --Psychologies

'This debut is moving and tender' --We Love This Book

'I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel. Well written and a very thought-provoking read... A well-balanced and inspiring coming-of-age novel.' --New Books magazine

'Carol Rifka Brunt s amazing novel explores life after the loss of a loved one.'
--Featured in The Style List in Stylist magazine

'This beautifully written coming-of-age story is moving and original' --Irish Times

'In this tremendous first novel, Rifka Brunt masterfully uses the subject of forbidden love in a portrayal of grief worked through and identity discovered through facing the truth. Beautifully written with compassion and insight, Tell The Wolves I m Home must be one of the stars of 2012. A must for your book-list.' --Red Online

'It s quite different from many of the books I read and almost the polar opposite of Fifty Shades but it more than deserves the buzz. It s set in the mid- 80s, when HIV and Aids were just becoming words people understand. June is 14 when her uncle Finn dies from Aids. Before his death, the celebrated artist paints a portrait of her and her 16-year-old sister Greta, and this painting becomes the heart of her story. What follows is a heart-breaking, insightful novel, in which both June and Greta struggle to come to terms with their confused feelings over their uncle, their parents, boys, and even their sisterly rela --Fabulous Magazine blog

"A beautifully written tale" --Heat

"A unique, magically rendered friendship ... As painful on the trials of adolescence as it is about impending mortality" --Guardian

"No one is more devastated than June when her Uncle Finn dies of Aids, or so she thinks until she meets his partner Toby. How, though, can they ever cosole each other when her family blames Toby for Finn s untimely death."
--Must-read literary fiction round-up in Sunday Express


'[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)

'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 Reviews)

'Set at the height of the Aids crisis, this is a touching debut.' (The Daily Express)

'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)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 899 KB
  • Print Length: 367 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007L24PII
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,447 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful debut novel 7 Jun. 2012
This is a wonderful story about the close bond between a young girl, fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and her inspirational uncle, the noted artist Finn Weiss. He's the only person that June feels she can share her secrets with, and reveal her true self to. When Finn passes away, June finds herself adrift, wondering how her life can possibly go on without Finn being a part of it. Then June meets Finn's partner Toby, who has never been mentioned to June before, and a new friendship is slowly formed which will alter the way she views herself and her late uncle. They are both lonely, struggling to cope with life without Finn, united in the immense loss and grief they share.

It is also about siblings, and the changing relationship between June and Greta as they grow up, having lost the closeness they once shared, both wanting it back but seemingly unable to rediscover it from under all the layers of jealousy and misunderstanding.

This is a lovely, sincere, warm-hearted book, with a story rooted in the early days of AIDS awareness, when misconceptions abounded and most people didn't openly discuss the illness. It is about our perceptions of people, the judgements we make, and how we can discover so much about ourselves and those close to us through the most unlikely friendships and in the most unexpected places.

I found this a profoundly moving novel, and a highly accomplished and heartfelt debut.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and compassionate 2 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Fourteen-year-old June Elbus is not a typical teenager. Growing up in the late 1980's, she is shy and slightly geeky, daydreaming about living in medieval times, often disappearing into the local woods in an effort to make this a reality. The relationship with her older sister, Greta is now distant, and their parents are often absent from the scene as they immerse themselves in their work. The only person she is close to is her Uncle Finn; he is her best friend, her godfather, the only person who fully understands her. He introduces June to music, opera, theatre and art, and when Finn dies of a mysterious illness that no-one will discuss, June is grief-stricken. A few days after the funeral a man she has glimpsed briefly there hand delivers a package. Inside is the beautiful teapot she recognises as Finn's and a note from Toby, the stranger at the funeral asking June to meet him. So begins a strange and moving friendship, as June struggles to come to terms with her loss, a loss she is unable to discuss with anyone.

June's naivety is endearing, and that, along with her flashes of insight and wisdom make a compelling character. And who can help but love Finn and Toby? In fact all the characters are believable and sympathetic.

I loved this book not only for its beautifully written characters, but for its compassion. I was gripped from the first page and was actually quite sad to finish it and leave these people behind.

Most definitely an author to watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different... Well-crafted and intelligent debut 19 Mar. 2013
By K. J. Noyes TOP 100 REVIEWER
Very good; a moving and insightful story.

June's uncle is dying of AIDS. Before he dies, he paints a portrait of June and her sister Greta. June's family, including her increasingly bitter and distant sister, all blame his partner Toby for her uncle's death. June doesn't know what to think, and then she receives a letter from Toby asking to meet her.

Unique and beautiful, this book surprised me with the way the plot turned and flowed. There is a well-drawn relationship between the sisters, and plenty of characters to feel sympathy for and want to read more about. This isn't a choice for a light summer read but a great one for reading groups wanting to get their teeth into quite meaty issues; death, illness, family, love. What role does the painting of the sisters play in the book? It means different things to each person.
I couldn't understand the author's choice of setting though, as setting the story at the start of the AIDS epidemic didn't ring true. 80s references seemed forced in there to give the context, and I thought the idea of a family member dying from AIDS would have been almost the same now, as it was there seemed to be very little prejudice anyway from other characters towards the gay men. Just a few references to songs, books and films as well.
Still, the characters were robust and the ending bittersweet. I can almost see the painting...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful first novel 1 Dec. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found this novel had a haunting quality to it. A very easy read, I made myself slow down to savour its complexities.

I agree with much of the praise for this book. I especially liked the way that Carol Rifka Brunt helps us to see what it was that Finn saw in the two people he seemed to care most about in the world, his 14 year old niece June, and his lover of 10 years Toby. Neither at first meeting are particularly charismatic!

I love the light she casts on the complexities of bereavement, and the competitive feelings we can sometimes have about a dead person's affections. In fact, she's excellent at making you actually feel every situation her characters find themselves in.
This is quite a special ability in a novelist. All her characters are most sensitively treated.

Finn was forced by his sister to lie about his life, something that will be familiar to many gay people. Toby's resulting invisibility to June and the family was extremely movingly described and rather shocking, and made the final chapters all the more satisfying. So often in this novel, people have their own parallel worlds because it isn't OK to be yourself. I like the way only some of those worlds have been reconciled by the end of the book. I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to find out how June's life works out and whether she fulfills the potential her uncle Finn clearly thought she had?

A wonderful first novel (should be 4.5 stars). Perhaps a little drawn out in the final chapters, but always an engrossing read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Seller highly recommended
Everything went smoothly. Seller highly recommended.
Published 3 days ago by Kate
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of love, loss and jealousy
This is a strange novel about an unusual topic. Told in the first person by June, aged fourteen, it tells the story of her grief over the death from AIDS of her beloved uncle Finn,... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Frances Stott
What a lovely book to read - wasn't quite sure it was my type of book [recommended read by "reading group"] but it was really enjoyable. Read more
Published 24 days ago by JB, Liverpool
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
all great
Published 1 month ago by D C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Tell the Wolves I'm Home
I was introduced to 'Tell the Wolves I'm Home' when I found a quote from the story on Goodreads and the sentiment was so beautifully portrayed that as soon as I had the chance to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by L. M. Cowan
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I really enjoyed this book. Loneliness, aids, adolescence, family relationships - they are all handled sensitively and well, and this makes the story an interesting read for young... Read more
Published 1 month ago by bookworm8
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
I liked this book from the first page. Great writing and thoroughly recommend it. Found it hard to put down.
Published 2 months ago by Ingrid duffy
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of the child June's realisation of growing up with the...
June Elbus is growing up very slowly in her family and by her own admission she regularly retreats into a world of medieval make believe with costumes in the woods. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gill
3.0 out of 5 stars beautiful writing throughout...
Tell the Wolves I'm Home written by Carol Rifka Brunt was quite a good book which kept my interest to a certain degree but unfortunately for me it was not a book which I would say... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Petra just a girl who loves to read...
1.0 out of 5 stars very slow I had to give up half way through ...
very slow I had to give up half way through and go to the end which is very unusual for me
Published 4 months ago by maureen goddard
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