Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Impressive Debut, 28 Nov 2012
This review is from: Tell the Wolves I'm Home (Hardcover)
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Tell the Wolves I'm Home is Carol Rifka Brunt's extraordinary, literary debut novel set in New York in 1987. Narrated by 14 year old June Elbus, this is an engaging coming of age story filled with the highs and lows of family life. June is a bit of a nerd and doesn't quite fit in with her peers but she does have a special link with her Uncle Finn, the famous but now reclusive artist. When Finn dies, far too young, June discovers that she was not the centre of his universe but she shared that limelight with Toby, Finn's "special" friend.

As the story unfolds, June gradually gets to know Toby but she is still torn apart by jealousy, a bitter envy of the close relationship Toby had with Finn. Ironically her obsession has left her oblivious to how envious her older sister Greta is of her closeness to Finn. June's mother has mixed emotions about her brother, Finn for reasons which will eventually become clearer as the story progresses but the author doesn't tie everything up neatly, after all, family relationships are rarely straightforward.

I thoroughly enjoyed this insightful tale of a family coming to terms with the loss of a loved one. I'd forgotten how prehistoric some people's attitudes to AIDS were when it first hit the news headlines, indeed some folk have still not moved on! June's mother seems convinced that Toby killed Finn by giving him the AIDS virus but this is just another example of the mass hysteria which surrounded AIDS in the early days. The parents seem well-meaning but they work ridiculously long hours and June and Greta are left to their own devices most of the time - a recipe for disaster.

Each character is far from perfect, even the revered Finn whose very absence haunts the novel, even June, the misunderstood teen, who acknowledges that she has ulterior motives for some of her seemingly selfless actions. This is a beautifully written, slow moving story which needs to be savoured rather than rushed - a very impressive debut.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Nov 2012 16:39:55 GMT
Lincs Reader says:
Really pleased that you enjoyed this one!

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2012 17:02:50 GMT
Lovely Treez says:
So am I!! It was very original and perhaps just what I needed to get me out of a spot of reader's block.
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Lovely Treez
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Location: Belfast, N Ireland

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