Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

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Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

There are some books that when you are barely into the first paragraph on the first page, you know that it is going to be a good book.  Tell the Wolves I’m Home: A Novel is that kind of book.  It grabs you from the very beginning and really doesn’t even let you go at the end.  After you finish it, you carry it around in your mind, a thought here and there…about Finn, about June, about Toby. 

The story is told by June.  A young girl who loves her Uncle Finn.  Her Uncle Finn is one of those larger than life characters, even though he is dying of aids.  After Finn  dies, she learns of his “friend” Toby.  Her family blames Toby for Finn’s illness, so June must keep her growing affection for Toby secret from her family.  

There are so many sub stories in this book, all of them worthy of their own story.  The relationship between June and her sister, how it changes.  Her parents, loving, but absent during the tax season.  June’s relationship with Finn and then subsequent relationship with Toby.  The characters are real and believable, the storyline pulls you along, the writing excellent. 

“If I had a lot of money, I would buy acres of woods.  I would put a wall around them and live there like it was another time.  Maybe I would find one other person to live with me there.  Someone who was willing to promise they’d never speak a word about anything in the present.  I doubt I could find anyone like that.  I’ve never met anyone yet who might that kind of promise.”

“Phelps has a mix of cape sand ranches, except for the Millers” Tudor, which sits up a small hill on the cul-de-sac.  It’s obviously a fake Tudor, because there was nobody in Westchester except for the Mohegan Indians in Tudor times, so I know know who the Millers think they’re fooling.  Probably no one.  Probably it never even crossed the Millers’ minds.  But it crosses mine.  Every single time I see it.”

“I knew that when Greta got like this, she would be able to instantly transform whatever I said.  It was like she was a master sculptor and my words were the ball of clay in her warm palm.  A million possibilities waiting to be formed.  I could say anything and Greta would turn it stupid and naive.  But maybe she was right.  Maybe it wasn’t that she could change me words; maybe it was that she was able to strip away all the layers until only the truth was left.  Ugly and skinless and raw.”

A book that stays with you long after you’ve finished it.

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  1. says

    Yours is not the first glowing review I’ve read, so why haven’t I picked this book up?!

    Your opening sentence makes me think about my current read (Benediction by Kent Haruf). I already know it’s going to be great. Isn’t that a wonderful feeling?

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