Title: Tell the Wolves I’m Home
Author: Carol Rifka Brunt
Published: 2012; Pages: 360
Rating: Oh my heart
In Short: Fourteen year old June learns to navigate through her life after the loss of her uncle, godfather, and best friend Finn. That sounds lame. Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a beautiful and heart-wrenching coming of age story.
Why I Read It: Because you all told me that I had to. #blameitonthebookbloggers All I need to hear is “feel all the feels” and I’m sold.
Thoughts in General: When my sister asked what I was going to recommend for book club I told her “Tell the Wolves I’m Home. I don’t know anything about it except that it’s a coming of age story and is related to AIDS.” She started to look it up on Goodreads and I blurted out, “Lalalalala don’t tell me. I don’t want to know anymore. Not yet!”
How do I explain to someone that the reason why I want to read a book is because it made you cry. Because it gave you all the feels. Because you found it heartbreaking and lovely and ohmygod Junie. To me this says everything that I want to know about a book and is enough for me to put it on my list. Right? I know you understand. That’s why we’re friends.
June narrates the story of Tell the Wolves I’m Home and she is awkward and emotional and naive and I just wanted to hug her so badly. The story is very much about her relationship with Finn, who was her entire world, but we learn so much about June through her interactions with her sister Greta, her mostly absent parents, and the new stranger in her life, Toby. Being fourteen can be such a painful experience and through her thoughts June illustrates the difficulties of being on the cusp of adulthood. I could have had the same thoughts and emotions (and probably did) when I was fourteen years old. Her naivete is so honest and so heartbreaking.
Because much of the novel is internal, the book moves at a slow pace as the pieces of the novel begin to fit together by the end. Short chapters help the movement but I can see how a less interested reader might lose interest in the story. Certainly Tell the Wolves is not a plot propelled book, especially at the start. As a reader this worked for me and it was fascinating to watch June reconcile her mental reality with the reality of the world outside of her. How often did we not realize in our youth that perception is not always reality. Sigh.
Plus the writing really is lovely.
Bottom Line: I’m glad I have all of you to tell me when I must read a book. And I’m glad I listen. I must add that the two other gals who read the book for book club did not like it as I did. What? I know. I think one was a listening error (she mentioned that she didn’t like the narrator and felt June was whiny). So, perhaps it’s not for everyone. But I hope that you’ll give it a try. June’s is a story that deserves to be read.
Ok, give me more feely books! What’s your favorite?