Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Review: Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
355 Pages

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 Homeis a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.


There is probably nothing I can say that will do this novel justice.

From the moment I picked up Tell the Wolves I'm Home, I knew it was going to either break me, or bore me. Luckily, it broke me. That may not sound like something to be happy about but this book deals with a subject that is extremely controversial, at the time it is set in and even now, and if it hadn't been emotional, it wouldn't have been good. Tell the Wolves I'm Home explored an idea that I've never read about, or even heard of another writing. Guys… This book is utterly beautiful. Everything about it. It's emotionally gripping. It has a steady plot that will suck you in and make it so, so hard to put down. And it has characters that are realistic. They all have faults. They all have lives and they are all dealing with a horrible tragedy in their own ways.

I was recommended this by Wendy Darling. Obviously, she knows me super well seeing as she recommended me three of my favorite novels of 2012. Though of the three, this one has to be my favorite. Everything about this novel just clicked for me. It had its issues, yes, but Tell the Wolves I'm Home felt like so much more than just a story. Have you ever read a book and just connected like the characters so well that you felt like you were reading about your friends? Like you could feel their lives and their hopes and their struggles? And by the end of the book, you have so much trouble letting go because you've come to know and love and grow with that person? This is that book for me. It felt like a person, like a friend.

While it felt like it was told from the perspective of a girl younger than age fourteen, I couldn't help but completely immerse myself in the world that June saw. Her heartbreak, her anger, her love. It's rough just being a teenager, but June's situation is more than just the regular teenage angst. She has also just lost the man who was her godfather, her uncle and her best friend. I have been lucky enough in my life to never have gone through a loss like June's, but Ms. Brunt's writing made it so easy to connect to June and actually feel what she felt, that I almost believed that I, too, had lost the person I loved most in the world. 

There were several times in this story where I was crying (or snot-sobbing…whatever), but the last two chapters had me biting my lips to keep in the gasping, watery cries that I wanted to release. Tell the Wolves I'm Home is probably one of the greatest novels that I've ever read. It's gritty. It makes you feel. It gives you a new perspective on a subject that pretty much everyone knows about, but not many people truly understand. Tell the Wolves I'm Home will make you think, give you aches and probably have you questioning some of stereotypes that you've followed. It was such an emotionally gripping story that I can pretty much ignore all of its faults.

So if you need an emotional read, that has a controversial, beautiful plot, read this. It's perfection. Utterly brilliant perfection. As soon as I finished it, I bought copies for my family and one for myself. It immediately found a place in my heart and I'm so thankful to Wendy for recommending it to me because Tell the Wolves I'm Home has helped in giving me a new and better outlook on life.

1 comment :

  1. I need to read this book! "Perfection" sounds pretty much like I need to read it anyway :) Great review! You just made me really excited for this one.


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