Friday, April 19, 2013

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

 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.

This insomniac's opinion:

I adored this novel. It is nearly impossible to believe that this is a debut novel. June was a flawed, quirky and perfectly adorable protagonist. Her relationship with Finn was believably imperfect. June's family was loveable but could also be deeply selfish at times.

The one aspect of this novel that I really struggled with was Toby's sometimes inappropriate relationship with June, who is only fourteen. Toby asks June not to tell her parents about their meeting and gives her alcohol and cigarettes. As a mother of three and a pediatric nurse, I struggled to like Toby when I felt that he was being terribly inappropriate. In the end, I knew that he was desperately lonely and unsure how to deal with a child that age, so I did end up endeared to Toby. If you are a parent, however, you may struggle with this issue when reading.

Worth staying up all night to read?

Absolutely. I woke with tear-stained cheeks the next morning, as evidence of how powerful this novel was.


4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for Goodreads

No comments:

Post a Comment