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

12875258Title: Tell the Wolves I’m Home

Author: Carol Rifka Brunt

Rating: 5 stars

Tell the Wolves I’m Home is, to date, the only book I ever bought on the strength of a single book review. (It’s this one, if you’re curious.)  I bought it, but then it got pushed further and further down my TBR. And then I got sick. And that, I think, almost made me put this book on the shelf indefinitely. Because after six weeks in the hospital and months of feeling weak and pushed to my limits, I did not want to read about anyone sick or dying.

Eventually I decided to add it to my TBR Pile Challenge (this is book number eight!) It’s a newer book, but it felt like it had been sitting on my shelf for years, and I felt guilty ignoring such a beautiful book, even if I wasn’t ready for it.

This. Book. Is. Incredible.

I have read some amazing books in 2015. Tell the Wolves I’m Home is probably going to top them all. You should all go read it immediately. It is so, so very good.

It’s 1986, and June Elbus is a weird kid who feels stuck in her brilliant, beautiful older sister’s shadow. She’s average and unremarkable, and the only person who makes her feel special is her uncle, Finn. When Finn dies of AIDS, June embarks on an unconventional friendship with his lover, Toby, and learns things about Finn, her mother, and her sister that change how she views them.

The language of this book is gorgeous. I wanted to wrap myself up in the words and just never leave. And the characters were some of the most fully human people I think I’ve ever read. Everything about June felt like me. Like she was literally me, transposed to a teenager in the 1980s. I haven’t had my heart hurt so much by a character in such a long time, and it was brilliant and beautiful as much as it was painful.

This is a book about death and grief. There’s no sentimental, easy endings. But it’s not a morbid book, or even a particularly depressing one. It’s about growing up, and seeing your parents as human beings, and learning how to communicate and how to love. I am so glad that I finally read it.

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6 Comments

Filed under Book Review

6 responses to “Review: Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

  1. I found you via your Jane Austen post over at Roof Beam Reader, and what a happy surprise to see a 5-star review for one of my own best books of the year at the top of the page! I have a feeling we’re gonna get along just fine. 😉

    • hlmorris85

      I feel like I need to stand on a street corner shoving this book on people. I loved it sooooooooo much.

      Anyway, hi! Nice to meet you 🙂

  2. Pingback: The TBR Pile Challenge | The Bastard Title

  3. I felt the same way about this book, which also took me way too long to get to. I’m glad you loved it. Now when is this writer going to publish something else?

  4. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Gimme More | The Bastard Title

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