Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tell The Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Hmmm. I don't know how to do a book like this justice. It took me two months to read this book. That's not because it was a difficult read. It's not because it was wordy. It's not because it was super long. It's because it was perfect. And I wanted to savor it. I'd read a perfect passage, as nearly every passage was, and I'd find myself closing the book and meditating on it. The chapters are very short and I'd frequently sneak in a chapter and leave it at just that one chapter for the day. Take in a brief moment in the lives of the characters and wait to join them again tomorrow.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home takes place in the 1980's during the time that AIDS was first becoming widely known. The book opens within a few pages with the death of June's Uncle Finn from advanced AIDS. June is our narrator, a young girl of 14 years old who's Uncle Finn meant everything in the world to her. Brunt paints a  gorgeous picture of the unique relationship that the two of them had.

The resulting novel asks a lot of questions and paints a vivid picture of bereavement, love, guilt and loss. Through the relationship between June and her sister, Greta; June and Finn's partner, Toby; and June and Greta's parents and their relationship with the two of them and with Finn's past, we're given one of the most beautiful novel's I've ever read.

This is a novel that revolves around a painting, a novel full of restrictions and yet without bounds, a novel that delves into the mind of a young girl with such a beautiful view of the world that can be so heartbreaking sometimes. It's a novel of teacups and secret castles and hidden places in the woods; of special treasures being shared among friends. It's a novel of broken hearts trying to be mended over and over again but just breaking more in the process until we realize that sometimes a heart just needs to be broken properly before it can heal.

I haven't made my top books of the year list yet, but you can be assured that this will be on it. It's joined my list of all time favorites as well :)


Beth F said...

I'll have to put this one on my radar. I've seen the title but didn't know what it was about.

Merry, merry Christmas to you, Chris. I wish you the best year ever.

softdrink said...

Yay! I'm glad you loved this book. It's one of favorites for the year, too. Everything about it is just so heartbreaking yet wonderful at the same time.

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf said...

I've skipped the review, because thanks to you talking about this as you read it, I bought myself a copy a few weeks ago. :)

bkclubcare said...

I'm seriously thinking of making my book club read this next. Do you think it would be a good club book? Do you think that my friends who really don't read the stuff I like would get into it? I, too, haven't read any reviews and know nothing but that everyone (cool people, I mean) seem to love it.

jennysbooks said...

So glad you liked this! It's a really, really good book, and I want to read it a bunch more times. I thought the centrality of the painting was such a great device, and handled so well.