Tell the Wolves I'm Home
by Carol Rifka Brunt
reviewed by Kysa Hayashi
Tell the Wolves I’m Home, a New York bestseller, contemporary fiction, by Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a story of two unlikely lonely people becoming the best of friends through grief, love, and the loss of their first love. June Elbus, a fourteen-year-old, had one true friend, her uncle, the well-known painter Finn Weiss. Shy and distant with her family and friends, June is struck with horror and disbelief when her uncle Finn dies of AIDS. June and others blame Finn’s boyfriend, Toby for his death. Toby, Finn’s boyfriend, relied on Finn for support and love. He too felt horror and disbelief. Between notes and conversations, June and Toby meet. They are the most important people to Finn. Can two broken people find each other and heal each other for the sake of their lost loved one?
Carol Rifka Brunt uses brilliant metaphor and imagery throughout the book about wolves. As the title being Tell the Wolves I’m Home there will be connections of wolves. Brunt has multiple ways of using wolves in her novel. Whenever June goes through an emotional event she has a sleepless nights of wolves. “hovering over my bed.. Teeth sloppy with drool.” (Brunt 250) The wolves describe her anxiety and fear of her decision making in the novel. June has problems with people talking about AIDS. The wolves in the woods describe people with AIDS who just want to be left alone. “leave them alone.. They never did anything to you.” (257-258) The biggest metaphor is the title of the book. Throughout the book June develops as a character to let things happen and that she cannot change anybody. Before and After her uncle's death, he teachers her threw his paintings and letters that June has to not be afraid of her choices and to be brave hence the title being Tell the Wolves I’m Home. By reading the book readers see a portal into the 80’s through June.