Tell the Wolves I’m Home
Carol Rifka Brunt
Fourteen-year-old June is a bit of a loner, whose life is becoming sad and difficult. Her older sister Greta is no longer her best friend and her godfather and friend, Uncle Finn, who lived in nearby New York has died from AIDS. In the lost days after the death, about which her mother won’t speak, an unknown man sends June, her Uncle Finn’s teapot and asks to meet her. So begins an exploration of what love means and who her uncle Finn really was.
As June uncovers more information about the lives of her mother and her uncle she begins to realise that how people relate to each other, cope with growing up and live becomes an individual journey. And her own journey now includes Toby, her uncle’s lover and a man her own mother won’t acknowledge.
In many ways this book is a reminder of the fears that ignorance of AIDS generated in the 1980s. It is also a story of the walled-in worlds that teenagers struggle to escape from. Greta’s parallel trajectory seems to be also going off the rails. Can Uncle Finn’s legacy bring these two girls back together?
This is a heart-warming story. It plods a little but generally builds up to a bittersweet story of humanity. It illustrates the strength of youthful convictions, alongside the stubbornness of mature adults dealing with emotions from their own youthful experiences. The main characters are all fully developed. This is a book worth reading.
| Reviewed by Andrew Rumbles