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richardderus

Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud

Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel - Carol Rifka Brunt Rating: 3.5* of five The Book Description: In this striking literary debut, Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you don’t know you’ve lost someone until you’ve found them.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.An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again. My Review: Maybe it's the fact that I saw too many families like Finn the fag painter's to think Danni, his homophobic scum-bitch of a sister deserves any sympathy at all, while I was an AIDS volunteer in the early 1980s. Maybe it's my age and gender making me pretty much not in sync with the awkward coming-of-age of a plowhorse girl with a pretty sister. Maybe it's just that I'm a mean old man.I wore down fast in this debut novel, whatever the reasons, and while I yield to no one in my appreciation of Carol Rifka Brunt's phrase-making prowess, I found myself reading more for the lines than the story. I haven't thought that books about AIDS were groundbreaking since the 1980s. I haven't thought that gay uncles being their niece's pals were daring since then, either. I don't care much for the coming-of-age genre anyway, but read this because it has a lot of pretty writing in it. And in that way it lived up to the billing! In spades! What a pleasure it is to rock along the river of Brunt's words. She is a strong craftsperson of language.Straight people probably like the story more than I do. No issue there, it's not written for a gay audience. So I give it stars for sheer word-pleasure.