Tell the Wolves I’m Home

  • by Carol Rifka Brunt
  • Narrated by Amy Rubinate
  • 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.
Carol Rifka Brunt’s work has appeared in several literary journals, including the North American Review and the Sun. In 2006 she was one of three fiction writers who received a New Writing Ventures Award, and in 2007 she received a generous Arts Council England grant to write Tell the Wolves I’m Home, her first novel. Originally from New York, she currently lives in England with her husband and three children.


What the Critics Say

“A gorgeously evocative novel about love, loss, and the ragged mysteries of the human heart, all filtered through the achingly real voice of a remarkable young heroine. How can you not fall in love with a book that shows you how hope can make a difference?” (Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author)
“Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a charming, sure-handed, and deeply sympathetic debut. Brunt writes about family, adolescence, and the human heart with great candor, insight, and pathos.” (Jonathan Evison, New York Times bestselling author)
“Tremendously moving…Brunt strikes a difficult balance, imbuing June with the disarming candor of a child and the melancholy wisdom of a heart-scarred adult.” (Wall Street Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

worst protagonist ever

What did you like best about Tell the Wolves I’m Home? What did you like least?

I recognize that -somehow- this is important YA fiction. As a concept, the AIDs crisis as experienced by a fifteen-year-old girl with a sick uncle is interesting. In practice ... oh man, the boredom. The terrible terrible boredom.

This protagonist is just the worst, and you're stuck in her head hearing her voice the whole damn time.

She's fifteen but acts like she's twelve. She's -obsessed- with her uncle -sexually-. This kid probably writes endless Cersei/Jaime fanfic with herself and her uncle MarySued into the story. She doesn't seem to have friends. She kind of just roams around the woods in a medieval dress that's too small because it is meant for a child. She makes believe that there's wolves because she wants to be a child. Seriously, she has a conversation with another character who tells her flat out there are no wolves and she's just like, no, I don't want to hear that, I'm playing make believe.

Did I mention that she's a whiny privileged brat? Well she is. She calls herself an "orphan" because during tax season her parents have to work late so they're not waiting at home for her when she gets off the bus. They come home at like 8pm. Ooooh the hardship. Just like a real orphan. Must be terrible to be alone for a few hours while your super rich parents are making tons more money.

I couldn't finish this book. It was the worst. I wanted to like it so much. I wanted to get into the experience of a young person coming to grips with what AIDs is in a time when America did not accept homosexuality. There is an interesting story in there somewhere. It was too hard to listen to, even in the car.

Has Tell the Wolves I’m Home turned you off from other books in this genre?

I never want to hear anything told from the POV of an emotionally stunted, immature, incest-obsessed, maudlin, teenage girl again. This character was somehow worse that Bella from twilight. It defies logic, and yet it happened.

Would you be willing to try another one of Amy Rubinate’s performances?

Sure. She was fine. I just associate her with the worst high schooler ever, but maybe a different book will turn that around.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?


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- Danica

Five Stars??? Really?

Would you try another book from Carol Rifka Brunt and/or Amy Rubinate?

No, I would definitely NOT try another book by this author. Very weird story. A fourteen year old in love with her uncle? Absentee parents - her sister is a horrible person. It was all too much to believe. And the narrator? No thank you! Others have described her as very flat and lifeless. That's an understatement.

What could Carol Rifka Brunt have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

She could have refrained from writing such a ridiculous story.

What didn’t you like about Amy Rubinate’s performance?

She was very 'breathy', almost whispering at times, reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe. And very painful to listen to. Much too monotone.

Any additional comments?

I still cannot believe I finished this book. I almost never quit a book once I start it. I'm always hopeful something will make it better. Well, this one proved me wrong and only got worse. More than a few times during this book I wanted to move on - I now know that's exactly what I should have done. Spared myself the agony of finishing this awful piece of nonsense. Seriously? A fourteen year old takes a dying aids patient out of a hospital in the middle of the night and brings him to her parents home? Knowing how her parents feel about this man? And the cage in the basement? Who is giving this book five stars? Pranksters?

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- Sharon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.