Fabulous Fiction Firsts #346

No snippets of reviews. No author endorsements. Just me this time, from the heart.

1987. Ronald Reagan, Fortran, Gunne Sax dresses, the AIDS hysteria.

14 yr.-old June Elbus - weird, awkward and a loner, has just lost her uncle Finn, her only friend and the love of her young life. His last gift is a portrait he painted of June and her older sister Greta, with the enigmatic title Tell the Wolves I'm Home *. The title is clear, only to June who is fascinated with the Middle Ages and the woods behind her school, a refuge she shares with a pack of howling wolves.

While the community gossips and judges, June mourns. The rest of her family is just angry - with Finn, a renowned artist, for contracting AIDS, and Toby, a young man with a checkered past, for killing him. A beautiful Russian teapot and a plea beyond the grave bring June and Toby together. Their unlikely friendship is clandestine by necessity, problematic in nature, and misunderstood by all who matter most.

This compelling, coming-of-age debut is a moving story of love, loss, and renewal. It seriously challenges the meaning and our understanding of family and home, and the power of compassion. Memorable, this I guarantee.

Originally from NY (where the novel is set) and now living in the UK, debut novelist Carol Rifka Brunt's work has appeared in several literary journals. In 2006, she was one of three fiction writers who received the New Writing Ventures award. She received an Arts Council (UK) grant to write Tell the Wolves I'm Home.

* = starred review

Comments

I'll be sure to read this book!


I can't tell from the description if this book is meant to have a supernatural element, or just a deeply emotional connection between a living and dead character..