Tell the Wolves I'm Home
is a literary pleasure read. The crisp, short chapters and slightly funky (and therefore realistic) characters had me turning pages fast and late. Rifka Brunt's story treats a potentially morbid central topic with a surprisingly light touch. In her hands, the AIDS-related death of a homosexual family member becomes the inciting incident of a whimsical, unconventional love story. She weaves teenage awkwardness, 1980s AIDS paranoia and domestic drama into an inexplicably happy narrative.
It was a bit unusual to feel not just a nostalgic sadness as I closed the book for the final time but also to feel strangely uplifted.
The dawn of the AIDS epidemic and the fanciful mental life of an introverted young teenage girl are two parallel forces propelling the narrative. Protagonist June Elbus, a fourteen-year-old who is more at home at a Renaissance...
Beyond the Book
The characters in Tell the Wolves I'm Home
visit numerous locations in New York City and Westchester County, New York, and the accuracy of Rifka Brunt's descriptions adds a rich flavor to the story. If you're the type of person who likes to travel to literary-inspired destinations, you might consider these three stops:
- The Cloisters: June's favorite place to visit with Finn was The Cloisters, located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan. These gardens and museum, which opened to the public in 1938, are a part of The Metropolitan...