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BookBrowse Reviews Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

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Tell the Wolves I'm Home

A Novel

by Carol Rifka Brunt

Tell the Wolves I'm Home
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2012, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2013, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Stacey Brownlie

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An uplifting debut novel about loss, love, and unlikely friendships in the midst of the 1980s AIDS epidemic

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 fair than at ...

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