Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt | Book Review

Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt | Book ReviewTell The Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Published by Random House on June 2012
Genres: Adult Contemporary, Adult Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed





book synopsis Fourteen year old June’s uncle Finn, her best friend and the only person who gets her, passes away from an illness that her parents are hush hush about and seem ashamed of. As she tries to grapple with the loss of the one person that means everything to her she finds a stranger reaching out to her — a stranger who knows Finn almost as well as she did..maybe even more so. June reluctantly spends time with him and together they try to heal from their mutual loss.

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Oh, this book! My heart. Do you ever read a book and feel like the weight of the world is just sitting on your heart the whole time? One of my favorite expressions to describe how I feel, from one of my all time favorite books, is as having “heavy boots.” Tell The Wolves I’m Home was excellent and completely made me feel a whole array of emotions. ย Thank you, Margot, for letting me borrow it and pushing it on me!

It’s an adult fiction novel but the narrator is 14 years old and I found this just to be a most beautiful and heartbreaking coming of age story set in the 1980’s. There were so many things about this book that I loved that I feel like I can’t even begin to tell you about it all — the characters, the writing, this weighty grief that June has to work through and so many other little aspects of the plot.

Watching June deal with the grief of losing her Uncle Finn was so emotional because it was just all so complicated within the family and the public perception of Finn because of how he died! Finn died of AIDs and it’s back in the 80’s so everything is very hush hush and not as much public knowledge about it. Her and Finn were so close and June’s feelings towards him are kind of complicated and intense. Then she meets Finn’s boyfriend Toby, whom her parents kept a secret from her because they blame him for Finn dying, and from Toby she learns even more about her Uncle Finn — to the point where she feels like she didn’t even really know him in some ways and she hates having to had shared him with someone. I loved learning about Finn through June but also through Toby and Finn really became such a real character to me. I could feel the love just emanating from them.

While June and Toby’s friendship was one of my favorite parts of this novel, I also really loved the relationship between June and her sister even though I wanted to kick her sister in the face so many times. I love complicated sisterly relationships and this one was a thread throughout the story I was fascinated by.

It’s honestly just so hard to explain what I thought about this novel. It was just brilliant, touching and got me all choked up. I loved it! It’s a quieter novel but it moves along at a good pace and hooks you with the compelling characters and their dynamics.

book reviewsI loved Tell The Wolves I’m Home. It was just one of those really touching, complicated stories that broke my heart but also mended it in ways. I think it could be a good novel for YA readers who also like adult fiction — good crossover material! This book left a searing impression on my heart and I won’t soon forget it.

short book reviewTell The Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt


for-fans-of-bookadult fiction, character driven books, coming of age stories, family dynamics + secrets, stories about grief, books that make your heart explode

Letโ€™s Talk: Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

The Perpetual Page-Turner


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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I read this one not too long ago, but for some reason I didn’t feel the same…it took me for-ev-er to get through…and while I DID like it, it kind of felt like a chore to read it ๐Ÿ™ (I also had lots of urges to kick Greta in the face!)

  2. I’ve not seen this one before. Sounds like an awesome book, and I’m interested. But, what’s with that cover? I think it’s just awful…

  3. GAH This has been sitting on my TBR foreverrrr. I’m so glad you loved it!

    That cover, too. OOF.

  4. This sounds like such a beautiful book. I love when adult fiction books tell a story from the point of view of a child or teenager. I don’t know why but I think it can add to the story sometimes. I definitely want to check this one out now, it sounds right up my alley!

  5. I’ve been really wanting to read this! I keep hoping there will be a nook deal or something on it and I’ll snap it up…though I do love the physical cover of the paperback edition (not the hardcover that you’re showing), too! You’re bumping it up my list!!!

  6. I love this book so, so much and I’m so glad you liked it! It’s funny that other people are commenting on how they don’t like the cover because that’s what first drew me to it! And I agree that it would be a great book for YA fans who are looking to read more adult fiction–the tone and pace is different, but the themes would definitely appeal to YA fans.

  7. I just recently found a copy of this at Goodwill and was so pleased because I have been wanting to read it! I’m glad you liked it, and this review definitely makes me want to move it further up my TBR list.

  8. OH MY GOSH JAMIE. You had me at “Other Books From Author: None, this was her debut. WHY CAN’T SHE HAVE MORE BOOKS OUT!?” — That’s when I clicked over to my library’s website and added this to my queue and then I found that I love the audiobook reader so I put BOTH on my queue for print + audio. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it when you do these adult fiction reviews. Because, see, then I read your thoughts and I KNOW that I will read this (and listen to it, most likely) and probably like it too. I love how much it weighed on you and I want to feel that too! (I’ve always overlooked this one because of the cover! Don’t love it! I’ve never even read the synopsis! BOO ME.)

  9. I have this book on my tbr list. I’m glad it’s as good as I had hoped!

  10. I cried the most I’ve ever cried over a book since I read Where The Red Fern Grows. So glad you liked this one!

  11. I told you so :-P, that will be all ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. I told you so :-P, that will be all ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Jamie, I absolutely adored Tell the Wolves I’m Home as well. It’s definitely one of those books you want to tell everyone about. I had the opportunity to host Carol Rifka Brunt for an author luncheon last fall and she was absolutely delightful. (I wrote about that fun experience on my blog.) She IS working on another novel but it sounds like it’s going to be a while . . . Thanks for sharing your great review.

  14. I love this book enough to comment for the first time. (Great blog, by the way. Always fun to read!)

    I read Tell the Wolves I’m Home last year, and it’s one of my favorites. It really is hard to explain exactly why. I appreciated the honesty of the book – nothing was sugarcoated. The story was heartbreaking but beautiful, and I couldn’t put it down. I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!

  15. I’ve been eyeing TELL THE WOLVES I’M HOME for ages now, but set it down each time. I loved reading your review, and seeing how much you enjoyed it! The story definitely intrigues me now, and I certainly will see about getting a copy to read for myself soon.

  16. I’ve been wondering about this one. Thanks for the review – it convinced me to put it on my list.


  1. […] to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most. THE PICK-UP LINE: Jamie’s review of Tell the Wolves I’m Home that I read last year.  FIRST DATE: I was hesitant to start this book, despite […]