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Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Carol Rifka Brunt

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June 2012 Book of the Month.

A deeply touching tale of an unlikely friendship in the face of tragedy. This is a simply stunning debut novel that had publishers fighting over it and deserves to be read.

Originally from New York, Carol Rifka Brunt currently lives in Devon with her husband and three children.

A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher...Jenny Geras Editorial Director, Fiction, Macmillan.

'I first read Tell the Wolves I’m Home in February, when Carol’s agent sent it to me on submission, and I am not exaggerating when I say I was pretty sure that I wanted to publish it by the time I’d reached the end of the first paragraph. Reading fiction is a very personal experience, and so I naïvely thought and hoped that I would be the only editor in London who this book spoke to in this particular way, who recognised its brilliance, and its author’s huge talent. But of course this was not the case, and we had to bid in a very competitive 5-way auction in order to publish it. Rightly so, and the Pan Macmillan office literally broke out in applause when I announced that we had won that auction.

It is a book about all the things that matter: family, friendship, love, life and death. The narrator June has the most wonderful voice, simultaneously innocent and wise, and her story about finding hope and making sense of her life after the loss of a loved one is a story that so many readers will relate to. It is astonishingly accomplished for a first novel, and had I not known it was a debut, I would not have believed it. When you read Tell the Wolves I’m Home, I hope that you will love it too.

A few Lovereading members have been lucky enough to get to read this novel ahead of publication. Scroll down to see what they think...

If you like Carol Rifka Brunt you might also like to read books by L. R. Fredericks, Louise Welsh and Armistead Maupin.

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Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter. Draw closes on 31 October 2015. The winner will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 12 November 2015.

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A big thank you for the two Lovereading bags I ordered, which have arrived safely. I love mine and will use it with pride. The bags are lovely quality, sturdy and support a good cause in the Rewrap initiative; I think they make the perfect accessory for any book lover. The second bag was a gift for my sister and she says she will take it to her next book group meeting to help spread the Lovereading word. Once again, many thanks. Emily Wright

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 31/10/2015


Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Two lost souls. One secret friendship

My sister Greta and I were having our portrait painted by our Uncle Finn that afternoon because he knew he was dying . . .

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 once inseparable older sister, June can only be herself in Finn's company; he is her godfather, confident, and best friend. So when he dies far too young of a mysterious illness that June’s mother can barely bring herself to discuss, June's world is turned upside down.

At the funeral, she notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd, and a few days later, June 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.

A the two begin to spend time together, June realises she's not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he might just be the one she needs the most.

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.


In March 2012 Lovereading asked members and browsers whether they would like to review this title ahead of publication. A few lucky Lovereading members have been lucky enough to get to read this novel ahead of publication scroll down to see what they think:

'...I was utterly absorbed in the book and the character depth and description was incredibly vivid...Lovely read! I will definitely be recommending this book to friends and family!' Sandra Cutter - click here to read the full review.

'I found this story almost impossible to put down and was sorry when I got to the end. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good read and am now eagerly awaiting Carol Rifka Brunt’s second novel.' Maureen Evans - click here to read the full review.

'It is definitely the sort of book which you look forward to picking up again and look forward to reading. This is a brilliant debut novel in my opinion and I look forward to further good reads from this author.' Sally Doel - click here to read the full review.

'It is a tale of many layers and each time one is peeled away, a secret is revealed underneath and truths unearthed. I found it an enchanting and beautifully written story of love, hope, relationships, loneliness and growing up.' Vanessa Wild - click here to read the full review.

'This is a book I will definitely share with friends, and one that I want to go back and read again. June’s loss is one we have all felt in some form, and her journey to fill an emotional void is captivating.' Louise Woods - click here to read the full review.

'...a gently told beautiful story of growing up and learning what love really means. Seeing June and her entire family grow, change, forgive and heal is an intensely satisfying journey. June is the kind of protagonist who is easy to love - even in her innocence there is so much wisdom that it makes you stop and think about life, love, family, friendship and shed a tear or two for all things sad and everything beautiful.' Pujitha Krishnan - click here to read the full review.

'The book was amazing. I was stunned when I realised this was a first book by this very talented writer. This is going to be a writer to watch out for in the future.' Edel Waugh - click here to read the full review.

'Many people will find this book resonates with them dealing as it does with love, loss, family and secrets. A wonderful book.' Lisa Redmond - click here to read the full review.

'... a sincere, warm-hearted, feel-good story. It is also very competently written – pace, voice, period details are near perfect and I was surprised to find that it is a debut novel...A very good read and destined to become a reading group favourite.' Berwyn Peet - click here to read the full review.

'This is a lovely, sincere, warm-hearted book, with a story rooted in the early days of AIDS awareness, when misconceptions abounded and most people didn’t openly discuss the illness...I found this a profoundly moving novel, and a highly accomplished and heartfelt debut.' Lindsay Healy - click here to read the full review.

'Rifka Brunt provides us with a tale that is beautiful in its innocence and honesty, heart-warming at times and tear-jerking in other instances; she bravely tackles topics and emotions that have undoubtedly touched us all at some point in our lives and hence created a novel that I feel will move and touch all readers.' Megan Williams - click here to read the full review.

'Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a book not just about characters finding themselves, but about the reader doing so too.' Linda Hill - click here to read the full review.

'Brunt can weave the personalities of a character with clarity and seeming ease. It sounds like a cliché, but I really did feel like I knew these people by the end of the book...' Natasha Radford- click here to read the full review.

'Although the book was well written, I didn't feel that it went into enough depth regarding the characters and their past...' Nicola Cooper - click here to read the full review.

'Short chapters, flashbacks to key moments and colloquial sentence variety make this a quick page turner. What makes the story compelling is the way in which the main character, June, becomes obsessed with filling in the shadows of her beloved Uncle Finn's life...' Marie Fitzgerald - click here to read the full review.

'Unfortunately I was very disappointed with this novel and felt that I had to finish it rather than wanted to finish it. There was nothing in this novel that pulled me towards the characters and the "plot" seemed to be drawn out and laboured.' Glynis Elliott

About the Author

Carol Rifka Brunt

Carol Rifka Brunt's work has appeared in several literary journals. In 2007, she received a generous Arts Council grant to write Tell the Wolves I'm Home, her first novel. Originally from New York, she currently lives in Devon with her husband and three children.

Author photo © Rose Cook

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Book Info

Publication date

7th June 2012


Carol Rifka Brunt

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Macmillan, an imprint of Pan Macmillan




Literary Fiction
Books of the Month
Debuts of the Month
Family Drama
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites