I will willingly admit that growing up I didn’t know anyone who had AIDS. I don’t think I knew anyone that had AIDS until last year and I pulled some shifts at the nursing home and there was a resident there that died not long after I started. There could be people I’ve known living with that disease and I just don’t know. I’m sure it’s not something people talk about in passing. I don’t even know much about it. It comes with living in an isolated area. I’m not ashamed of being ignorant, I just have to ask more questions.
About a month or 2 ago I picked up the book Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. Another author with an interesting name. Actually, just the Rifka part intrigues me. This book takes place in the late 1980’s and June’s godfather and uncle and friend dies of a disease she doesn’t really understand. She starts a hesitant friendship with his ‘special friend’, as June’s mother calls him in the book.
For me, this book was a very quick read. I read about half the book in the first sitting until I decided to work on sleeping. The chapters are pretty short so it’s a good book to read when you’re waiting for something or late at night when you’re in the mood for saying ‘just one more chapter’. It’s a book that’s not overly hard and it moves quickly.
I feel like I have a little bit of June in me. There was a part of me that was her when I was 14. Both of us unsure if we need to have the opinions of those close to us, family in both our cases, or form our own opinions. Does she trust and like the man that was her uncle’s boyfriend or does she side with her family and say he’s a murderer. There’s a big discrepancy about him. To a 14 year old, it is a big deal. It’s probably the first time she’s been defiant. She’s also at the point in her life where she’s attracted to the way older man and also has the kid near her age interested in her but she isn’t seeing that. I think that happens to a majority of girls. Only part of that happened to me.
Obviously, this book is a coming of age book for June. June definitely was older at the end of the book. I also appreciated the sister relationship. I really didn’t have the relationship had with her sister. But then again, I’m more than 2 years younger than my sister. So I don’t really understand their relationship because I’ve never had that. Her sister seemed more immature than June. It was nice that they did have some good times together but at the end of the book I did think that the sister was a typical actress.
I feel like Toby was a little creepy at times, especially with a 14 year old. I also feel like he should have been more responsible for when June was sneaking around trying to see him. Be an adult Toby. June was the only other person that loved Finn as much as he did so she was a comrade in grief. Even though Toby and June were looking out for each other like Finn asked them to, I felt that Toby was very selfish and June was better at looking out for him. It’s just weird to me. He did go and save the sister, putting himself in a pickle. It was a noble thing Toby did.
I do appreciate the subject matter. Not because Charlie Sheen just announced his diagnosis but because I haven’t really been exposed to the subject matter much. I also don’t read books that are timely. I am intrigued with this girl’s point of view. I like that wolves were a running theme throughout the book. And they were never the majestic wolves that is in art it’s the ravenous wolves. I also like the time period because the 80’s had a lot more fear of the condition.