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Tell the Wolves I'm Home
Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel | Carol Rifka Brunt
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal O: The Oprah Magazine BookPage Kirkus Reviews Booklist School Library Journal In this striking literary debut, Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you dont know youve lost someone until youve found them. NATIONAL BESTSELLER NAMED A FAVORITE READ BY GILLIAN FLYNN WINNER OF THE ALEX AWARD 1987. Theres only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and thats her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finns company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, Junes world is turned upside down. But Finns death brings a surprise acquaintance into Junes lifesomeone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart. At Finns funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finns apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes shes not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most. An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves Im Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again. Praise for Tell the Wolves Im Home A dazzling debut novel.O: The Oprah Magazine This compassionate and vital novel will rivet readers until the very end. . . . The narrative is as tender and raw as an exposed nerve, pulsing with the sharpest agonies and ecstasies of the human condition.BookPage Tremendously moving.The Wall Street Journal Transcendent . . . Peopled by characters who will live in readers imaginations long after the final page is turned, Brunts novel is a beautifully bittersweet mixture of heartbreak and hope.Booklist (starred review) Carol Rifka Brunt establishes herself as an emerging author to watch.Minneapolis Star Tribune Touching and ultimately hopeful.People Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Readers Circle for author chats and more.
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Ast_Arslan
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Eggs A great book 🖤💚🖤 3d
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks One of my all time favorites 💚 3d
31 likes2 comments
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Tera66
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#Two4Tuesday
@TheSpineView
Thank you for the tag, @eggs 🌺 and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🌻
1. I can enjoy either kind of book as long as the writing is good.
2. 🐺

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 🤩📖📚 1w
28 likes1 comment
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BethHagey
Pickpick

*****+

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erzascarletbookgasm
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#GratefulHarvest
Two books with title #Home . Tagged book was a good story about loneliness and friendship. I‘ve enjoyed Tryon‘s ‘The Other‘ and Harvest Home sounds as great.

Eggs Brilliant ❣️ 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I LOVE Wolves!! I am always recommending it!! 💚💚💚 2mo
53 likes2 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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#LesserKnownBooks
#FallTreasures

LOVE this one!! 💚🖤💚

WJCintron Love the color effect!
I have a question, is it too late to join the #falltreasures? I would love to participate. 😃 👍
4mo
jeannasser I own this book 😊 it‘s on my TBR for sure 4mo
Librarybelle This was such an amazing book! It‘s one I recommend quite often. 4mo
See All 8 Comments
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @WJCintron you can join anytime you wish!! ❤️ 4mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @jeannasser it‘s so good!!! 4mo
Eggs Agreed!! 4mo
Tera66 Sooo good!💚 4mo
72 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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perfectsinner
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I've a feeling this book is gonna rip my heart out

9 likes1 stack add
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Tera66
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#WonderousWednesday @Eggs 🌷
1. I used to read tons of magazines, but I've been focused on books now. I have a huge TBR, and if I don't keep focused I'm never going to get anywhere.
2. Not really, my bestfriend reads but not like me. I'm the book obsessed one.
3. It's a feeling, when a book makes me feel that magic feeling.
4. My doctors. They are amazing.

Eggs Thanks so much for joining in📚👏🏻❤️ 5mo
35 likes1 comment
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Lesliereadsalot
Pickpick

What a family this is. Narrated by a young girl, we get to know her sister, her mother and her uncle. All well-developed characters and a good story about her navigating all these relationships.

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joidevivre55
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Jerdencon
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A little late but finally starting this one for #lmbpc #groupg @shellleigh33 I totally forgot at I hadn‘t read this (this is why I shouldn‘t be in 2 #lmpbc groups lol). Starting it today and will get it in the mail by next week. @staci.reads

Soubhiville Oh, I loved this book! I hope you do too. 7mo
Tamra Great one! 7mo
42 likes2 comments
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TheDaysGoBy
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Pickpick

I finished Tell the Wolves I‘m Home and just yesterday watched The Normal Heart. One doesn‘t really have anything to do with the other except the time/setting/certain circumstances.

Tell the Wolves I‘m Home is about a 14 year old girl who loses her uncle she loved dearly to AIDS and she ends up developing a relationship with his lover she‘d known nothing about. The Normal Heart is set in NYC in the early 80s at the start of the AIDS crisis.

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TheDaysGoBy Both were so compelling, and yes, unrelated but I was still so struck with the similarities I saw when watching The Normal Heart (which was acted beautifully). They were also both heart wrenching with themes of loss and grief. I loved the book - was engrossed in all the characters and just loved everything about it. So yes, I rec it but I also rec The Normal Heart. It pulled similar feelings/threads for me 7mo
Laughterhp Is that Mark Ruffalo and it looks like Matt Bomer but not sure. 7mo
TheDaysGoBy @Laughterhp Yep! You nailed on both accounts. I‘d had it on my list because I‘d recently watched White Collar and fell in love with Matt Bomer. And he and Mark Ruffalo were so great in that movie. Great eye on your part! 7mo
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Laughterhp I‘ve never seen the movie but I used to be obsessed with Matt Bomer because of White Collar! 7mo
TheDaysGoBy @Laughterhp That‘s where I‘m living now - with an obsession for Matt Bomer 😂 I just thought he acted so great in White Collar…and obviously easy on the eyes 😉 I watched The Last Tycoon on Amazon Prime a few weeks ago where he played a Hollywood producer in the 40s and it was so good! 7mo
Kimberlone Loved this book and The Normal Heart made me cry so hard when I watched it years ago 😭 7mo
TheDaysGoBy @Kimberlone It was incredible! I tend not to cry much but that movie had me welling up. So sad! 7mo
50 likes1 stack add7 comments
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annamatopoetry
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I'm so bored, so I'm posting about my favorite fiction - thinking this will be a list of 9 to fit on one post insta. Let's start with Tell the Wolves I'm Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt. It takes place in the eighties and is about June, who is fourteen and ugly and weird, and who just lost her beloved uncle to AIDS. As she is attempting to cope and learn more about him, she meets his long term partner and unravels some family secrets. Wonderful ⬇️

annamatopoetry portrayals of characters, I especially like how the mother is just an awful human being, absolutely horrible, I want to punch her, but she's not abusive. She's an ok mom, just morally bankrupt. This is also the only book I brought to book club that other people liked, especially those with older sisters. 8mo
Tamra This was an unexpected delight of a read! 💙 (edited) 8mo
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staci.reads
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Pickpick

It's a beautiful story, filled with all kinds of complicated relationships. I really enjoyed this one and poured through it quickly. I loved reading your thoughts, Michelle. @shellleigh33 . #lmpbc #groupG @suvata @laurenashley @Jerdencon

marleed It‘s one of my most often recommended books! 10mo
66 likes1 comment
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staci.reads
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Michelle, your book arrived this week! Super excited to read it! And Lauren, Girl, Woman, Other will be going out in the mail tomorrow - hope you enjoy! #LMPBC #groupg @shellleigh33 @laurenashley @Jerdencon

Tera66 This is one of my most favorite books ever! Written so beautifully. 10mo
Soubhiville Such a great book! 10mo
Twainy I cried 10mo
staci.reads @Tera66 @Soubhiville @Twainy That makes me even more excited to read it! 10mo
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ImperfectCJ
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Pickpick

What a lovely, honest novel. I was a few years younger than June in 1986, and my upbringing was quite different, but I relate to her feelings during those pre-AZT, latchkey kid, no cellphone times. And as an adult, I can relate to her parents and their fumbling attempts to do what's right for their children. With its look into relationships, identity, and growing up, this is a book I think my 15yo would appreciate.

Tamra Isn‘t it captivating? I couldn‘t put it down. 11mo
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ImperfectCJ
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It probably doesn't quite count as the cat sitting with me since he didn't choose to join me, just chose not to get up when I joined him, but after almost six weeks with us and no lap sits, I'm taking what I can get.

And I'm really enjoying this book.

Jari-chan Great book and great sign of trust ❤ 11mo
Ellies_Books06 It takes time, he will sooner than you think. 💙🐱💙 11mo
mom2bugnbee Toe beans! He's a lovely kitty. 11mo
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shellleigh33
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Okay #groupG #LMBPC this is the book I have chosen for this round. I am going to go with a green pen for my mark-up color. I hope everyone enjoys it.

Jerdencon Looking forward to it! 11mo
staci.reads Awesome! 11mo
30 likes2 comments
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TheDaysGoBy
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@Texreader Thank you so much for everything! I love the book and the cute bookmark you clipped on as well as the magnetic shopping list. And the candy! You ran with the peppermint theme and gave me some new chocolates to try. I‘ve never had them and it‘s so cool they came from Scotland/the UK.

Thank you again so much! You‘re so sweet! Hope you have a wonderful holiday! 😀🎄

#jolabokaflodswap @MaleficentBookDragon

Texreader I had a lot of fun shopping for you. Glad you like everything 13mo
squirrelbrain The book is wonderful! 13mo
AmyG Such a great book. Merry Christmas 🎄 13mo
Cathythoughts Beautiful pic ✨🎄 Happy Christmas 13mo
47 likes4 comments
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Erinreadsthebooks
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If y‘all aren‘t swapping books on Facebook, you‘re doing it wrong. 🤩

marleed Oh no! I‘m doing it wrong! 13mo
Chab256 I discovered various fb swapping sites this year but wish I had known this existed earlier! 13mo
Erinreadsthebooks @Chab256 Same here! I could‘ve saved lots of money 😅 13mo
40 likes3 comments
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elisebarker
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Pickpick

Oh man was this a wonderful book! Captures different types of relationships so well. The writing was great and the story was so heartbreakingly beautiful. A must read! Thank you @DimeryRene for recommending this book to me four years ago 😂

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GreenGrl87
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Ok, be warned the #catchup posts are coming! It‘s October 1st, and I just felt super compelled when I woke up to complete my remaining #3books challenge posts (I think this is especially since I was so close to being done). So here are 3 that gave me serious book hangovers! After I finished each of these, I was just like ‘what even is life‘. These #3books really got in my bones!

OriginalCyn620 📚👍🏻📚 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks The top two are two of my favorites ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
GreenGrl87 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks aren‘t they amazing!! Man, Tell the Wolves I‘m Home especially just seemed to hit me out of no where, I really wasn‘t expecting to love it the way I do, I guess because I hadn‘t heard very much about it beforehand unlike the others. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @GreenGrl87 I wasn‘t either!!! I recommend it to everyone!! 1y
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Read-y_Picker
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A little late posting my #3books #setinnewyork but I had to do a little digging and I really enjoyed all of these.

OriginalCyn620 👍🏻📚👍🏻 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I love to see people reading 💚💚 1y
Read-y_Picker @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks it was truly very moving. If I‘d had a hard copy I would have passed it on for sure. Starting with my sister... 1y
18 likes3 comments
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nichollinlove
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Pickpick

This is my first book on the topic of AIDS/HIV. The uncertainty and the stigma around this disease were both at their peak in the 80s. This book covers multiple sides of what that looked like then.

This book is really a coming of age story for a young girl dealing with grief, loneliness and guilt. Struggling to find common ground with family and understand her adored uncle.

A gorgeous, albeit sad, YA novel.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

marleed This YA novel is is a couple years old and gave me awesome TTWIH vibes! 1y
nichollinlove @marleed I added it to my TBR. It was on my radar once upon a time and somehow fell off. Thank you for the rec, I'm hoping to read it soon. 1y
perfectsinner On my list 1y
51 likes3 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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1) Tell the Wolves I‘m Home 💚
2) Angie Thomas
3) Taken
4) Taylor Swift 🎼
5) Teardrops on my guitar 🎸

#ManicMonday
#LetterT

tanya1512 Love some T.S. Have you listed to Exile with Bon Iver on her new album? 1y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Taken is an excellent film! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @tanya1512 I‘ve been listening to this all day 💔 love it!! 1y
49 likes5 comments
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candority
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Here are my books for #BookSpinBingo in August! I‘m going to use the other five spots as “free” spots, so I can read whatever I feel like. I couldn‘t resist reading a few library books in July, so this month, I‘m going to have those count towards a potential bingo! Can‘t wait for another great month of reading!

Thanks for hosting @TheAromaofBooks!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1y
87 likes1 comment
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AmyK1
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Pickpick

It‘s 1986 and June is an awkward 14 year old. Her best friend-her uncle Finn-has just died of AIDS. Her older sister seems to be going through a breakdown. And her uncle‘s final wish to her is that she take care of Toby. This is a touching story about love, jealousy and family.

It also gives me my 2nd bingo for #bookspinbingo @TheAromaofBooks

candority I‘ve been wanting to read this book for years and I found it in a second hand store just last week! I‘m hoping to get to it in August! 1y
TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Awesome progress. I love that cover! 1y
Zoes_Human I love this book. 1y
UwannaPublishme Yay! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 1y
42 likes4 comments
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AmyK1
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My sister, Greta, and I were having our portrait painted by our uncle Finn that afternoon because he knew he was dying.

#firstlinefridays @ShyBookOwl

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EliNeedsMoreShelves
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Whooo, sentences like this are why I LOVE being a reader. 😍

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SavannahtheSith
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Pickpick

So I got off on a rocky start with this one. The beginning started a bit slow before the story started really developing and conflict started happening. The ending tied everything together. It was a tear-jerker, so grab the 🧻

13 likes1 stack add
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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Just a “few” #unforgettable books from my collection ❤️

#BoundTogetherJune

OriginalCyn620 Great pic! 2y
Paperback.Propensity I loved Tell the Wolves I'm Home. I eagerly await Brunt's next novel. She is working on it, but says she is a slow writer. 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Paperback.Propensity speed up!!!!! 🤣🤣 2y
93 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Kathrin
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Pickpick

Oh wow... this book is infuriating and heartbreaking and beautiful.

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Kathrin
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mariaku21
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Pickpick

This book was recommended to me by Lynn over @brownbagbooks and her insistence that I was going to love it made me buy it right then and there, but as usual, I was in the middle of other reads and held off on reading it, but it was worth me waiting for the right moment!

It's a coming of age story; it's one of family dynamics, one of first love, young love, self-doubt, rivalry, and once I started to get into it, hard a hard time putting it down!

vicgreentoriafield I loved this book, one of my favorites. I'm constantly recommending it 2y
mariaku21 @vicgreentoriafield I can totally understand why Lynn gushed about it the way she did. I might be joining the club in recommending this one too! 2y
28 likes2 comments
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AmyK1
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Today‘s #bookhaul 😁 📚

Paperback.Propensity I really liked Tell the Wolves I'm Home 2y
45 likes1 comment
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Twainy
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Pickpick

🎧 well that will teach me that I REALLY need to read summaries ... someone recommended it & I put it on my Libby waitlist. So NOT what I was expecting. I was expecting horror. Nope!! I cried. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️3/4

Paperback.Propensity I love this book 2y
Twainy @Paperback.Propensity it‘s definitely not my go-to genre but I also loved this book. 2y
17 likes2 comments
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kathedron
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Mehso-so

Love, loss, art, friendship, teenage insecurity: there's lots to like. Still, I think the best thing is the title. Finn is just too good to be true. I get that everyone adores him but the odd minor flaw would make him a more convincing, therefore more interesting, character. I wish CRB had let Danni speak for herself more, rather than relying on characters explaining her to one another. I did like it, but didn't love it as everyone else seems to.

Christy2318 It‘s been awhile since I read this but when I read your review my thought was that one of the themes of the story is how we see people we love through a rose colored lens, especially after they die. (edited) 2y
36 likes1 comment
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Suet624
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1. Vermont, USA where the temperature went from 90 degrees to 45 degrees in the space of 3 days.
2. Tell the Wolves I‘m Home. A close tie would be Death Comes to the Archbishop. Coincidentally both buddy reads.
3. I‘m not particular but I do hesitate when it‘s over 700 pages.
4. To my tagged friends, care to join?
@veritysalter #lockdownlowdown

veritysalter Thank you for playing 📚♥️ 2y
kspenmoll Thanks Sue! 2y
MsMelissa I feel you with your answer to question one. We had our AC blasting last week and have had to turn the heat back on today 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2y
Suet624 @Book_Fiend_Melissa the temperature changes have made my Lyme symptoms flare up in a major way. Grrrr.. 2y
47 likes4 comments
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Tianarose
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Next up for audio. I can tell already this is going to be a tear jerker.

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Eggs
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Pickpick

I highly recommend this book set in NYC in 1987. The writer succeeds in creating engaging relationships that revolve around teen MC June, who has just lost her uncle to AIDS...

Book 20 of 20!!! May 2020 #bookspinbonanza
@TheAromaofBooks

Megabooks 👏🏻👏🏻🎉🎉 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💚💚💚 2y
BookishMe Woohoo! ❤️👍🏽👏🏽👍🏽👏🏽❤️ 2y
See All 10 Comments
TheAromaofBooks YAY!!! Great work on completing your pile!!!!!! 2y
Shemac77 I loved this book! 2y
ravenlee Wow! Great job! 2y
Eggs Thanks 😊💕 @ravenlee 2y
PaperbackPirate Congratulations!! 👏 2y
Eggs Thanks ❣️ @PaperbackPirate 2y
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OrangeMooseReads
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Mehso-so

Some definite plot holes and issues some that really bother me. There were portions that really annoyed me.
Over all it was ok. I didn‘t love it and it didn‘t live up to the hype. I‘m sure it‘s an unpopular opinion, but it just didn‘t work for me. 🤷🏻‍♀️

TheRiehlDeal I felt the same way. I thought it was just OK. It didn't win me over in a big way. 2y
OrangeMooseReads @TheRiehlDeal glad I‘m not the only one 2y
45 likes2 comments
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OrangeMooseReads
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Started this today. So far not too bad. Some plot holes and issues.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Love this one 💚💚 2y
52 likes1 comment
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Librarybelle
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Pickpick

I was blown away by this novel. Absolutely moving, as Brunt views the layers of love and loss during the 1980s. June‘s beloved Uncle Finn passes away from AIDS. Finn, her only true friend, left behind so many memories. June grapples with this as she befriends Finn‘s partner, Tony, who also grapples with his devastating loss. I connected with June‘s feelings of loneliness and invisibility. I laughed and cried (lots of tears). So glad I read this!

Cinfhen Beautiful review♥️so glad you enjoyed this one and thanks for contributing to the discussion 🤓 2y
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squirrelbrain Great review! I‘m using this for #debutnovel for #readwithmrbook too! 2y
BarbaraBB Great review! 2y
Litlady Brilliant review! ❣️📚 This has been on my TBR forever. I need to change that! 🤓😊 2y
MrBook WOOHOO!!! 😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 Great review! 2y
thevagabondlawyer Oh nice I'll read this one 2y
Librarybelle @thevagabondlawyer Hope you enjoy it! 2y
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Tanisha_A
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Pickpick

A heart-warming story. Set in 1987, encompassing the stigma associated with AIDS, it's a tale of love, loss, grief, family ties, finding new friendship, renewing old bonds, understanding perspectives, forgiveness, appreciation for multiple forms of art (music, movies, books, paintings, theatre), & last but not least, finding peace & comfort in one's heart.

📷: One of the many stained glass windows of Cologne Cathedral, Germany 👇🏽

Tanisha_A Because June loves all things medieval. Thank you @Cinfhen and @BarbaraBB for choosing this book. I missed the discussion, but will check out the questions and comments. 😃 2y
squirrelbrain Lovely review! The discussions were fab, so definitely check them out! 2y
BarbaraBB I am glad you liked it and you should definitely check out the discussion on @Cinfhen timeline. For me it added so much to the book! Enjoy 💕 2y
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Cinfhen Beautiful review ♥️ 2y
Cinfhen Please check out our upcoming #BuddyRead #Back2School ~ it‘s not too late to vote on the next book.... go to @BarbaraBB page for more details 2y
batsy Love this review and photo 💕 2y
Tanisha_A @batsy Thankeee! It's a beautiful cathedral, i was mesmerized. 😍 2y
Tanisha_A @squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen Thank you all! ❤️ I did go through the discussion thread, and it was great to see so many perspectives. It has added constructively to my experience of reading this book. @Cinfhen I'll check out the #back2school post. Thanks for sharing. 😃 2y
UwannaPublishme Stunning review and photo! 😍 2y
Tanisha_A @UwannaPublishme I couldn't stop staring at the windows there. Thanks Donna! 😃 2y
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Kimberlone
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Pickpick

My reading views from this weekend. Camping on Kenai Lake, Cooper Landing, AK. Finished the tagged book this morning. I really fell into this story and blew through the whole book between Friday and Sunday. Was sorry to miss the #MayBeNow discussion today, since I just got back from camping.

Centique Wow that‘s beautiful! 2y
Blueberry Beautiful 💚 2y
54 likes2 comments
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Billypar
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Pickpick

My feelings for this kept swinging back and forth. I loved the coming of age story of June and her sister, as they grappled with the messy aftermath accompanying the death of their artist uncle from AIDS in 1980s New York. I felt like the middle had too many moments of intense emotion that began feeling manufactured, but the escalating plot developments in the final third were well executed and did justice to the finely drawn characters.

Billypar (I found this portrait online - the artist is Mirko Uzorinac) 2y
Billypar Thanks @Cinfhen and @BarbaraBB for organizing this super fun #MayBeNow weekend! I think many of us needed a big Litsy gathering at this time -- getting the chance to share thoughts on a readalong and reminisce about pre-Covid times - well done!! 😃 👏👏 2y
Cinfhen So glad you joined us!!! Really appreciated and enjoyed your insightful comments. 2y
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squirrelbrain What a lovely post @Billypar - wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments about the #maybenow weekend. 😁 2y
Suet624 You're spot on with this review. Especially about the middle section. 2y
BarbaraBB Thank you for joining and this thoughtful review 💚 2y
Billypar I missed some of the discussion comments from earlier, but just revisited them and wow - so many good ones @Cinfhen @squirrelbrain @Suet624 @BarbaraBB - it's a novel with lots of angles to consider! I appreciated hearing about what things were like at that time @Cinfhen as far as the prejudices people with AIDS faced like your husband's uncle. 2y
batsy Love the art! It really captures the eye. 2y
Billypar @batsy Right? My Google search for a portrait of sisters didn't give me a lot of modern options, but this one jumped out. 2y
42 likes9 comments
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DebinHawaii
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Pickpick

I always wish Litsy had a way of easily pulling up previous posts you made on a book as I reviewed the audiobook a few years ago on Litsy. The #MAYbeNow #buddyread had me doing a quick reread of the e-book. It‘s still a pick, sensitive, poignant & I loved June & the 80s NYC setting. MAHALO to our hosts for thIs weekend full of fun & discussions.🤗 My discussion partner🐱fell asleep as there weren‘t enough 🐈🐈🐈 for his liking but I enjoyed it!🤣

squirrelbrain Bless him! At least you had other Litten kittens to discuss it with! 😻 2y
DebinHawaii @squirrelbrain Yes! You all added much better input & discussion than he did! 😹 2y
BarbaraBB Thanks for joining and adding so much to the discussion and hence my thoughts of the book 💚 2y
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DebinHawaii @BarbaraBB Thank you! 🤗 You and @Cinfhen make them both fun and thought provoking! 2y
Cinfhen So happy the time worked for you!!! I enjoyed your insights and thoughtful observations 💜 2y
DebinHawaii @Cinfhen Thank you. You too! I always walk away from discussions having a better understanding & wider picture of the books.🤓 2y
55 likes6 comments
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Cinfhen
This post contains spoilers
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Question 5
There are multiple references to wolves throughout the novel. What do the wolves come to symbolize for June?

Cuilin I think the wolves symbolize growing up and becoming a little bit more cynical, they are an unknown quality. They do not exist in Connecticut yet they symbolize danger that she knows to be real and she must keep her guard up and let go of childish things. 2y
Balibee146 I think the wolves are also about the dark, hidden parts of us.... The things that are frightening, wild and we fear unacceptable but also undeniable... Hence the wolf hidden in the dark space within the painting 2y
Cinfhen I like both of those images and ideas @Balibee146 @Cuilin I wonder if for June the Wolves represent a freedom of sorts / an ability to live without confines & restrictions to live outside the boundaries / (edited) 2y
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Balibee146 @cinfhen....yes I like that... Wildness within 👍 2y
squirrelbrain Yes, I agree with your thoughts @Balibee146, as well as @cinfhen. The wolves represent the dark unknown (perhaps adulthood?) but also the freedom not to be confined by expectations. 2y
Cuilin @Cinfhen June certainly wants the sounds in the woods to be wolves so yes they can represent something positive for her. 2y
DebinHawaii There‘s the part where June is with Ben & they are talking about the wolves & he says “not all wolves are bad” & she says No. Not at all. Not bad. Just... just selfish. That‘s what they are. Hungry & selfish.” I think she sees them as her wants & desires, the things that live inside all of us. 2y
Marni I feel like it was her. She was lost, struggling to find who she was, going where she shouldn‘t. She was wild. They were that spirit in her that couldn‘t be reined in 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I think they were usually positive for June, the wild, the olden times, and by the end she is becoming the Wolf Queen of D & D so I think she is growing up and taking what fear she had of the howling and making it her own. Instead of being afraid, owning it, being herself. 2y
Cinfhen I absolutely love those ideas @DebinHawaii @Marni @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I agree, June saw the wolves as something postive 2y
DebinHawaii @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Cinfhen I agree, I think they were mostly positive for June—something she wanted to see & acknowledge, growing into her self. 2y
peaknit I also felt they represented something positive to Junie, a refuge somehow. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage I‘d say they were her “spirit animal,” that she drew strength from. Both predator and protector somehow. 2y
Cinfhen I love all these wolves ideas @peaknit @BarbaraTheBibliophage the buddy reads are always so insightful 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen Yes, I love the discussion too. Thanks so much for hosting this one with @BarbaraBB ! 💕💕 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Balibee146 I think you mean to thank @BarbaraBB for hosting, not me. ♥️ 2y
Balibee146 @BarbaraBB @BarbaraTheBibliophage apols and thanks for the heads up... You come up listed together + fst fingers 🤣🤣 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Balibee146 No worries. It happens more than you‘d think! 😎 2y
britt_brooke Perhaps they represent our uniqueness and our acceptance of those traits/talents/behaviors; good and bad. We all have “wolves,” it‘s how handle them that makes us human. 2y
Suet624 I love everything that folks wrote above and it gave me much more to think about. Honestly, the wolf that I was most interested in was the one in the painting, the one hidden in between the two sisters. It felt like it symbolized both the love and the slow tearing apart of the sisters. 2y
CarolynM Thanks for hosting another fun party Cindy and Barbara 😘😘 @BarbaraBB 2y
Cinfhen Thanks for participating and sharing your thoughts @CarolynM @Suet624 @britt_brooke @Balibee146 @BarbaraTheBibliophage I‘m always inspired and awed by the thoughtfulness and insights of my fellow Littens 🐺🐺🐺 2y
Librarybelle I remember June‘s feelings over discovering the wolves in the park were feral dogs - she just wondered why people would bother by them. To me, that symbolized how much misunderstanding happened in the book. There‘s this level of danger, yet it‘s the perception of danger and secrets that destroys, not the true inner self or meaning. 2y
Librarybelle Thanks for hosting this, @Cinfhen and @BarbaraBB ! I absolutely loved the book. So sorry I was late to the discussion! 2y
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Lots of parts to this question!
Question 4
Why did Finn name the portrait Tell The Wolves I‘m Home? Who do you think submitted the painting to the newspaper? What was the significance of the portrait being defaced by Greta & June? Did the additions from Danni & Toby come to mean something?

Cuilin This question got the most traction at my IRL book group. There‘s a line that says “All I wanted was for Toby to hear the wolves that lived in the dark forest of my heart and maybe that‘s what it meant tell the wolves I‘m home.” She also eludes to a wolf in the painting. Finn said tell the wolves I‘m home because their coming for you anyway. I guess the wolf can stand for many things something wild, beastly and predatory, frightening yet extinct. 2y
Cuilin Cont in Connecticut 2y
BarbaraBB I think Finn didn‘t want to hide anymore. He did hide a wolf in the painting but I guess he wanted to express his strength. He hadn‘t shown his work in public for years, he hid his lover (that room in the basement 💔), he was judged because of the fact that the was gay, he was punished with aids on top of it all and I think he finally felt there was nothing to be ashamed of. He was a great artist and wanted to be known and judged for his art. (edited) 2y
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Cuilin @BarbaraBB I know! the basement, in the closet comes to mind. 2y
Cinfhen I think of wolves as a pack of cutthroats/out for blood @Cuilin @BarbaraBB so I think Finn who was ashamed and scorned for his sexuality finally wanted to let the world know that he was “home” finally at peace and finding comfort with his choices. I believe he submitted the painting to the paper as his final act. He wanted his legacy to be about his talents and not about the way he died. (edited) 2y
Cinfhen I‘m not sure why June continued to deface the portrait after she noticed Greta had. I think Greta did it out of spite @Cuilin @BarbaraBB (edited) 2y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen well said about the legacy. That‘s it I think. I don‘t know why June kept adding to the painting in the first place and agree Great did it out of spite. (edited) 2y
Cuilin He kept Toby in the basement even up to the last Sunday before he died. Why? 2y
Cinfhen Hmmmm, good point @Cuilin out of “respect” to his sister 2y
Cinfhen I think he had given his word to his sister which is why he secretly needed to facilitate June & Toby‘s meeting @Cuilin 2y
DebinHawaii I look at the wolves as both the inner demons that tear us apart and the outer pack of people with judgement & hate & prejudice who do the same. I think the painting title is about acknowledging them but formally doing it publicly was still hard for Finn to do. I like the thought of him submitting the painting as his final act @Cinfhen 2y
Cuilin @cinfhen it doesn‘t doesn‘t scream comfortable with who he is. I think he still felt oppressed by her. He adhered to her rules till the bitter end. 💔 2y
Cuilin @DebinHawaii I agree it was hard for him to do. 2y
DebinHawaii @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen @Cuilin I agree about the spite from Greta. I think June wanted to be included, stay close to Finn & not have it be finished—keeping Finn with her. 2y
Cinfhen Yes, but I think he wanted to still “protect” his sister even though he, Finn was ready to let the “wolves” know who he truly was @Cuilin @DebinHawaii 2y
Cinfhen In those very very early days people really shunned you just by association. The author briefly touched on the Ryan White story. 2y
Cinfhen Ohhh, I like that idea @DebinHawaii similar to Toby and eventually Danni adding to the painting 2y
Billypar I felt like Finn's choice to paint an invisible wolf between the two sisters represented the subtle negative feelings that well up between two people in close relationships and start eating away at the bond between them. Finn noticed that happening with his own sister, and the fact that he literally abandoned her makes the title a message to her and a warning to June and Greta. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I still don‘t know who sent it to the paper, everyone who saw it after Finn‘s death, saw it with buttons...so maybe Finn. I was also kind of sad when they removed Toby and the girls “graffiti”. 2y
Billypar I also liked how June was trying to get a message to Greta at the end while she was at the party that she was home, but the subtext is also that she was metaphorically returning 'home' to her sister, ready to reconcile with her. 2y
Cuilin @Cinfhen I think I‘m just really angry with Danni for forcing him into a closeted life. It was a different time. 2y
Marni I don‘t have an answer as to why he named it that, but I do think he sent it to the paper. He sent it with the caveat “after I die”. It was a gift to the girls, but he knew it wouldn‘t have its true worth unless it was made public. That was part of his gift. I loved the additions from everyone. It felt like it made it really belong to them, and connect them all. And having Danni‘s additions stay.... 2y
Marni It felt like she finally would have a piece of her in the art world, and a connection to her brother 2y
Billypar The painting on the picture reminded me of how the influence of different people on each other gets easily entangled: things June thought were Finn were really Toby, Danni influenced Finn's artistic leanings from a young age, and Greta wanted to be noticed and appreciated by Finn the way she saw him admiring her sister. 2y
Cinfhen That‘s really interesting @Billypar I like that as well @Riveted_Reader_Melissa 2y
Cinfhen I agree @Marni the “defacing” did connect them all and it did bring Danni into the art world 2y
peaknit @marni, I like what you are saying about it being a gift but needing to be publicized to get the attention, that makes sense. I agree it had to be Finn because no buttons. 2y
peaknit I am not sure why the painting is named that unless it‘s a big “huzzah, Im right here” from Finn? And defacing seemed so weird to me, to take paint all the way to the bank...🤷🏼‍♀️ 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage I‘ve been struggling with the meaning of the wolves. I think any and all of what‘s been mentioned makes sense. I also want to point out that NYC wasn‘t very welcoming to the gay community at that time. There were a lot of closeted by men in positions of power, including in the already hyper critical art world. So the wolves also mean to me that feeling that “everybody wants a piece of you.” A publicly out man could really lose himself to that. 1/2 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage 2/2 Also, I was just hunting to see what wolves symbolized in the art of the Middle Ages. They symbolized vice—and what was a more judged vice in the 70s and 80s than being a gay man, especially one with AIDS. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Maybe defacing the painting was just their collective expression of grief ... 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen And it was interesting how part of what Danni added wasn‘t removed. 2y
DebinHawaii @BarbaraTheBibliophage Oooh, I like the “vice” symbolism thoughts! 2y
Cinfhen 100% @BarbaraTheBibliophage it was really important to my husband‘s uncle that when he died he should be remembered for his legacy and not that he was a gay man who died from AIDS. He feared that more than the actual death. https://www.nytimes.com/1997/08/23/nyregion/irving-cooperberg-65-helped-found-ga... 2y
bookandbedandtea I don't have a guess why Finn named the painting that but I do think he's the one who submitted it to the papers. I liked that Toby, Greta, June and Danni all added to it and found myself wishing their contributions hadn't been cleaned away. I flip flop between liking and not liking that Danni's addition was kept. 2y
Cinfhen Fascinating about medieval wolves imagery @BarbaraTheBibliophage 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen Oh my, he certainly left an important and lasting legacy. That‘s pretty cool. OTOH, my grandad‘s obituary (Pittsburgh in the 80s) refers to his partner as one of his ‘sons.‘ 🤦🏼‍♀️ 2y
britt_brooke @DebinHawaii Agree with you 100%! Well said. (edited) 2y
CarolynM @BarbaraTheBibliophage I like both your suggestions for the significance of the wolves. 2y
BarbaraBB Thanks for sharing that article @Cinfhen and unbelievable @BarbaraTheBibliophage ,his son! Just 30/40 years ago! 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @BarbaraBB IKR? If there‘s an afterlife, I hope Grandfather slapped his children silly over that foolishness. 2y
Cinfhen Let‘s hope our future generations have learned tolerance, acceptance and love @BarbaraTheBibliophage @BarbaraBB @Billypar ❤️ 2y
Librarybelle Completely agree, @DebinHawaii ! 2y
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Question 3
Explain your thoughts about Greta. Was she plagued by jealousy, insecurity or was there more going on with her? Do you think the author handled this storyline well?

CoffeeNBooks I think there was a lot going on with Greta- she was jealous of Finn and June, she was somewhat insecure, she and June weren't as close as they had been when they were younger, and she felt pressured by her mom to pursue her acting even though she wasn't sure that's what she wanted to do. 2y
BarbaraBB For me the Greta storyline didn‘t work well. Maybe she had a thing with her teacher, maybe she was afraid of him but that doesn‘t explain why she suddenly had no friends anymore and became a heavy drinker. In the end it turns out she felt lonely and left out. That makes sense but not in regard to her appearances in the school related scenes. I may have missed the point. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @BarbaraBB I‘m with you. This story line was the least clear and compelling for me. I thought Greta was self absorbed and trying to get attention any way she could. 2y
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Billypar Jealousy and insecurity were big parts of it: it seemed obvious that she was jealous of her sister because of her relationship with Finn, but it makes sense that June wouldn't have picked up on something like that at her age and how it was masked by meanness and feigned indifference. I think she was also under a lot of pressure with the acting and college looming that it must have been lonely not to have her sister as close anymore to support her. 2y
DebinHawaii @BarbaraBB @CoffeeNBooks I expected a bigger reveal of issues with Greta—something with her teacher maybe, something that happened but I think it was a lot of the small things—insecurity, not having someone in her corner like Finn was for June. Her mother‘s pushing her was for herself and not for Greta. 2y
Cinfhen I agree @BarbaraBB I didn‘t think this storyline was fully fleshed out. I‘m not sure her actions were all based on jealousy or feeling left out @CoffeeNBooks I got the sense her theatre teacher was exploiting her, or perhaps there was some sort of intimacy going on. And I‘m not sure why June never addressed the drinking with anyone 2y
Cinfhen Toby rushing to save Greta, even though it was on the bequest of June bugged me. That seemed overly dramatic especially as it was a plot point to bring about his death. That‘s where I became disappointed with the book @DebinHawaii @BarbaraTheBibliophage 2y
BarbaraBB @BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen She was self absorbed indeed. She was the popular one, why would she be jealous of her nerdy sister to be close with an uncle while she herself was the star of the school? It didn‘t make sense to me. Also, June felt left out by Greta before things turned the other way around. (edited) 2y
Cinfhen I agree she was jealous @Billypar because she wasn‘t receiving the “adult” attention which I think she mostly enjoyed @BarbaraBB until perhaps things got compromised with her theatre teacher. I think she slept with him at some point and then it all became too much for her. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen @DebinHawaii Right? Toby doing that was just hard to believe. Especially carrying Greta out of the forest, since he was apparently so near death. Adrenaline, maybe? But I thought it was so June would still love him, and that insecurity didn‘t entirely ring true. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen Greta was mostly a foil for June, which allowed the author to expand her main character‘s world beyond Toby and Finn. 2y
BarbaraBB @BarbaraTheBibliophage Toby had told her so often she could ask him anything and he had already refused the going to England plan, so I think he felt that he couldn‘t disappoint June again. (edited) 2y
Cuilin I think he carried her from the forest because his death was inevitable he could please June and Finn with this heroic action. 2y
squirrelbrain I really disliked Greta at first but then grew to feel quite sorry for her. (Which is unusual for me - once I make up my mind about someone I‘m usually very black or white, IRL or in a book!). By the end I could see her as a frightened child too, living up to high expectations from her parents, school and friends. Although I do agree that she wasn‘t fully realised as a character, and the end plot device with Toby in the woods was flawed. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @BarbaraBB Yes, all that ... but I‘m not totally clear on why or how he could put her request above his perilous health. That‘s why it‘s fiction ... 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cuilin Maybe he wanted to speed it along, which he did actually say to June while he was in hospital. It was coming anyway, so she helped him go out more on his terms. 2y
Balibee146 I felt the same @squirrelbrain 👍 2y
DebinHawaii @BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cuilin Yes, I think he knew he didn‘t have time left & did it for June & for Finn—taking care of June as he was asked to by trying to take care of Greta as June asked. 2y
Cinfhen Funny @squirrelbrain I had very little patience for Greta. And I‘m not sure why she kept insisting that June come to the parties in the woods and to her practices?? Did she want June to rescue her? Maybe she wanted June to take care of her for once since Greta had always been June‘s protector? 2y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen I thought Greta invited June to show off her cool life but maybe @squirrelbrain is right and was she just lonely because most of the time she didn‘t show off at all. 2y
squirrelbrain Yes, @BarbaraBB I think it was a weird mix of wanting to show off, but also wanting to keep June alongside her as a link back to her childhood. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage I think at that point he knew his death was inevitable, Greta‘s was not. Even if it had been Finn, with no letters and nothing to live up to I think he would have gone. That whole, I‘m going to be gone soon anyway, nothing I can do about that, but this one think I can help with. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @squirrelbrain I agree, she was hard to like... but by the end I felt sorry for her too...she was pushed ahead in school and then expected to be more adult too, I could see how with all her promise at school, she felt like she had lost out at being the cared for little girl. 2y
Hooked_on_books I found her completely one-note. Angry, vindictive and self-absorbed and her reasons for her behavior really weren‘t interrogated. So that made her story line more of a distraction. 2y
Cinfhen It was a plot point to bring Toby& June‘s secret friendship into the story @Hooked_on_books and also a catalyst for his death / I hated this WHOLE storyline 2y
Marni I could be wrong, but I think she was being molested by her teacher, and she had no one safe to turn to (in her mind). She‘s lost her best friend to her uncle and was suffering this awful thing. She didn‘t know how to deal with it all so she lashed out. 2y
Cinfhen I absolutely think she was being molested by her theatre teacher and I‘m a little disappointed that the author sort of alluded to it but never followed through @Marni 2y
Kalalalatja I wanted to know so much more about Greta because of all the half-finished plot points. Greta felt the most lonely to me, and like the most troubled character, and it broke my heart that she wasn‘t taken better care of. Her mom‘s lack of insight into her daughter‘s wishes was just awful. I don‘t understand why nobody saw her more clearly because she definitely got issues! 2y
bookandbedandtea I think Greta's storyline weakened the book as a whole. There should either have been a lot less of her or her issues should have been properly explored. Yes, she told June that she was unhappy and feeling pressured but I don't think her drinking, meanness, and erratic behavior were adequately explained. 2y
peaknit I think she was put on a pedestal by her teacher, peers, parents and hated it. She may have been bright but not socially mature. She missed Junie and acted out because maybe negative attention was better than all of the worship she felt was misplaced by everyone? 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen @Marni I agree. He was asking her for ‘a favor‘ in exchange for connecting her to those Broadway people. He cheapened and changed her love of theater by tying it to sex. 😰 2y
britt_brooke @BarbaraBB Agree. Greta‘s storyline was a bit gray. I didn‘t understand the significance of the theater stuff. I feel like the strained sisterly relationship could‘ve been broached in a simpler way. 2y
CarolynM I thoroughly disliked both Greta and the mother, both of whom I thought were selfish and jealous. 2y
Librarybelle I really did not like Greta, but I think she too had her own demons. It would have been interesting to get more from her. 2y
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Question 2
How do you feel about June and Toby‘s secret friendship? Is it a healthy relationship? How about her relationship with Finn?

squirrelbrain I loved the relationship with Finn - I think he saw much of himself in June and purposefully looked after her. The Toby thing worried me a bit, as she was so unworldly. It was unfair of him to put such a weight on her. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage I thought Finn was trying to save Junie from turning into her mom, especially as we learned more about that brother/sister relationship. He was encouraging June to be June, which is a rare thing in life, especially for teenagers who are a bit odd. 2y
DebinHawaii While it didn‘t seem that healthy at times, I think the relationship with Toby helped June grow & evolve & understand Finn & the rest of her family & even herself better. But good point @squirrelbrain about the weight & pressure it had. 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa You know, they way those relationships began (with Toby) or were allowed to be (with Finn, because of her mom) were messed up, but the relationships themselves were very honest, open, and caring. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage As for June and Toby, I think it was maybe the first relationship June had that was nearly adult. She had always been the one to be cared for—by Greta, her parents, and Finn. Now she was caring for Toby. And of course, he thought the same, which was a charming construct. But realistic? All that travel alone to the city was a bit hard to believe. But my mother was the opposite of June‘s, so maybe it‘s just me. (Even though I‘m about June‘s age.) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @squirrelbrain It was a weight, but I don‘t think he ever would have chosen to do that himself...if Finn hadn‘t left them both notes, I don‘t think they would have ever crossed paths. So in many ways, Finn pressured them both (edited) 2y
DebinHawaii @BarbaraTheBibliophage I agree about Finn. There isn‘t often a place for quirky in your teenage years. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @squirrelbrain I think Finn deep down wanted his two favorite people to know and take care of each other once he was gone.... 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yes, I agree that the connection between Toby and June would have been lost if Finn hadn‘t made it happen. I suspect he knew they‘d need each other. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @DebinHawaii Right. And at the same time, most teens are actually quirky, just because they‘re teens. Especially 13-16 year olds. 2y
Cinfhen That was my exact first thoughts too @squirrelbrain I agree Finn was looking out for June but I‘m not sure it was because of his own relationship with Danni @BarbaraTheBibliophage and I found all the independence and freedom to roam the city realistic ~ pre cell phones us kids were pretty much left to our own devices 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage I‘m about the same age as June too, and I thought the opposite. if I‘d lived closer to the city it would have been very easy with public transportation. My mom was divorced, worked evenings 3-11, typical latch key kid here...if I‘d have had access to public transportation who knows what I‘d have been up to.😂. Actually the tax season orphans and that it only lasted a few months was the more unrealistic part to me, most.. 2y
Cinfhen I thought it was sad how needy Toby seemed @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @DebinHawaii I‘m not sure I agreed with his encouragement of hiding the relationship although I understand why it needed to be in secrecy (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...kids I knew at that age were “latch key” kids with lots of alone time after school. 2y
Cuilin I don‘t think it would be understood or trusted today. I did have many mixed age friends as a teenager my daughters did not. I liked Toby and I think he liked June but his motivation was from his boyfriends dying wish. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Cinfhen I thought that at first too, then when the thing about both notes came out... I thought this poor guy‘s been forced to hide himself the last 10+ years, all he wants to do is be left alone to reflect and die in peace, and then Finn lays this one on him...so he‘s torturing himself to fulfill Finn‘s wishes, not seem totally creepy to June, not upset Danni, and try to “helpful” and friendly while he‘s really just grieving and falling apart. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Cinfhen I do think my friends and I would have wondered more if we‘d lived in a city with better public transportation, like NYC or Philly (probably others). At 14 we didn‘t have licenses or cars so we depended on parents. And my BFF and I both had moms who worked from home. 2y
BarbaraBB I think their friendship was much more healthy or normal back then as it would have been now. We had no cellphones and roamed the streets all day! I loved the idea that Finn brought them together and Toby treated June exactly as he should: he must have known a lot about her character. That was lovely. (edited) 2y
CoffeeNBooks I think that when June realized there was more than what her family was telling her, she wanted to know. I think her friendship with Toby helped her to understand Finn and her family more, and helped her grieve Finn's death. 2y
Billypar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa that's a really good point -- the relationships themselves seemed good, but they both began under such difficult circumstances. I did like the fact that Toby wasn't entirely responsible the way an adult should have been like @squirrelbrain alluded to. Otherwise I think he would have been too saintly of a character and less real. But both relationships were touching and intertwined. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yes! Toby really got the short end of the stick in the whole story. So it would have been totally understandable if he‘d just blown June off completely. But the prejudices about gay relationships and AIDS were spot on. That‘s how it was then. (I know ... my grandfather fell in love with a man when I was a toddler. Oh, the family drama ...) 2y
Cinfhen That‘s true @CoffeeNBooks yes, I see that @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I guess Finn saw similarities in his niece and partner @Billypar and it‘s sad that they never got to share that bond while Finn was living 2y
Cinfhen My husband‘s uncle passed away from AIDS in 1997 ~ he was with his partner for almost 25 years. Irving & Lou were 💯 accepted by the immediate family but I know how shunned they felt by the community at large @BarbaraTheBibliophage it was a time of terrible misinformation 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen It was so messed up. I remember having wholly serious conversations about whether drinking without straws at a restaurant was safe ... I‘m glad your husband‘s uncle and his partner were so accepted in the family. Mine wasn‘t so accepting of Grandfather and Sal, which makes me sad. They were devoted to each other and lovely people. 2y
squirrelbrain Great points @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Billypar - but I wonder if Finn would have left the notes had he known how short a time Toby had left? I think he probably would still have done so, to help June and the rest of the family too. 2y
Cinfhen I totally remember the straws too @BarbaraTheBibliophage nobody wanted to use drinking glasses. Those were dark days. ☹️I‘m embarrassed to say, that my parents while kind on the outside were very critical and not so lovely when they heard my husband‘s uncle was gay. They didn‘t want them visiting me after I had my babies. They worried we might “catch” something. I was so disappointed in my parents. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen There was so much we didn‘t know ... I just read And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts. Reminded me of so many moments and feelings and details of that time. 2y
Hooked_on_books I have mixed feelings about both relationships. Overall, I thought her relationship with Finn was really lovely…until the whole “in love with him” thing was dropped. It ruined it for me. I found it completely unnecessary. And I think it was nice and healing for her to get to know Toby after Finn‘s death to better understand him, but him feeding her giant cocktails was deplorable. 2y
Cinfhen Hi @Hooked_on_books so glad you dropped in!!! I was curious how you felt about the sexualization of June‘s feelings for her uncle. I agree / that felt unnecessary 2y
Cinfhen And I thought Toby was too immature at times @Hooked_on_books taking her to the amusement park to dress up / I didn‘t understand the logic 2y
Hooked_on_books @Cinfhen I was actually ok with the amusement park thing. June‘s age is fine for an amusement park and Toby is dying and may be trying to recapture some youth and vitality. And I‘ve always wanted to do one of those dress up old-timey pictures, so I can relate to that. 2y
Kalalalatja I‘m with you @Hooked_on_books. The relationships started out good, but June being in love with her uncle was just not needed. It felt like a girl can‘t be close with a man without being in love with him, and that‘s just not true. There was an opportunity to show a healthy, nurturing, enriching relationship between a niece and her uncle, and then it was made into something completely else. I get teenage emotions are weird, but come on 2y
Cinfhen I took those old time photos in Disney @Hooked_on_books it was actually quite fun 2y
Cinfhen My SIL was VERY close to her uncle @Kalalalatja especially since she had & still has a strained relationship with her own father, so I agree it. would have been a really positive healthy message to just leave the relationship as one based on platonic love for a family member and not sensationalize it into something inappropriate 2y
Billypar It's such an interesting point you raised @Hooked_on_books It didn't bother me as much: I think June hadn't matured enough to start having sexual feelings for others, whether it be her uncle or boys at school. She seemed to have more emotional crushes based on personality, but it still disturbed her to feel this way about her uncle. Whereas Finn and Toby probably saw it as innocuous, something she would grow out of. 2y
peaknit I felt sad for Toby, he was an overgrown boy in my mind who needed some nurturing. Junie was his only thread to Finn who was his life preserver... it was inappropriate they were secretive but there was no way around that I guess for the story, mom had so many complicated feelings about Toby. I think Junie loved her uncle, it didn‘t need to be made weird by her questioning if she “love loved” him, it can be normal to worship an opp. Sec relative. 2y
Billypar Argh, excuse the heteronormative reference in the last comment re: "boys at school"-- anyone at school! 2y
Hooked_on_books @Kalalalatja Yes! This is it exactly. Well put. 2y
britt_brooke I thought it was super freaking inappropriate, but they bonded over their grief. I grew to love their friendship over time. 2y
britt_brooke @Cinfhen @Hooked_on_books I agree about the sexualization of June‘s feeling for Finn. I think it was wholly incorrect anyway. She found common ground with him that she couldn‘t with her own parents. I felt like it was more of a parent/child relationship. I didn‘t like the “in love” spin at all. 2y
Suet624 It's funny because I didn't have any issues at all with her relationships with Finn or Toby. As a romantic, she would easily fall in love & Finn was definitely an easy person to fall for. As for Toby, as a 14-year-old, I would have done anything to be with him. Toby was suffering and, again, as a romantic and an old soul June would have gravitated to him and he to her. 2y
CarolynM @britt_brooke @Kalalalatja Completely agree. I didn't really get why the author even suggested it. Completely unnecessary. 2y
CarolynM As to the relationship between Toby and June, I thought they were both needing to share their grief and they understood one another's grief in a way the others didn't or refused to. 2y
Cinfhen They did become grief -mates in a way @CarolynM and I see what you mean @Suet624 There was something beautiful about these 2 lonely people finding each other 2y
Librarybelle Yeah, as so many have stated, there was levels of creepiness about June‘s love for Finn. I understood the layers of “romantic” Brunt was trying to convey, but making June realize she was “in love” with Finn was a black mark for me. I still love the book, though! But, maybe it‘s a way to show too how much June was hurting. She was clearly an outcast from fellow students and even her own family. Toby and June bonded by grief. I felt no oddness there 2y
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