Tell the Wolves I’m Home

- Carol Rifka Brunt

The Star (St. Lucia) - - BOOK REVIEW - By Theresa Eli­box

Oc­ca­sion­ally when peo­ple en­ter the book Yard I ask them about what jour­ney they are on, about them­selves and their book in­ter­ests. Rarely do I find a per­son who con­tem­plates a book cover but, when they do, I make sure to tickle their mind on what they think the book is about. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt has one of the most in­ter­est­ing book cov­ers in the store and I found my­self in­trigued by what it may have to of­fer.

The book opens with: “My sis­ter, Greta, and I were hav­ing our por­trait painted by our un­cle Finn that af­ter­noon be­cause he knew he was dy­ing.” Im­me­di­ately I knew this would be in­ter­est­ing enough to feed my taste for twisted nov­els. This book gripped my at­ten­tion and I was glued to ev­ery page.

Un­cle Finn is a world-renowned artist and he names the por­trait of the two girls “Tell the Wolves I’m Home”. When he dies the por­trait is kept in a bank vault by the girls’ mother af­ter the me­dia be­comes in­ter­ested in its value. Greta and her sis­ter, June, are each given a key to ac­cess it.

Their un­cle Finn was ho­mo­sex­ual; his boyfriend Toby is at the fu­neral and is spot­ted by June who was close to her un­cle Finn and feels the need to un­der­stand the man in his life. A few days later June re­ceives by mail a pack­age con­tain­ing a beau­ti­ful teapot that she recog­nises from her un­cle’s apart­ment. With it is a note from Toby ask­ing if they can meet. She learns that what her mother had said about him was false; the mother doesn’t like Toby and re­sented un­cle Finn’s fame, some­thing that she wished to achieve but in­stead had to set­tle for be­ing an ac­coun­tant.

Over time June, Greta, their mother, and Toby add de­tails to the por­trait, without each other know­ing. How­ever, when the mother finds out she is fu­ri­ous, be­liev­ing that it has de­creased the por­trait’s value.

Greta turns to drugs and al­co­hol to cope with how over­whelm­ing her life has be­come and gets tan­gled up in Toby and June’s re­la­tion­ship. Then she gets Toby ar­rested. The night of the ar­rest, she tells her sis­ter, June, of her feel­ings about June and Finn’s close re­la­tion­ship and con­fesses to wish­ing she had got more from life while their un­cle was alive.

Af­ter his re­lease, Toby be­comes ab­sent from the girls’ lives and so June reaches out. She and Toby en­gage in con­ver­sa­tion while he is in hos­pi­tal. June faces the re­al­ity that she may have to re­live a re­cent tragedy. De­spite June’s mother’s hate to­wards Toby, she goes in and apol­o­gises to him. Toby is left to his fate.

The paint­ing is re­stored nearly to its orig­i­nal state af­ter months of work by an art in­spec­tor. Two ex­tra de­tails are left: a neck­lace around June’s neck and a ring on Greta’s fin­ger.

This book brought all kinds of mys­tery, in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and sus­pi­cion. I def­i­nitely rec­om­mend it if you yearn the thrill of ad­ven­ture. It takes a good book to make some­one a reader, and this one could be your good book. It is cur­rently avail­able at the only book­store on the is­land, here at the bookYard. Hol­i­day treats are still avail­able storewide so don’t miss out!

‘Tell the Wolves I’m Home’ is the per­fect book to add to your col­lec­tion. Truly an en­joy­able read for the en­tire fam­ily.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.