I'm back to reading physical books, this time I picked up Tell the Wolves I'm Home.|
June Elbus' uncle Finn is dying of AIDS and wants to paint a portrait of June and her sister Greta. They sit for him every Saturday, even after the picture seems done, until one day they receive the news that he has died. June is heartbroken, he was her Godfather and the only person who seemed to get her. June is an introvert while her sister is an extrovert. They had been close at one time, but now Greta seems to be annoyed with everything June does. Finn used to take June to art and cultural places in New York.
At the funeral the family sees a young man sitting apart in the parking lot. June's mother is upset, it turns out that he was Finn's partner and widely believed to have given Finn AIDS. Shortly afterward the family receives the portrait and June receives a package from a strange mailman containing Finn's favorite teapot. It turns out that Toby, Finn's partner, has sent it to her and he wants to get to know her. This is the start of a strange, but healing, friendship for June and Toby.
The book is told from June's point of view, which is interesting because as an adult, we can figure out some things before June does. June is an interesting character, at once brave enough to be different from her classmates, but still vulnerable to her sister's actions.
I liked the book because the characters seemed very real and the emotions true-love, grief, happiness, tenderness, compassion.