NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A heartfelt story of love, grief, and renewal about two unlikely friends who discover that sometimes you don’t know you’ve lost someone until you’ve found them
“A dazzling debut novel.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Tremendously moving.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Touching and ultimately hopeful.”—People
1987. The only person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus is her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can be herself only in Finn’s 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, June’s world is turned upside down.
But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life. At the funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail containing a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and that this unexpected friend just might be the one she needs the most.
WINNER OF THE ALEX AWARD • 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 Brunt's sentimental debut novel, 15-year-old June must come to terms with the death of her beloved uncle Finn, an artist, from AIDS in 1980s New York. As she struggles with his death and her own grief, June secretly befriends her uncle's mysterious lover, Toby, blamed by her parents for Finn's death. What begins as a wary relationship between former rivals for Finn's affection blossoms touchingly. Though June gradually uncovers the conflicts between her mother and uncle, she faces adolescent problems as well (sibling rivalry, boys, parties). A wrenching climax finds June's family threatening to uncover her secret relationship with the ailing Toby. Though Brunt's approach to AIDS and homosexuality is bold, her novel is mostly an extended meditation on "all the meanness that could come out of loving someone too much." The plot is never dull, and the convincing emotional climaxes, while overwrought, are appropriate for a narrator of June's age. Though the book has young adult novel qualities, with moral conflicts that resolve themselves too easily and characters nursing hearts of gold, there's enough ambiguity and subtlety to interest a wider audience.
Devoured (pun intended) "Wolves" in less than a day. Very unique story, wonderful narrative, and deeply touching without being sappy or maudlin. A great read about the complexities of the different types of love encountered in a life time.
This book was delicate and sensitive from a teenagers point of view, I just wish that more adults were as caring. Totally enjoyable.
It's been so long since I've read a beautifully written book I forgot they existed. It felt great to once again be immersed in a story and it's characters. It made me run the gamut of emotions and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.