Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt


I think I said I wasn’t going to make a habit of literary mix tapes… I don’t think a third book review by way of music clips within a month is a habit…

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt is a wonderful book. There are dozens of reviews on Goodreads, nearly all glowing, and with good reason. There’s a gentleness and a naivety to this story that will stay with me. Add in a ‘New York in the eighties’ setting and beautifully explored themes of sibling relationships, loyalty and grief, and you’ve got yourself a great read. 4/5

Private Eyes by Hall & Oates (a little too literal? Perhaps, but an eighties classic).

“Watching people is a good hobby, but you have to be careful about it. You can’t let people catch you staring at them. If people catch you, they treat you like a first-class criminal. And maybe they’re right to do that. Maybe it should be a crime to try to see things about people they don’t want you to see.”


Sing by The Carpenters

“If the trend continues with Greta and me, that would mean neither of us would ever want to work in an office, which so far was true for me. If things went my way, I would be working at a renaissance fair as a falconer. I wouldn’t have to worry about climbing career ladders or getting promotions, because falconry’s not like that. Either you’re a falconer or you’re not. Either the birds come back to you or they fly away.”


‘Chi il bel sogno di Doretta’ from La Rondine by Giacomo Puccini sung by Kiri te Kanawa (if Private Eyes was obvious, this is perhaps a little obscure – think the movies mentioned in the book; think about the meaning of the lyrics {love creeping up on you}).

“None of those things should have mattered, but I guess they did. I guess they were like water. Soft and harmless until enough time went by. Then all of a sudden you found yourself with the Grand Canyon on your hands.”


Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel*

“The drive to Gasho was quiet except for the sound of my father’s Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits cassette. All my parents’ music came from greatest hits albums. It was like the thought of getting even one bum track was too much for them to handle.”


Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper

“The bed was warm and ordinary and perfect, and it had been such a long, long day. Probably the longest day in my life. I felt like I had proof that not all days are the same length, not all time has the same weight. Proof that there are worlds and worlds and worlds on top of worlds, if you want them to be there.”


Careless Whisper by George Michael

“It’s the most unhappy people who want to stay alive, because they think they haven’t done everything they want to do. They think they haven’t had enough time. They feel like they’ve been shortchanged.”


Somebody to Love by Queen (and George Michael)

“I thought how there was a kind of power in being needed. In having a purpose. I could feel it hardening up my bones and thickening my blood.”


Sacred Things by Vika and Linda Bull

“…and I thought how many small good things in the world might be resting on the shoulders of something terrible.”


* side note – my dad used to sing this song when I was very little and I remember feeling very scared by the lyrics. I still find it creepy.

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