I’ve been to a lovely book event in London today. A sort of meta book group, discussing Tell the Wolves I’m Home, followed by a reading and Q and A with the author, Carol Rifka Brunt, followed by cocktails. Sadly I didn’t think the five month old would cope with cocktails so we didn’t stay for that part, but he was very well behaved for the rest of it and the journey.
I was very involved in the discussion session. I didn’t have the same opinion as other readers at all, which meant I found the discussion interesting but a little intimidating. As a good friend of mine would say, my process, not yours. Partly because of that and also feeling slightly self conscious with the baby I began increasingly to feel that I was there under false pretences being not as educated or authoritative as some of the other participants so when we got to the open question session I just somehow never managed to squeeze my questions in.
I had questions. I had questions about the Wrinkle in Time reference, was that because Madeleine L’Engle had any particular meaning or just because that imagery of time like a wrinkly blanket is so powerful. And I wanted to ask about scents: in a variety of different scenes the scents of people and places are mentioned, does Carol have a particular connection with scents?
I’d also have liked to ask about the writing process and how it worked to have received an award to support the writing of the book prior to publication, did that help to make it a particularly strong debut?
But I didn’t ask any of them, and I’m disappointed in myself now. I shall give myself a stern talking to, and do better next time.
If you haven’t heard of Tell the Wolves I’m home, you need to. It’s fabulous. Women’s literary fiction I’m told, I’d put it right up there with books like To kill a mockingbird. It’s a story about love in all it’s many guises, of jealousy, growing up, redemption and loss. Above all it’s about relationships between siblings, or at least that’s where I’d place the emphasis.
The language is beautiful. Simple, yet evocative, laced with descriptive gems and truths that make you nod your head as you read.
And I discovered it’s one of those rare books that is even better second time through. A book that is staying in my shelf, not heading for read it swap it