Tag Archives: Coming of Age

A Haunting Coming of Age Tale During the AIDS Epidemic

DragonDreamsJen’s #CBR7 Review #2  Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

This second novel in my Cannonball Read challenge came highly recommended by my daughter in Grade 10. After reading it for her English class Book Club project and completing her essay before the end of the first term, she slid her copy into my reading pile and I am VERY glad that she did.

Brunt’s debut novel features the poignant story of fourteen-year-old June Elbus as she struggles to deal with the death of her uncle Finn from AIDS. Set back in the late 1980s, when the disease was still highly misunderstood and fear was rampant, Tell The Wolves I’m Home weaves a complex web of intrigue, self-discovery, tolerance and the coming of age process.  While I found myself struggling to like the protagonist at time, due to her jealous nature and the fact that I am an extreme extrovert, the voice and the writing were nonetheless so powerful that I was swept along by the moving story until its touching conclusion.

Amid the chaos of the return to school and starting a new 12 week job as a supply teacher, I found myself with more reading time than usual, but less time to write my reviews. It wasn’t until this last blizzard brought our city to a standstill that I found the chance to catch up. If you are looking for a wonderful story that will touch your heart, paint vivid pictures in your mind and make you think, then my daughter, her English teacher and I highly recommend Tell The Wolves I’m Home!

Paperback format, 355 pages, published by Dial Press

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Review #61 Star of Danger by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Star of Danger was one of the first Darkover novels I ever read.  It was actually published the year that I was born, but I didn’t discover it until the summer before I turned 14.  I remember reading this tale of two young men from different worlds who become brothers in all but blood when faced with incredible dangers and mistaken identity.

This novel epitomizes everything that is so captivating and fascinating about the world of Darkover and the culture that evolved from the lost terran spacecraft.  As one of the earliest tales in this world of her imagination, Star of Danger contains  all of the key elements that were later expanded on…the psychic powers, the non-human creatures that also inhabit the planet, the dangers of the climate and local wildlife, the mistrust that both cultures have for one another…

Larry Montray feels drawn to Darkover from the minute he and his father land on the planet from Terra.  He is determined to learn more that just the language and longs to see more than just the fringes of the town that brushes up against the Terran Empire Spaceport.  Kennard Alton is the son of one of the ruling families of Darkover, but he is fascinated by outer space and technology.  As their friendship grows, it becomes a bridge of sorts between the two worlds… but it also places both of them in incredible danger, especially when Larry is mistaken for Kennard and kidnapped by outlaws.

Star of Danger is a classic coming of age tale packed full of adventure, intrigue and wonder.  The tiny print and slim profile was typical of the day.  Published with today’s larger fonts and wider margins, it would easily fill double the amount of pages.  Regardless of the page count, the action is fast paced and sweeps the reader along to an incredibly satisfying conclusion.

Paperback format, 160 pages, published in 1965 by Ace Books.

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