|Image courtesy of Carol Rifka Brunt's website|
While I loved this book, reactions among our book club members was mixed. Three members felt it definitely required reading the first third or so before it began to flow for them, but once it did, two of them liked it and the third rated it "so-so." The fourth person felt it was a really good book. The good news? No one "hated" it! :) The themes contained herein made excellent fodder for discussion. There were mixed reactions to the idea that June's attraction to Finn was possibly inappropriate; most felt it was rather typical of an adolescent who was just beginning to think such thoughts to initially experiment with them toward the people with whom they have the closest relationships. I would argue that society then teaches us to stifle what may be considered inappropriate according to social norms, forcing us to focus such thoughts in "socially acceptable" ways. Fortunately, even very recently, attitudes appear to be changing overall among the US populace regarding acceptance of "non-heterosexuality" and those who identify as other than "straight."
A consideration I found to be interesting dealt with the time of publication. If this had been released in 2012 rather than 2014, might readers' reactions perhaps be quite different, given some of the themes (homosexuality, AIDS, etc.) depicted? We all felt many more readers would likely not be as accepting just two years ago as they might be now, especially toward a "gay" couple. And the painting of Greta and June, we wished it had been left in its altered state, thereby preserving the further "edits." The teapot and the wolf, from the title and the cover image...so meaningful!
My favorite character was Finn. I believe he was the most loving and caring character of them all--leaving notes for both June and Toby to take care of each other, how sweet! And the basement "room" created as Toby's hideout when June visited. I loved Finn's love for others.
Have you read this one yet? I think you will not be disappointed if you do... I loved it! I believe I have another favorite author! 'Cause, I need more favorites!!