June Elbus is a 14-year-old in 1987 New York, at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Her best friend, confidant, and uncle, Finn Weiss, suffers from AIDS and is homosexual. During the last couple weeks of his life, Finn, who is a renowned painter, asks June and her older sister Greta to pose for a portrait. He later titles the painting, “Tell the Wolves I’m Home”.
After Finn’s funeral, June is contacted by a man she’s never seen before. The man’s name is Toby, and he is Finn’s boyfriend. Toby asks to meet June to deliver a package from Finn. Hesitantly, June meets up with Toby. The package from Finn contains a final wish, asking June to look after Toby.
Through the months following Finn’s …show more content…
On the same day, June’s mother discovers the additions on the painting. June is grounded. June goes to see Greta’s show, but soon realizes Greta is drunk. Because she’s grounded, June is unable to meet Greta in the woods. Instead, she calls Toby and asks him to bring Greta home. It’s extremely cold in the woods, and both Toby and Greta become sick.
However, the police arrive and arrest Greta, along with Toby. Greta lies to say she befriended Toby. June’s mother, who disapproved of Finn’s homosexuality, recognizes Toby and shuns him.
After the incident, Greta admits to June she was jealous of Finn and Toby because she wasn't important to June as they were. The two make up again.
Days after his arrest, Toby becomes very sick and lies in deteriorating condition in the hospital. June admits to him, and herself, that Finn was her first love, and realizes Toby was her second. June’s mother apologizes to Toby, and Toby dies shortly thereafter.
That night, June’s mother paints a necklace and ring on June and Greta's hand in the portrait. Even after an art inspector removes the sisters’ additions, her mother’s necklace and ring still