When God Was a Rabbit
5 journalers for this copy...
Amazon Editorial Review
Sarah Winman's bestselling, critically-acclaimed debut novel WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT continues to captivate and enchant readers. 1968. The year Paris takes to the streets. The year Martin Luther King loses his life for a dream. The year Eleanor Maud Portman is born. Young Elly's world is shaped by those who inhabit it: her loving but maddeningly distractible parents; a best friend who smells of chips and knows exotic words like 'slag'; an ageing fop who tapdances his way into her home, a Shirley Bassey impersonator who trails close behind; lastly, of course, a rabbit called God. In a childhood peppered with moments both ordinary and extraordinary, Elly's one constant is her brother Joe. Twenty years on, Elly and Joe are fully grown and as close as they ever were. Until, that is, one bright morning when a single, earth-shattering event threatens to destroy their bond forever. Spanning four decades and moving between suburban Essex, the wild coast of Cornwall and the streets of New York, this is a story about childhood, eccentricity, the darker side of love and sex, the pull and power of family ties, loss and life. More than anything, it's a story about love in all its forms.
They parcel arrived on the day that we were leaving on holidays. I couldn’t pick it up, because the parcel document said that the earliest pick up time was 16.00 and we had to be at the airport before that. They hold on to packages for 2 weeks and we were away for 13 days.
So the day after I got back, I had a cranky toddler and a moody baby, both a bit out of their rythm. I knew there was a package or letter waiting for me at the post office, but with those two little ones, leaving the house felt like running a marathon in the snow, while wearing high heels and listening to the sound of crying toddlers on repeat. Uuurgh. Also the post never clarifies what exactly one needs to pick up. It could be a parcel. It could be a letter saying there was a mistake in your tax declaration and now you owe the government 50.000$ and a kidney.
You can imagine my happiness when I gave the post note to the postal office clerck and she came back with a huge box from amazon (first thought: oooh did I order something and forgot about it? Second thought: maybe amazon is thanking me for my multiple impulse purchases and they send me a gift. Third thought: it must be books, I love getting surprise books!). I opened it at home and was so happy to find 4 lovely books, a bunch of bookcrossing labels, 2 rolls of washi tape, a card and a keychain with a cat. it totally made my day and it also made my toddler happy, since he got to help with unwrapping the gifts.
It’s not that nothing happens throughout the book. It spans at least 20 years in the life of Elly and her (slightly extraordinary) family. Quite a lot happens to Elly, but the narrative is so fast and sometimes chaotic, making it hard to really absorb everything.
So I’m a bit in doubt about what I think about this book. On the one hand it’s beautifully written. Some sentences are just amazing. But on the other hand, it feels like something is lacking in the story. It feels like either too much happens or too little, or maybe it’s just that so few attention is given to all the things that happen that everything feels very inisignificant. Kind of like lots of storylines were mentioned, but none were really followed.
The characters are interesting, though. Elly as a child feels like such an old soul, it’s hard to imagine her as a 9 year old. Her sweet brother Joe, who became more like the main character towards the end of the story. The famous aunt Nancy. Some friends who felt like family, like Charlie and Jenny Penny. Overall it’s a story about love between these characters.
I’ll try to find a new home for this book soon. for now I’ll keep it as a possible candidate for a few VBB’s that will soon come my way.
Edit 27 jan: reserved for Wilena (wishlist tag or sweeps or RABCK, whatever comes first).
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Many thanks ! :-)
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