WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT is an incredibly exciting debut from an extraordinary new voice in fiction. Spanning four decades, from 1968 onwards, this is the story of a fabulous but flawed family and the slew of ordinary and extraordinary incidents that shape their everyday lives. It is a story about childhood and growing up, loss of innocence, eccentricity, familial ties and friendships, love and life. Stripped down to its bare bones, it's about the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The best coming-of-age stories transport you to a time of Technicolor weirdness, heightened emotions and everyday magic. Elly Maud—the first-person narrator of When God Was a Rabbit—basks in the warmth of her parents and adoring older brother, but she's also waking up to the cruelty and injustices of the world. We were mesmerised by the poeticism and askew humour of British actress Sarah Winman’s first novel, a pageturner propelled by an irresistibly perceptive young heroine and the beautifully flawed characters in her orbit.
Winman debuts with a heartbreaking story of the secrets and hopes of a sister and brother who share an unshakable bond. Elly and her older brother, Joe, appear to be just like all the other kids in mid-1970s Essex, U.K., but, as is often the case, shocking secrets lurk below the surface for the siblings and Elly's best friend, Jenny Penny one has been sexually abused, another has an alcoholic and promiscuous mother, another is homosexual and the weight of bearing each other's traumas erupts in hard to watch ways. As the years go on, each moves forward; for Elly and Joe, this is more easily accomplished, as their family moves away from Essex and Joe's secret is brought to light, relief Elly doesn't receive until much later. As the story winds through time and across the Atlantic, the trio and their families are rocked by 9/11, leading to a final twist that strains belief before settling into acceptable inevitability. Winman shows impressive range and vision in breaking out of the muted coming-of-age mold, and the narrative's intensity will appeal to readers who like a little gloom.
Customer ReviewsSee All
When God was a Rabbit
This book is the most amazing emotional coaster I have read! So beautifully written, halting, fact or fiction one wonders? I recommend it unhesitatingly to everyone. Be prepared for tears, joy, and pain. A keeper!
When God was a rabbit
One of the best books I have read since One Fine Day. I have never laughed out loud when reading a book, but the Nativity audition and performance were written beautifully. I loved all the characters, each with their own story. A book I will be telling my friends about for a long time.
A beautiful story, originally written. The best book I have read in years!