Life, Simply Led

When God Was A Rabbit – A Book Review for the Tots 100 Book Club

When God Was A Rabbit

When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman is a well crafted tale of the love between a brother and sister, spanning the years from narrator Elly’s birth in 1968 to the terrible events of  September 1995.

It is about all the things which hold people together even when they are falling apart and it is told with humour and warmth.  It encompasses the light and dark of relationships, the ups and downs as people grow into who they are affected by who they were. It is about losing people and about finding them again.

The cast of characters which surround Elly and her brother Joe are all deliciously quirky and one step off track. Elly’s friendship with wild haired Jenny Penny who smells of chips and has a very different home life and Joe’s relationship with fellow rugby player Charlie both weave their way through the story. Add into this mix loving but unreliable parents, a lesbian actor aunt, Arthur, an elderly lodger who knows when and how he is going to die and of course god, the rabbit and you have the makings of a jolly good read.

I love the first half of the book when Ellie is a child and although many of the events are tragic, I also laughed out loud. The nativity scene is hilarious (if ultimately tragic) and the Silver Jubilee street party made me envy all those who had them all over again (all I got from the Jubilee was a plastic flag and a bump on the head from walking into a lamppost on my way to see the Queen!).

The second half of the book required a bit more suspension of belief on my part than I would normally allow in a novel but I was hooked on the characters so I let it pass. The plot is a little thin and I did feel bounced from pillar ro post on occasion but it is a book which had me laughing and crying in equal measure and which I galloped through at speed. It is an easy, satisfying read and sometimes that is exactly what I need!

I am recommending this book to Liz at Me And My Shadow because I think she, like me, will enjoy an engrossing easy read of an evening. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did!

The Tots 100 Book Club is where bloggers share their favourite stories. Every month, the Tots100 invites 10 bloggers to tell us about stories that have moved and inspired them – and to share their favourite books with another blogger. Each month, we’ll be publishing a round-up of the Book Club’s recommendations over on the Tots100 site, meaning you need never be short of great reading inspiration again!

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8 Comments

  1. Great choice, I have heard so many good things about this but haven’t read it yet. Will need to sort that. x

  2. Hah, I reviewed this on blog a while back, I hated it! It seems to be one of those marmite books.

  3. I think this was on the list for the Good Reads Book Club that Cara @frecklesfamily had going last year. I failed dismally to keep up so still have a copy sitting and waiting. I shall move it up the pile :D

  4. It’s a great book to discuss with a book club. Mine got very over excited about it. Nicola

  5. I loved this book, had similar issues as you with it, but ultimately came away feeling richer for having read it. Beautifully drawn characters.

  6. I have this on my bedside table and have heard one glowing, one not so glowing and now one mixed! But I need an easy read, great review!

  7. I didn’t love love this book but it is an easy and enjoyable read. I think I kept waiting for something to happen and when it did it wasn’t what I thought it would be… but I do recommend as the characters are good and it has stayed with me.

  8. Oh wow thanks so much Chris. I think I spotted this is a charity shop the other day, so I’ll go back and get it! Thanks for the recommendation, what a lovely idea. x

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Book Club Recommendations: January | Tots 100 - [...] how about something a bit more fantastical? One of the biggest hits of 2011, When God was a Rabbit, …

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