Sunday, 6 January 2013

When God was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman



This book was not at all what I expected. I thought it would be a light and easy read (as portrayed by the title and the front cover), but it was actually very deep and quite dark in parts.

It tells the story of Elly, her family and her best friend Jenny. The book reads like an autobiography of the most important moments of Elly’s life. It is divided into two parts; childhood and adulthood, both of which are told through Elly’s voice.

One of the biggest and most central themes of this book is family. Elly is very close to her family, particularly her brother Joe. She, and we, see a contrast in that of her best friend Jenny who comes from a broken home and who longs to be a part of Elly’s family. Love in all its forms is also a key theme to this book. Both these themes are expressed in a way that feels very true to life. The effect of devastating moments or world tragedies on the family and relationships is conveyed throughout.

I found the writing slightly confusing in places, such as how old Elly was supposed to be at certain times, and to whom she was talking to. Despite some terrible events happening in her life, Elly always seems quite detached, providing an almost dry commentary. I’m left feeling a little confused about her, and did not particularly warm to her.


This is not really my sort of book if I’m honest. A lot of people have really raved about how good this book is and for that reason alone I wanted to give it a chance- and others should too. I can appreciate that it is a good book and can be quite gripping in parts, so I would recommend it to fans of Mark Haddon or such like. I will not be keeping it however, and would like to read a much lighter book next!

Has anyone else read this book? I would love to hear other people’s opinions on it- please comment if you have!

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