Book Review: When God Was a Rabbit

When God was a Rabbit 1

When God was a Rabbit 2

Plot: Elly is an ordinary girl making sense of our ordinary world. When God was a Rabbit is a tale of family. The relationship between brother and sister. Between friends. Between a girl and her mysteriously talking rabbit named God. It is about growing up and the trials we must all face before we reach adulthood.

A book about loss and love, about finding who you are in a complicated world. One girl’s look at life when it constantly tries to throw her curveballs. There is more than one way to love someone, and this explores them all in depth.

When God was a Rabbit 3Quote: `It often occurred to me that normal people never stayed with us, or if they did it was certainly for no longer than one eye-opening night.`


Opinion: This book was recommended to me due to the previous reader not being sure how they felt and wanting a second opinion. I then read a review that praised it greatly. I went with an open mind, knowing that it might fall somewhere in-between.

But I was wrong. This book was charming, funny, sad and thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end. Sarah Winman takes a completely ordinary situation where normal, every-day things happens and turns it into a real-page turner.

Describing the plot is hard. It’s just a family living their life and a little girl growing up. Events happen along the way, but there is no true trajectory to the plot. But at the same time, I was gripped. The play on emotions keeps the reader going, manipulating how you feel about these characters means that when events (avoiding spoilers here, apologies for the vagueness) do happen, you feel with them so effectively you just have to keep reading.

The characters are well-developed and real. They have their pride, they have their faults and flaws. Anything less wouldn’t have let this book work for we wouldn’t be convinced by their actions. The narrator – Elly – has a refreshing look on the world and quite simply doesn’t give up on anything or anyone. Her brother and their friends are just as well developed. All-rounded characters you wish you knew in real life.

This review is harder to write than I anticipated it being. There is no adventure and no linear plot to comment on. The writing style is powerful – the language suits the setting and the characters and it works well to keep the reader engaged. The characters are realistic and enjoyable. There is real charm to this book, perhaps in a way I haven’t experienced for some time. If you’re looking for an enjoyable, entertaining read, then I would definitely recommend this.

The only thing that leaves me a touch quizzical is the talking rabbit. It is never explained and never really understood. Is it all in her mind or is there something more going on? I’m struggling to find how it even added to the plot apart from to insert a mystical element.

A thoroughly enjoyable read from beginning to end.


Amazon | Waterstones

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