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Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

When God Was a Rabbit: A Novel 
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
ISBN: 1608195341
Pages: 304 pgs
Genre: Fiction/Coming of age
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge


Buy this Book: Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound  


Summary from publisher:

This is a book about a brother and a sister. It's a book about secrets and starting over, friendship and family, triumph and tragedy, and everything in between. More than anything, it's a book about love in all its forms.
In a remarkably honest and confident voice, Sarah Winman has written the story of a memorable young heroine, Elly, and her loss of innocence-a magical portrait of growing up and the pull and power of family ties.

From Essex and Cornwall to the streets of New York, from 1968 to the events of 9/11, When God Was a Rabbit follows the evolving bond of love and secrets between Elly and her brother Joe, and her increasing concern for an unusual best friend, Jenny Penny, who has secrets of her own. With its wit and humor, engaging characters whose eccentricities are adroitly and sometimes darkly drawn, and its themes of memory and identity, When God Was a Rabbit is a love letter to true friendship and fraternal love.

Funny, utterly compelling, fully of sparkle, and poignant, too, When God Was a Rabbit heralds the start of a remarkable new literary career.
My Review:  

Usually when you buy a new computer, you expect at least two weeks of no tech trauma peace. Turns out that it’s not true. Out of every batch of computers, there are a couple of lemons. My new one was a lemon. We brought the thing back and got a, hopefully, non-lemon. I’m too afraid to open the box to check.

I love coming of age novels. Some of my favorite books have come from that genre--A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Little Women, The Outsiders, To Kill A Mockingbird, Anne of Green Gables etc. One of the main reasons I love this genre is that the protagonists always stick with me after finishing. I couldn’t imagine living my life without Anne, Jo, Scout, Ponyboy (even though I had a crush on Dally), and Francie. Elly definitely has some of the characteristics that made those classic characters so unforgettable. I found Elly to be charming and precocious. She tackles many issues that are prevalent now in the same way that those classic characters tackled their contemporary issues.

There were so many things that I loved about this book. The writing was excellent. Elly was an amazing protagonist. She has elements of Francie and Scout in her. The story was interesting and entertaining. I found myself laughing hysterically at some parts—always a plus. I did, however, find that the secondary characters were a bit flat and I was a somewhat less interested in Elly as an adult. I think I became a little too engrossed in Elly as a child to appreciate her as an adult. It also almost felt like I was reading two completely different novels both equally as good but completely different.

If you are into coming of age novels, this is definitely a good one to check out—alongside the classics of course.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.


  1. I'm always intrigued by books that delve into childhood memories, which I think this one does. My sister and I remember many key incidents in our childhood veeerrrry differently. Anyway, glad you liked it.. thanks so much for being on the tour!

  2. You are so lucky you get this book. I have put it in my wishlist. I hope It wont be there forever?

    I am glad to know that the character is great.



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