Wednesday, 17 August 2011

When God was a Rabbit

When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

This book's had so much hype it doesn't need any more from me, which is good, because it's not going to get any. Bought it on an impulse in WHSmiths because it was there, right under my nose, as it has been under most people's noses for months now.

It's being pushed as a book club book, and I can see why- an easy, shortish read with lots to discuss. Most people seem to love it. I only quite-liked it.

Elly is the younger child of two in an unusual and quirky family. She narrates the story in first person. She has an older brother who discovers he's gay at a young age and falls in love with his best friend. She has a film-actress aunt who's also gay. Her aunt fancies her mum, who kind of fancies her back. Elly also has a single best friend. When the family win the Pools they move to a large house in Cornwall and open a B&B, which quickly becomes populated with more gay and theatre people who seem to stay for ever. Elly and her brother grow up and remain close. Stuff happens then more stuff happens and frankly, probably far too much happens so we don't really ever feel involved in all these events in this unlikely family.

Despite the self-centredness of the characters world events also have a part to play, so when Elly's brother finds himself working in New York at the start of the millennium you just know he'll get caught up in 9/11. Which he does. Which made me sigh, as it was predictable, although to be fair, this part was beautifully written.

Don't let me put you off. It's a well written book which will make you laugh in places and possibly cry in other places (though I never felt close enough to the characters to cry over them). As I said, I quite liked it. Great title. (Elly has a pet rabbit named god when she is small. It speaks.)

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