Jean's Reviews > When God Was a Rabbit

When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
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's review
Oct 04, 2011

it was amazing

This is a stunning debut novel by Sarah Winman. It tells the story of Elly who describes her own birth "the nurse shouted Push!and my father shouted Push! and my mother pushed, and I slipped out effortlessly into that fabled year" She thinks that God loves everyone except her because her Sunday school teacher said she was ungodly and God could not possibly love her.And all she said was that Jesus Christ was an unplanned pregnancy.Elly's mother is in a deep and prolonged depression due to having lost her parents in a bus crash and Elly's brother Joe, older by five years takes her protectively into his world.And it's the start of an intense and loving relationship that to quote Elly "I never felt complete without him".

Elly has a secret that she shares with her brother and nobody else , their next door neighbour who she befriended as she has no other friends, abuses her sexually. Joe gives her a rabbit as a friend substitute and they call it God.Elly believes that the rabbit sometimes talks to her.Then there is Elly's best friend Jenny Penny, a strange girl beset by her own problems. The story kicks off in England in the 60's and moves to New York before and after 9/11 and is told in undramatic tones,

Elly never feels sorry for herself though she certainly has reason to.Sometimes the plot depicts a grimness that Elly narrates good naturedly with whimsical humour.
I highly recommend it.
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