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The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes

(Rabbit Hayes #1)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  8,787 ratings  ·  1,290 reviews
Here is a truth that can't be escaped: for Mia "Rabbit" Hayes, life is coming to an end ...

Mia-"Rabbit"-Hayes knows that life is hard for everyone. And she knows that she's one of the lucky ones. She loves her life, ordinary as it is. And she loves the extraordinary people in it: her spirited daughter, Juliet; her colorful, unruly family; the only man in her big heart, Joh
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 19th 2014 by Transworld Ireland (first published May 8th 2014)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  8,787 ratings  ·  1,290 reviews

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Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is a gorgeously-layered prolonged gaze at a life lived beautifully and the unfairness of its end.

a novel that takes place in a hospice where a young mother spends her last days saying farewell to her family, most notably her twelve-year-old daughter, might sound unremittingly bleak, until you take into account that this is an irish novelist, and if any culture has a tradition of confronting death with a defiant laugh and the strength of family rallying together, well…

this is daring and br
Angela M
Jun 14, 2015 rated it really liked it

Of course , I knew what this book was about and knew from the first page it would be sad but I didn't know how heartbreakingly good it would be . It's not only about dying. This book is about living and about how much people love each other , about a good family and friends who are like family.

I almost immediately felt as if I knew them . McPartlin gets inside their heads and so perfectly conveys their grief and varying abilities to cope with what is happening to Rabbit and with Rabbit trying to
” If you get there before I do, don't give up on me
I'll meet you when my chores are through
I don't know how long I'll be
But I'm not gonna let you down, darling wait and see
And between now and then, 'til I see you again
I'll be loving you
Love, me”

-- Love, Me, Colin Raye, Songwriters: Max Troy Barnes / Donald R Ewing

Mia ‘Rabbit’ Hayes has just turned 40, and her family consists of her parents Jack and Molly, a brother and sister, Davey and Grace, and most importantly, her 12-year-old daughter Jul
Elyse  Walters
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
"She wasn't angry or even that frustrated. She wasn't scared or worried. She wasn't bitter
or vengeful. She was just sad to leave the people she loved most, especially her
daughter. She had fought for so long, but finally she knew that she couldn't go on."
Rabbit was dying of Cancer.

Looking Back:
Marjorie was Rabbit's best friend since they had been kids.
"Marjorie was very well cared for but there was no warmth in her house. Rabbit's world
was so much brighter, grubbier, and real. In Rabbit's house
Diane S ☔
Jun 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
The subject of this novel is without doubt a sad one. But, it is much, much more. Not many novels can have you crying on one page and laughing on the next. Also the characters in this novel are wonderful, funny, flawed, trying to figure out who will take Rabbit's twelve yr, old daughter Juliet.

When Rabbit gives in to her strong pain killers and falls asleep, she dreams of her past. Her brother David, the boy she has loved since she was twelve, Johnny and the band. So it is also a beautiful love
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2016
Bittersweet and touching tale of the last days in the life of a young mother dying of cancer. I know this sounds like a downer of a story and depressing as hell, but it's actually a warm and ultimately uplifting family drama with a cast of strong and memorable characters.

Mia "Rabbit" Hayes' story is told from her own point of view as well as those of her best friend, her twelve-year-old daughter, and family members. The story starts with Rabbit's entry into a hospice facility. In the days that f
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh boy........This novel has a double whammy, but I like the way Anna McPartlin tells a story.

The reader knows going in, from the book synopsis, that sadness and death is coming, but there is more than one interesting tale to tell during the last 9 days of Rabbit Hayes' life.

Despite being told with a bit of laughter and a ton of love, this is a tough read, (especially if you've lived it), but has an uplifting end to life I pray to be true.

Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is so so sad. If you're going to read it, you need to be armed with a tissue box and a place to read where you feel comfortable crying. You also have to be in the right head space. The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes is exactly what the title says it is. "Rabbit" is 40 years old, is the single mother of a 12 year old daughter, and has parents and and a brother and sister who adore her. And she is in a hospice in the last few days of life dying of cancer. Despite this bleak and sad premise, I ...more
Jessica Jeffers
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
There's a fine line between stories that are sad and stories that are emotionally manipulative. You can deal with sad events in a thoughtful way, or you can just shove them in an audience's face and tell them how sad it is. I tend to really hate when stories fall into that second category, because it just feels so...lowest common denominator. I don't want to be hit over the head with how sad something is. If I'm going to feel sad, I want it to be because I've come to genuinely care about the cha ...more
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved this book! Had me laughing and tearing up throughout. Loved the family and friends of Rabbit. Great read... I highly recommend!!
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, what can I say? This is one of the best books I've ever read. It's filled with such warmth, love, joy and sadness in equal measure. It's a wonderful story about Rabbit Hayes, who has breast cancer, and her loving, raucous, funny family. It warms the heart & is lovely to read especially if you've experienced cancer in your own family.
It reminded me very much of my family when my father was facing his own battle with cancer.
It's definitely a must read & I'll be recommending it to
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting, wildly funny and emotionally devastating, The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes is a superb novel from Anna McPartlin.

Forty year old, single mother Mia 'Rabbit' Hayes has bravely fought the ravages of cancer for four years, but now she and her family are forced to face the truth...she has just days left to live. As Rabbit drifts in and out of consciousness in her hospice bed, recalling the most important moments of her youth, her family and friends struggle to
Jun 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracy Fenton
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
30 March 2016 I don't think anything I write here will do this book justice so all I will say is it is the most moving and charming and exquisite book full of heartbreaking yet wonderfully funny characters and I know that this book will stay with me for a very long time.

Update: 5th August 2020

I never ever ever re-read books, but when I saw that Anna McPartlin had written a sequel to The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes I knew I had to read it again even though I knew I would cry.

The second time around
Jülie ☼♄ 

Very real and confronting, but also insightful.

Thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for this copy.

Almost reads like a memoir.

Filled to the brim with both sadness and laughter, this story takes us on a journey of a very different kind as we walk in the shoes of Rabbit Hayes after she is diagnosed with Breast Cancer. We see life through her eyes.

Meeting her family and friends along the way, we follow Rabbit's fascinating life journey via her Blog, and learn about her progress from early teens th
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars, favorites
5/5 stars
I absolutely loved this one
full review
Sonja Arlow
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars

For the longest time I walked circles around this book. After all it deals with the last days of a cancer patient. I was worried that it would remind me too much of my own parents struggle with this fucked up disease.

I was right….. but I was also wrong.

Yes, there were moments that hit very close to home. Those brought tears to my eyes. But there was also a lot of humor and the celebration of a life lived well, which made me keep on reading.

All the stages of grief are shown in such a
Laura Macdonald
May 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
I made the mistake of reading this book after reading 'Nora Webster' by Colm Toibin. I wanted to love this book, the first few pages made me cry and I warmed to the characters straight away. That all changed after the first few pages and I ended up skim reading this book. The characters were caricatures much in the way that the characters Mrs Brown's Boys on TV are. They were similarly ridiculous in their speech and over the top in their actions. The story line was good. Who doesn't want to have ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling

My View:
WOW!!! A fantastic read that connects to the very heart and soul of the reader. I am grateful, I am grateful.

For a work of fiction this had the voice of realism and heroism that transcends the subject matter- cancer and dying. And what a fantastic narrative voice – I cried big fat silent tears from the very first to the very last page – don’t get me wrong this is a not a saccharine sweet, over dramatized, over the top, excessively pessimistic story – this is a heart breaking, honest
Connie G
The warm Irish Hayes family are rallying around Mia Hayes, nicknamed Rabbit, during her final days fighting breast cancer. Although there are heartbreaking moments, there are also times when the three generations of Hayes sit with Rabbit remembering humorous times from the past. It's a bit of an Irish wake while she's still living. There are also tough decisions to make since Rabbit is a single mother to twelve-year-old Juliet (whose father is out of the picture). There are some sweet moments as ...more
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An emotional, funny book about the all-to-real fact of life that we all must pass on at some point in our lives, some sooner than others. Although this book has plenty of illness in it, it also has plenty of good times and hope. Not only for the future of our loved ones, but what may come for us on the other side. I loved the characters and their conversations. I laughed at times, I cried at times. Illness touches this book throughout, but that's real life. I'm so thankful for my health!

And than
Margaret Madden
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mia 'Rabbit' Hayes is on her way to a hospice. She has just days to live and has some memories to re-live, decisions to make and people to say goodbye to. A young single mother, she is not ready to let go and approaches each day with as much gusto as possible. Surrounded by her family and friends, she tries to shelter her daughter, Juliet, from the worst days of her life while also planning for the twelve year old's future. Through a series of memories the reader is brought back to the full life ...more
Smitha Murthy
I think I am in the minority on Goodreads in not liking this book. No, it's not because the story doesn't tug at your heartstrings, but because I was put off by some lines. It started at the beginning when the poor priest is trying to console the Mom, who retorts with this: You've never been a husband or father so, God love you, Frank, of all the people to try to comfort me, you really haven't a clue." Really? We need to have some tags to comfort? And this: You could find something to buy in an ...more
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
3.5 stars. An easy-reading, heartbreaking, laugh out loud story. I adored the characters especially Molly - but even the minor characters were so vividly described. Although very funny at times, it deals with very sad and difficult situations. I loved how the author used dreams to tell the backstory. If you enjoy Marian Keyes, then this is for you.

The Story: Rabbit Hayes is quickly losing the fight with cancer. Originating in her breast, it has now spread to her bones, leaving her completely inc
Rachel Gilbey
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Heartbreaking...emotional...beautifully written...compelling are just some of the words that could be used to describe The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes. Part of me wants to just call it indescribable and a say that everyone should read this book, and whatever I saw I know I can't do this story justice.

Although I didn't cry, there were many many occasions during the story where I found a lump in my throat and was on the verge of tears. A lot of the time they were just one liners, but were so well w
Apr 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Like "The me before you", this is good for what it is and what it wants to be. But ultimately, like "The me before you" it felt very superficial, and manipulative (the same also goes for "The fault in our stars" - I'm noticing a trend here.) In a way, this book is everything I always suspect Frederik Backman's books are but then aren't (at least not to me). And of course, all writing is manipulative. But while the characters in this novel were likeable, I always felt like an observer rather than ...more
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
What did I think of this book? Unbelievably awesome!!!!!!!!!
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes was published on 1 January 2015 in paperback by Transworld and is Anna McPartlin's sixth book.

It's almost seven years ago since I read Pack Up The Moon by Anna McPartlin which is her debut novel, but I do remember that I really enjoyed it. I have no idea why I've not read her later books, no idea at all, but I've just checked my (overflowing) bookshelves and found that I have two of her novels on my to-be-read pile. That thrills me because I have been totally engros
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a brilliant book!
Definitely one of those that made me be like 'I want more!.. Of this author!' I would have loved if Anna was able to write again about Rabbit though due to the sensitive nature of the story that's unlikely but still I wish lol :)

This book tells the story of Rabbit Hayes and the lovely person she is, who like us all has laughed, cried, but most of all loved.

Rabbit's story is told throughout her life up to the present day when she has received some devastating news and
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-the-year
Please Goodreads, add more stars because 5 just isn't enough for this one! I stumbled across Anna McPartlin many years ago in a used book shop and fell in love with her. Being and Irish author it is hard to find her books in Canada but I have been lucky enough to find and read several by her. This was perfection! Told by Rabbit herself, her daughter and her family members, it tells the story of her final days with glimpses of her past and the journey of her love story with the only Man she will ...more
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Anna McPartlin is an international best selling author, currently published in 15 languages across 18 countries. Pack Up The Moon and The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes were nominated for Irish book awards. Rabbit Hayes also won a silver readers book award in Germany. In the UK it was a Simon Mayo and Richard and Judy book club pick and in the USA it was a Barnes & Nobel Book of the Month.
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“was a teenager she’d bought a red clay Buddha in a charity shop, and when her mother asked her why she wanted it, she told her she preferred to look at a fat god laughing rather than a skinny one dying. Rabbit never needed to believe in any god to marvel at the world, to feel joy, hope, love and contentment. Rabbit lived in the moment. She didn’t know what came next, nor did she care. It was likely that death meant a full stop and that didn’t scare her. In fact, when she thought about it, the notion of eternity was far more worrying” 1 likes
“you’d speak for Rabbit.’ ‘OK,’ she said. ‘It’s a bullshit idea. Whatever about your ma” 1 likes
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