JanB 's Reviews > Rabbit Cake

Rabbit Cake by Annie  Hartnett
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really liked it
bookshelves: audiobook


I listened to this slim book start to finish on a long car drive and loved it. How can you resist a book that opens with this sentence:
“On my tenth birthday, six months before she sleepwalked into the river, Mom burned the rabbit cake.”

The narrator is Elvis Babbitt, a ten-year-old girl who has just lost her mother, Eva. I fell completely in love with her. She’s quirky and lovable, wise, yet naïve. Her weird and quirky family attempt to navigate the world and find their new normal after their mother’s accidental drowning. The humor keeps this from becoming maudlin or depressing. You will be laughing as your heartstrings are being tugged.

Elvis is convinced her mother’s death was not accidental and sets about discovering what really happened. Her mother was also working on a book about animals and Elvis decides to continue her mother’s legacy by volunteering at the zoo. All the fun weird facts about animals were an added bonus that I loved.

Her older sister Lizzie seems to be following in her mother’s footsteps as she struggles with sleepwalking. Their mother celebrated every special occasion by baking a rabbit cake and Lizzie’s path to healing involves baking an eye-popping number of rabbit cakes in the hopes of breaking a world record.

Dad is also struggling and finds comfort in wearing articles of his dead wife’s clothing and by taking in a parrot (named Ernest Hemingway!) who speaks in Eva’s voice.

It’s a messy and weird family, my favorite kind :-) This is a sweet and charming book with an important underlying theme. Each of us grieves in our own way, we’re all different from one another, and there is no wrong or right way to do it. The magical thought processes of children, and how guilt and grief can be interwoven is explored.

I highly recommend!
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Reading Progress

June 28, 2017 – Shelved
June 28, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
July 4, 2017 – Started Reading
July 4, 2017 – Shelved as: audiobook
July 4, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Susanne (new) - added it

Susanne  Strong This sounds incredible Jan!! I must read this one after your amazing review! Great job. :)


JanB Susanne wrote: "This sounds incredible Jan!! I must read this one after your amazing review! Great job. :)"

Susanne, thanks! It was an easy, fun read. If you get to it I hope you enjoy as much as I did. It was great on audio :-)


Brenda - Traveling Sister Fantastic review, Jan! Glad to see you enjoyed it!


JanB Brenda wrote: "Fantastic review, Jan! Glad to see you enjoyed it!"

Brenda, thanks! I've had a few really good ones in a row!


message 5: by Dana (new)

Dana Great review, Jan! You are on a roll with great audio books!! I'm adding this one now, too! :)


JanB Dana wrote: "Great review, Jan! You are on a roll with great audio books!! I'm adding this one now, too! :)"

Dana, I am! Long car trips lately have made the time pass quickly too :-) I hope you enjoy, it's a cute quirky story.


Lindsay - Traveling Sister Wonderful review Jan!! This sounds very interesting. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!


JanB Lindsay wrote: "Wonderful review Jan!! This sounds very interesting. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!"

Lindsay, thank you! :-)


Kristen Cook - A Book Ninja I have never heard of this book. Adding it to my audiobooks to listen to list. Thanks!


JanB Kristen wrote: "I have never heard of this book. Adding it to my audiobooks to listen to list. Thanks!"

Kristen, I hope you enjoy - child narrators are hard to pull off but this book gets it right in so many ways!


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