Posted by: Ele Quigan | December 28, 2011

‘When god was a rabbit’ Sarah Winman

Another book I read quite a while back but didn’t have a chance to get some thoughts together on is this one. It’s probably the greatest book I’ve read this year.

I took this on holiday to Spain, and was so enthralled by it, I read it in a night, not being able to put it down.

Admittedly I read it a while ago, so difficult to bring the mishmash of feelings and thoughts on it to the surface again, and it’s one of those slightly slower books that gently moves through time until you’re in love with all of the characters, their eccentricities, their hopes and beliefs, and at the end I was more than a little distraught that I’d finished it.

It’s not a ‘Believable’ story, but it’s so beautifully woven together, it doesn’t feel like you’re reading it and feeling ‘Well that would never happen in real life’, but in a sense it’s almost autobiographical in the way it’s told (and doing a quick bit of googling, it’s also how the author has referenced it).

I think the most interesting sides to it is the relationship between the protagonist and her brother, while I wont spoil the story, it’s one of the most unusual and up and down natural and unnatural relationships in books I’ve read. I guess in some senses that makes it honest as well, which I guess it why I enjoyed it so much.

It does get slightly bleak in some periods, but that does nothing but add to its beauty and honesty, it’s hard to get across how wonderfully crafted I found this book- I haven’t had a book draw me in like that in a very long time (probably The Lacuna was the last one), I felt so immersed in to where I was being taken, throughout the books inevitable ups and downs.

Also, it’s one of the few novels that has actually caused me to laugh out loud. Strange as I’m fairly open when I find things hilarious, but it’s a very rare occasion that something I’m reading makes me giggle – and of course, unsurprisingly it also had me in tears in some points.

If you’re looking for something that’s at times gentle, at times harsh, has the most incredibly interesting family dynamic – try it out, it’s awesome.

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