Book Review: 'When God Was A Rabbit'

by - 17:37


I first spotted the cover of this book in Waterstones a couple of years ago and immediately knew I would like it. I found it was the title that really caught my attention: "God was a rabbit? Really? Are we allowed to say that?" - not to mention that if there is a book which involves animals I will most likely want to read it. 

The book follows the story of an insightful, 'wise-beyond-her-years' girl (named Ellie) from her discoveries at a young age right up until the adult years of struggle and feeling out place. The first half of the book describes a set of ordinary events in Ellie's childhood become extraordinary by the inclusion of elements such as a talking rabbit and a friend with unexplainable abilities. The second half jumps forward about ten years and reviews how the multitude of things she experienced in her youth have shaped her as an adult and how she deals with normal life when she, herself, is not 'normal'.

'When God Was A Rabbit' touches on an array of subjects from religion to a sense of foreboding, from child abuse to comas and memory loss and along the way presents interspersed moments of tranquil and mood-setting to bring you into what is, actually, an ordinary world that has been created by the author.

The thing that I love most about the book is its detailing: mundane events, sights and people are described in such a way that they feel incredibly real and tactile. People and nature are described romantically and with an accuracy that leaves you feeling that bit more in touch with the characters than I have found in many other novels. The way they are described is incredibly honest yet simple - much like a child. This was another aspect of the book that I really enjoyed: the child-like, 'eyes-open' way in which it was written.

A concept that is reinforced throughout the book is that of the following:
For me, this translated to the notion that there are certain things in life that will always be outside of your reach or control - no matter how much you may love or care about them. It also suggested to me a good way of keeping yourself to yourself, in terms of a relationship for example, and connoting that just because you may be present in somebody else's life does not mean that they have ownership or control of you.
'When God Was A Rabbit' always leaves me wanting to connect more intimately with the people in my life, sit out in nature and clear my head and, at multiple points throughout the book, get up in the early hours of the morning and just sit outside with a mug of coffee. If you like novels that are a bit unconventional and aren't too much of an intense read then I would recommend this book highly - it's oddly gripping and because it maintains a steady plateau of life and activity you feel like you never want it to end! 

I realise that my posts have been a bit few and far between for the last couple of months and I wasn't actually going to blog today but I've been feeling pretty stressed and wigged out so wanted to do something other than uni work for a bit! I have my final hand in tomorrow and then I'm pretty much free - yay! However this does now mean that I'll be back at Starbucks being a coffee wench whilst I apply for as many jobs as possible and hope to get one that is in someway related to my degree. 

Stay inspired!

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