When God was a Rabbit
"When God was a Rabbit", by Sarah Winman (reviewed 13 April 2017)
Despite referring to this book as, “bleak childhood, dark comedy” the reviewer also considered it, “ the most amusing and emotionally satisfying work of rabbit deism to come down the pike in a long time. “
Similarly, the book club members found plenty of aspects that delighted and uplifted but nobody considered it the highlight of the year. We generally gave it three or four out of five, a good mark. There was a mark of two out of five.
There were plenty of characters that amused and spread joy: Arthur Henry the guest that stayed on, in the forethought he would die through coconut strike; Aunt Nancy, the “sexually fluid” actor and film star; Ginger the Shirley Bassey impersonator. Also, there were funny moments such as when the narrator, hoping for a lead part in the nativity play, is awarded the role of a blind inn-keeper. Her friend plays the part of “ the octopus, non-speaking.”
Beneath this, the book is full of trauma, including suicide, murder, illness and terrorism. The author manages to focus on the family incidents and personal moments so that the traumatic content is woven comfortably into the tale.
Book club members considered that the coverage of the twin towers tragedy of September 11th, 2001 was well developed, with the appropriate feeling of loss, uncertainty, bravery and realism.
Other recent historical events are built into the story and form a network that the family story is bonded with.
(Our April-May book is Betrayal by Helen Dunmore).