Amy Reads Books

When God Was a Rabbit

When God Was a Rabbit - Sarah Winman 'When God Was a Rabbit' is Sarah Winman's debut novel, and for the most part is a fairly enjoyable family saga. It centres on Elly Mould as she grows up from a young girl to a young woman; and focuses in particular on her relationships with her brother Joe and on her friend Jenny Penny. It begins with a humourous description of Elly's younger years, in particular a Christmas nativity at school where she ends up being cast as a blind innkeeper. Winman's writing in the early part of the novel really reminded me of Kate Atkinson's style, reminding me mostly of 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum'; which for me is no bad thing.Another thing I really liked about Winman's writing was the way that all the supporting characters surronding Elly were so well-drawn. In particular Jenny Penny, her slightly self-destructive childhood friend who she meets again in adulthood; in addition to Nancy, Elly's famous actress Aunt and Arthur, a guest at the B&B run by Elly's parents who ends up becoming a permanent fixture.However, I didn't really feel that Elly herself changed much between herself as a young girl to herself at 27. I guess that perhaps Winman's introduction of sexual abuse which 'made her grow up quickly' could be used as an explanation for this, but it did slightly irk me that she didn't really grow or change much over the years. I did also occasionally feel that Winman dealt with a few too many issues in not quite enough depth; such as anmesia, child abuse, homosexuality, crime, guilt etc etc. I also kind of wishes that there would be one hetrosexual relationship that is portrayed as being totally happy; they seem to either portrayed as abusive or covering up other feelings. That being said, the relationship between Joe and Charlie is generally pretty well portrayed.All in all, although I disliked some aspects of the book, I did really enjoy Winman's prose style; and I'll keep an eye out for her next novel.