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146 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
A very unusual book, told from the perspective of a young, then older girl / woman as she moves through her life. As the book states, though it is written very much like an autobiographical account, it really only focuses on the key moments of her life - the moments that hold the most impact, the most important or pivotal moments. For that reason, one could easily be...
Published on 10 Aug 2011 by R. Keech

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283 of 306 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure what the fuss is about...
Firstly, let me say that I did enjoy this book, and I realise I'm in the minority in not thinking it is amazing. So, fully anticipating a lynching, I will list what I thought was wrong with it:

- Simply far too much happens. It seems as if the author has taken everything she has ever thought about and splurged it on the page. She touches on a wide range of...
Published on 9 Jun 2011 by H. Seymour


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfinished, rushed, with very little character development., 5 Aug 2011
This review is from: When God was a Rabbit (Paperback)
The story in itself is quite sweet. It's about love between family and friends, and there's a lot of niceness in it. However, I couldn't really connect or engage with any of the characters; they just weren't developed enough. It felt like a first draft. Nothing was finished, stories and events left without conclusion or explanation, and too much going on without anything really left to call a 'plot'. The main character 'Elly' was the worst of them all, she has no character. Not only did I completely fail to conjure up an image to go with her, she had no life for me to even relate to in any context. On account of her having zero personality, I felt nothing for her. I could barely muster up empathy when bad things happened to the people around her. She lives solely through the people she knows, seemingly with no life whatsoever, other than one graphic and not very satisfying sex scene towards the end. I am sad to say that I would not recommend this book to anyone. I really thought Sarah Winman could've done better, her editor should have shown her that this book was far from complete - if you read this Sarah, try again. YOU CAN DO BETTER!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over-rated, 31 July 2011
This review is from: When God was a Rabbit (Paperback)
I began When God Was A Rabbit with much anticipation, as the reviews had all been highly positiv; commenting on it's beautiful story crafting and 'laugh out loud moments'. First of all, there was nothing remotely funny about this book. Where were these 'laugh out loud' moments? Most of the time my mouth was set in a grim, hard line; struggling with the effort to keep reading. When God Was A Rabbit is essentially about exploring the different types of love; revolving around the central character, Elly. The love manifests as the love between Elly and her brother and parents, Elly and her childhood friend, Jenny Penny, the love between Elly and her parent's lodgers and the exploration of sexuality, paticuarly between her brother and his first love. The story is split into two parts: Elly aged 4-12 and Elly in her 20's-30's, ending in 2001. It is narrated by Elly, but i couldn't see any change in her writing style - there seemed to be no change in maturity in her observations of life, with the imaginary happenings she had in her childhood still being written about in the second half of the book. This made some sections of the book confusing, and at times, unnecessary. Elly didn't show growth and as a result, she didn't grow on me as the protagonist; she seemed cold and colourless. Other happenings in the book seemed almost random, like the 9/11 incident and how this affects her family. This happened in the end of the book and it appeared to be shoved in there, for the sake of putting it in. It wasn't developed enough and was put in too late in the day. On the plus side, I can understand what the author is trying to do: she tries to show how Elly's childhood affected her adult life. The writing is good and some characters, such as Arthur, her parent's elderly lodger, are warm and funny and he was infinetly preferably to the dull Elly. In all honesty, I couldn't see what all the fuss was about with this book. It was slow, quite boring in parts and definitely not worth my time. Read something interesting instead.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much going on!, 14 July 2011
By 
CC (Hampshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: When God was a Rabbit (Paperback)
I was recommended this book by a friend who knows my tastes and thought I would like it. I looked forward to reading it but halfway through the book, I realised that I wasn't connecting with many of the characters and was confused by the many different storylines taking place.

The plot concentrates on a brother and sister's childhood right up to adulthood and the events that shape their lives. It could have been a really good book but I found that the author skimmed over many issues within the book just to race ahead through the years. I wasn't remotely interested in Arthur and Ginger and thought that Ellie and Joe's parents were rather flimsy characters who didn't seem to be that engaged in their children's lives.

Generally far too much going on and not enough depth and focus. The 9/11 part of the book could have been a novel in itself and I found that its inclusion was very random and not well written.

And another thing - who was Alan?!

However, the one character I did connect with was Jenny Penny - she was the one person I genuinely cared about.

As I found this a very confusing read, I was glad to get to the end and only finished it because I was on holiday. I felt mostly unmoved throughout and wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not For Me, 12 July 2011
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Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When God was a Rabbit (Paperback)
Oh dear, I seem to be in the minority about this book. I've given it 2 stars, but that is purely for the first half of the story, the second half would barely make a one star rating for me.

I loved the way the story started out, I like Ely and her brother and their quirky, strange family life - but I soon became a bit overwhelmed by new characters and issues popping up time after time, it felt as though the author wanted to cram every idea she had ever had into one story and this really didn't work for me at all. A new development would start, only to kind of fade out with no proper conclusion or explanation as to why or who or what or anything!

The second half of the story jumps about 20 or so years, everyone is older, grown up, disappeared, more mad than ever - all just a bit confused and mixed up really.

Touches of 'magical realism' didn't help me either - I really don't like that concept at all, to me it's an easy way of just writing a bit of nonsense that makes no sense and can be dressed up as art.

Really not my cup of tea!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enlighten me someone please...., 30 May 2011
By 
V. K. Evans (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When God was a Rabbit (Paperback)
Despite great reviews I failed to connect with the characters in this book. The scenes that really moved me were the descriptions of 9/11 and I think that had more to do with my own recollection of those events than of any concern for the characters. To me this book skimmed the surface of too many issues, tried to be enigmatic but succeeded only in becoming a confusing read. I wanted to love it but it left me a bit baffled.

I may be a bit dense - am not known for doing subtle - but for me, this book lacked focus.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious and irritating, 10 Jan 2012
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This review is from: When God was a Rabbit (Paperback)
I did not enjoy this novel at all. The title is irritating and I would never have picked it up if it hadn't been my book club's choice. Then I read all the positive reviews and thought, oh, it doesn't sound so bad.
But then I started reading it. It got on my tits from the start. It's vague and confusing in its use of pronouns, so that one is sometimes unsure for entire paragraphs who the hell she's actually supposed to be discussing. It's really episodic, too, with many sections seeming unfinished and once again unclear in its use of time, so it gets really confusing and annoying. I didn't care about the characters at all. Several plot developments and character reactions struck me as extremely unbelievable and unconvincing.
However, the worst thing is the profoundly irritating prose style. There is repetition. Repetition of words across several sentences. Repetition which is obviously designed to make it all sound terribly deep and meaningful. Repetition which makes me want to stab the narrator in the ear. Repeatedly.
It has pretensions to be something special but it really is just incredibly badly written.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful observations that go nowhere..., 27 July 2011
This review is from: When God was a Rabbit (Paperback)
I bought this book just for a light read for a short holiday, it certainly did turn out to be a light read however, although I did enjoy it, the book seemed to lose the plot quite a few times along the way.
I think the author definitely has a talent for beautiful observations and I really enjoyed the characters, even if they puzzled me somewhat. The problem is, I think, that she didn't seem to know where she was going herself. At first I thought that this was going to be more about god and things like that, I thought that there were a lot of things with Jenny Penny that seemed completely unresolved, such as the amazing coin/arm trick and the stuff about the day she ran away in Cornwall, it all seemed like the intention had been to come back to these things and shed some more light but it felt like nothing was, perhaps this was because we are relying on the memories of the a child but it just seems totally arbitrary sometimes. I think if a bit more time and editing had been done this would have been a lot better but it just was an average holiday read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Story gets better as you go along, 4 Mar 2014
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This review is from: When God Was a Rabbit (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed reading this story. It took me a while to be captivated by it & the second half is definitely better than the beginning. The Cornish setting was very animated, I could almost smell the salty air & taste a cream tea. I laughed & cried during the story & loved the characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyably Different, 17 Feb 2014
By 
A Thomas-Davis (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When God Was a Rabbit (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed a lot about this book, I liked the time period ,its when I grew up, and I loved some of the characters.I thought the title was quirky like the rest of the book, and I enjoyed the slightly off the wall humour.I did think there were a lot of characters, and it could have been a little more condensed but it actually really did make me laugh and cry as well,and not many books can do that.However I do think its like marmite this book, I loved it and gave it to my partner and my mother and they both hated it, and didn't finish it, I'm not sure why it has such extreme reactions I thought they would both enjoy it as much as I did.All I can say is I guess you will have to see for yourself but I honestly did like it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 9 Feb 2014
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This review is from: When God Was a Rabbit (Kindle Edition)
brilliant wit, laced with trials and hardships of life and everything familiar that keeps us rooted to our true being
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When God Was a Rabbit
When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
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