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on 12 April 2016
Looking at the cover of this book, it might be your average "chic lit" offering but that is deceptive. I wouldn't describe it as literary fiction exactly, but it's a fine novel. The story is based over time in Cornwall and New york. It concerns a young girl Elly and her idolised older brother, Joe, who is the only person to realise that his sister has been sexually abused. Joe's reaction to this shows his passion and determination to protect his sister from their neighbour. Their loving but flakey parents are bilissfully unaware. Elly's best friend is the product of a dysfunctional family, and eventually she vanishes from Elly's life. The novel changes timescale into the future and adult lives, and does so seamlessly. Joe is gay and lives in NYC. Elly is still his adored sister. Then Joe is involved in the 9/11 tragedy. Fear, relief and then a different kind of terror invade their lives. It is a book about relationships and love, about what can remain locked inside and how love can bring it to the surface. I really enjoyed this book
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on 1 April 2018
How can anyone be offended by the perfect shape and form of Rabbit poo?
We all have to eat and drink, we all have to poo and pee.
"Its life Jim, but not as we know it".
This great book is an analogy of the beauty of something so ugly.
We are a species that has no clue what we are doing. We have been making the same mistakes, ever since we emerged from the womb. We have become used to making these same mistakes,over and over again. These same mistakes define us, without them we are truly lost.
Then we create a new generation of mistakes.
Mistakes that are taught by the mistakes of old.
We are moulded into the shapes that our parents were moulded into.
We will have great moments of awareness, an awareness that shows us the madness of our existence. But what value are eyes that can see, if it means rejecting our blind families and friends.
A man was asked, why he was so passionate about supporting his football team. A team that he followed through good times and bad times, throughout his life. He thought long and hard but couldn't verbalize his passion.
After a while he replied, "Because it's the only time in his life, that he feels a sense of belonging".
Life is about one thing, surviving.
Finding the intricate individual formula, for each and everyone of us, that keeps us in this game.
And a headscratcher of a game it is!!
A game where the ones who have perfect vision, test the ones who are blind.
We soon realise that our elevator starts to plummet, when we have too much time to think.
If we fill our mind with as many distractions, our elevator will stabilise.
One of the most pertinent sayings ever, is this one, "Ignorance is Bliss".
The insane asylums are full of intelligent, wise, thinkers.
While the real lunatics are on the other side of that wall.
These are the people who will never truly appreciate, the beauty of Rabbit poo.
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on 31 January 2017
I loved the first part of this book! I thought it was beautifully written st times and charming. By the second part though, I felt swamped by how many events happened to a small group of characters. To have a film star, a pools win, a kidnapping, cancer, murder, child abuse and a Twin Towers victim within one extended family was too much to ring true. For me I would have liked it to tackle less. If it had remained a novella about childhood it would have been exquisite. I would have given it 3 1\2 stars if I could because 4 implies a more wholehearted enjoyment than I felt. However the writer's turn of phrase is lovely, so if you can forgive a somewhat torturous plot, it's certainly worth a read.
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on 7 June 2017
I loved this book, I just wish it hadn't ended. I need a sequel & to know more about what happened to all of the characters. I am not nosy I just felt a connection with everybody ? I am a similar age to the main character & the real events that happened in both of our lives are quite poignant and bonding. It sounds a bit crazy but that is what books are for to feel as if you are in another place with the characters.
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on 3 January 2017
I absolutely loved "When God was a Rabbit" - cannot wait to read more from this author. The early part of the story is, for me, a very similar style to "Cider with Rosie" and "My family and other animals" - the portrayal of childhood innocence is captured perfectly.

Spanning 40 years we read about Elly's life - both good and bad times. Yes there are a couple of stereotypical characters and some events die without fully being explored whereas others are explored too much, but still this is well written and held my attention perfectly.
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on 7 February 2018
This is a rather disjointed narrative, which tries to cover too many topics. The end result is that none is credible, including a ‘back from the dead’ event after the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 May 2012
I fell in love with this book somewhere around the halfway mark. It's a disjointed, busy, somewhat confusing story that takes some getting used to but that ultimately leaves you feeling deeply touched. It's about Elly and her brother Joe and tells the story of their lives from the late 1960s through to early in this century. Their lives are peopled with eccentric friends and family and rich with highly dramatic and sometimes tragic events. Ultimately it's a story about love, be it gay or straight, unrequited or enduring, platonic, abusive or tragic.

The tone of the book can veer from highly amusing to deeply melancholy in the blink of an instant. Early on something shocking happens to Elly, but she glosses over it and we're off and away into another story. For a while I felt like shouting "hold on a minute!" everytime the author did this, but after a while I adjusted. By the end I was thoroughly in love with Elly and her cast of eccentrics. I'm not sure I'll remember much about this book in a few months' time, but I truly enjoyed the time I spent reading it.
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on 21 June 2011
This is the story of Elly and her brother Joe growing up in the 1970s. The book is in two parts and narrated by Elly. The first part begins with her birth in 1968 and follows her ordinary family through a series of extraordinary events - child abuse, cancer scare, sudden wealth, nativity play tragedy, brutal kidnap. You would think such big themes would make for a heavy read but they are dealt with in a light and subtle way.

Winman introduces lots of lovely, quirky characters: Jenny Penny, Nancy, Arthur, Ginger as well as elements of fantasy - god the rabbit, Hollywood stardom, coconuts. I loved the eternal optimism and openness of the parents and that, despite the curveballs thrown at their marriage, they stick together through good times and bad. So much better and more realistic than the usual tendency to break up good marriages for dramatic effect.

The second half of the book starts in 1995 when Elly is 27 and we see the person she has grown up to be. She is bright and successful in her career but she has struggled to make lasting friendships and relationships. The tragedy of 9/11, when Joe is living in New York, is dealt with convincingly and sympathetically and ultimately brings the characters together as they realise their dependency on each other.

This book crept up on me. It is light and easy to read and yet it had me gripped to the end. This is the sort of book I would aspire to if I was ever to sit down and write one. Winman's use of similies was original and breathtakingly accurate and there were moments where I had to stop to absorb the genius of what I had just read. Some people will hate this book, will wonder how anyone can find humour in such darkness, but I loved it and admire the author's courage and originality. That she could throw so much into one novel, turning tragedy into comedy whilst moving the reader to tears, demonstrates what an extraordinary book this is.
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on 18 February 2018
I loved this book , which like the trouble with goats and sheep ,and letters to Constance is now one of my favourites. It’s a tale of family, friendship, love and growing up. It made me like others smile, laugh out loud and yes at times saddens. I’m not sure why maybe time span but I felt as though I could relate to the characters and their experience. It’s a lovely read well worth the purchase. I don’t think you will be disappointed xx
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on 9 September 2011
I first heard this book discussed on Simon Mayo's drive time and the unusual title and hearing the author explain the premise for the book made me add it to my wishlist. Finally got round to downloading it and i did enjoy it. I found the style a little odd in places and some of the major episodes are built over a long period of time, so there are few surprises as the author gives you lots of clues along the way as to the key events.

I liked the relationship of Eleanor Maud and her family, particularly the relationship with her brother Joe. Ellie has a caring home life but as you read, you realise, that she has seen a more life then a child should. This is brought out really well, in the innocent way of a child, through dialogue with others and without lingering on the event. The relationship Ellie has with her best friend, Jenny Penny is central to the book. Through this relationship, Ellie realises that not all family life is a rosy as hers.

There are a number of characters later in the story who seem to just appear, with little back story. I found myself flicking back to see if i had missed thier introduction a couple of times! These grow to be quite pivotal characters, but always felt a little 2 dimemsional due to their "rushed" appearance.

There is a element of the fantastical in the story, which works weaves in well to the story.

A great title the book, this was an unusual read, but held my attention to the very end.

Worth a read.
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