When God was a Rabbit- Sarah Winman

This book was sent to me in return for my review. It is one of the Waterstone’s 11, you can read my review of the first chapter here

Synopsis (from Amazon)

WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT is an incredibly exciting debut from an extraordinary new voice in fiction.

Spanning four decades, from 1968 onwards, this is the story of a fabulous but flawed family and the slew of ordinary and extraordinary incidents that shape their everyday lives. It is a story about childhood and growing up, loss of innocence, eccentricity, familial ties and friendships, love and life. Stripped down to its bare bones, it’s about the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.


I was glad to find that When God was a Rabbit didn’t carry on exactly as the first chapter had. Although I enjoyed the first chapter I felt like too much happened at one and if that had carried on the book would have been too plot driven for my taste. I can enjoy plot driven books but I never find that they really get into my mind and stay with me, I can say I thought about When God was a Rabbit when not reading it. It was still very readable, which is an element sometimes lost for more ponderous writing. Although at times there wasn’t a great deal happening a sense of atmosphere was really well built and the characters were easily loveable. I especially liked Elly- although that may be simply because I got to know her the best. I didn’t like Joe so much, there was something a little self serving about him, but I can see why he might be like that considering certain events (highlight for spoiler)I think maybe he was trying to protect himself from further heartbreak, especially considering the way he was towards Charlie the second time. I also think that he maybe was trying to protect himself from hearing another secret from Elly, a secret that effected both their lives, or even trying to stop himself from revealing it.

I did find the synopsis on the back of the book a little misleading, it suggested that it was a story of a brother and sister, it was that but it was also much more, it was a story about family, and friends, and life. I must admit on reading the synopsis thinking that it was a story about a brother and sister put me off a little, and I may never have really wanted to read it without more information.

I’m glad I did read it though. It was very touching, and sad, and funny. Really quite beautiful. If I had to say anything bad about it I would say that it was maybe a bit too issue-y and that made it a little far-fetched and unbelievable. I also did have a feeling at the end that some things had not been revealed, although if you tried to get me to tell you what I don’t think I could, at least not without a re-read.


When God was a Rabbit is released on 3rd March


Filed under Contempory, Fiction review

14 responses to “When God was a Rabbit- Sarah Winman

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  3. This was way too farfetched – but I loved it for it! It was so mad that you could never believe any of it, but that didn’t matter because it was so entertaining. It was nice to find something so different from everything else. I look forward to reading all her future books.


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  6. Anonymous

    I only just finished reading this yesterday and thought it was fabulous!! the characters were beautifully formed and the plot was anything but boring or everyday! i do agree it was far fetched, but for me, that just added to the charm!


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