When God was a Rabbit

I divide my life into two parts.

A story about a brother and a sister, as the blurb on the back tells me. And it is, but it is much more the story about two people who are related to each other. The brother is always there for his younger sister, his sister always expects this and doesn’t know how her life would be if he wouldn’t. The novel is a two parter: part one for when they were young kids, the second for when they are both adults and a lot of things have happened to the both of them.

Writer Sarah Winman tries to give you a sense of security which does the opposite. Even with her vague hints, the reader steps into a world that is severely layered, unsure if he/she even wants to know about what’s going on. The relationship between brother and sister seems one way and not completely healthy, but why? How many of the implied actions and situations were only in their mind? And how could a seemingly happy childhood create such world-naive people?

A lot of things happen underneath the surface in When God was a Rabbit, but the nice thing about this novel is that the reader has the space to decide if he/she wants to look underneath it or not. Because without digging and dodging rising questions the story is an enjoyable, richly detailed one that shows genuine images of the human side of history.

 

When God was a Rabbit, Sarah Winman, Headline Review 2011

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