8874743Title: When God Was a Rabbit
Author: Sarah Winman
Format: Book, received from World Book Night
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Blurb: 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

Review: This book was beautiful. There’s simply no other way to describe it. It very much reminded me of the film Boyhood, the way it spanned over decades within the same family and you can watch and feel the characters grow. It was only at the very end did I even realise that this book was a debut. I was shocked because When God Was a Rabbit is written with such grace and wisdom you’d expect from a long-time writer with plenty of years of work and experience under their belt. That’s not to say new and debut authors are incapable of achieving that but I’ve found it’s rare. Sarah Winman is an exception and has produced an absolutely outstanding novel full of truth and love, joy, hope, fear, sadness and most importantly, life.

I loved that we got to follow Elly and her brother, Joe, throughout their lives from when they were children to when they were adults and go through the good, the bad and the ugly with them. We meet lots of eccentric characters along the way – some that make it till the end, some that don’t but Elly, our main character, was so loveable you couldn’t help but hope that everything will work out for her in the end. I’m not a religious person and this book wasn’t based on or around religion either but I loved to occasional mention of God and the characters beliefs.

There’s honestly not an awful lot else I can say about this book without 1) giving anything away and 2) doing it the justice it deserves. I hadn’t heard of this book before World Book Night and it wasn’t at the top of my to be read list either. I kinda just read it on a whim and man how glad I am that I did. I’m a sucker for YA and this is the perfect, most real and blindingly true coming of age story I think I’ve ever read.




  1. My friend lent me this book, it’s one of the next on my list to read because she wanted someone else’s opinion as she couldn’t work out if she liked it or not. Great to read something so positive about it, I’m really looking forward to it now.

    Great review!

  2. Great review! It’s amazing when a book can be so amazing and then shock you because you realise its a debut! This is going on my TBR immediately.
    xoxo 💋

    1. Thank you! I totally agree I was really surprised. What an incredible achievement for a debut. Hope you enjoy it! I actually have a few copies left over from World Book Night, would you like me to send you one? xx

  3. Oh I’ve been meaning to read this for ages! Thank you, you’ve reminded me and motivated me to move it to the top of my tbr pile.

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