The year Paris takes to the streets. The year Martin Luther King loses his life for a dream. The year Eleanor Maud Portman is born. Young Elly's world is. When God Was a Rabbit. Home · When God Was a Rabbit Author: Sarah Winman When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. Read more · When She Was Bad. community for readers. When God was a Rabbit is an incredibly exciting debut from. Shelves: dont-like, site-pdf, , , uk. I hated this in and i.
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«When God Was a Rabbit» (extract). Acknowledgements to Dad. I divide my life into two parts. Not really a Before and After, more as if they are bookends. Sarah Winman's bestselling, critically-acclaimed debut novel WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT continues to captivate and enchant readers. The Sunday Times. When God was a rabbit who trails close behind; lastly, of course, a rabbit called God. Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files.
Funny, quirky, utterly compelling, and poignant, too, When God Was a Rabbit heralds the start of a remarkable new literary career. Remarkably, When God Was a Rabbit never feels melodramatic or unkind to its characters. Much of this has to do with Winman's mastery of tone: While her plot traffics heavily in grim incident, she maintains a winning proportion of whimsy throughout.
At the very least, she's created the most amusing and emotionally satisfying work of rabbit deism to come down the pike in a long time. This is mostly because of the piercingly real and believable voice Winman crafts for Elly, through whose eyes we see it all unfold.
Winman's prose is elegantly restrained as she sketches Elly's family life, touching lightly upon both good and bad moments. It's these little moments-some small, one monumental-that are the most affecting. When God Was a Rabbit is a heartfelt novel about a girl who loses her innocence but stays bonded to her quirky family.
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You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any newsletter. It's a beautiful concept, really. But I'm afraid I cannot say I enjoyed the book as much, let alone reread it. To me it's like a big jigsaw puzzle and the a I found this book when I was browsing in site store.
To me it's like a big jigsaw puzzle and the author tried to put the pieces back together, but sadly some pieces were not put in the right spots or missing, even.
I found chapters, paragraphs and lines that were unnecessary and just adding a bit more to the confusion that was already there.
She crammed in a lot of big events into such short chapters, resulting in some left unexplored. There were times when I had to reread a paragraph or two and sometimes even pages just to really find out what she was trying to say - that's how vague it is - or which character s had appeared or been mentioned because she would just refer to them as She or He or We leading you to an endless guessing game!
I'm so glad I've done reading it. That says all, doesn't it?
View all 11 comments. Guilty again: This book "bought" me with just few sentences and I had to download the rights and be its editor Unfortunately due to Serbian publisher the book hasn't reached all the readers it should reach But it's never late!
Hurry up! Debut jewel of coming of age novel I rarely come across novels that give me such "discovery of new voice" thrill: View all 10 comments.
Aug 25, Sharon rated it it was amazing. I have just started this book and am absolutely loving it. It is a hilarious book, with Ellie being just too sharp and dry with her little asides. I honestly love a book that sucks me in - especially after that nonsense Fifty shades of Grey rubbish. This is one that I will lend, but will always demand to be returned. Just finished it today.
There are some conversations in there that I have marked, as I think they speak such truth. One in particular about the last par I have just started this book and am absolutely loving it. One in particular about the last paragraph of page , which continues onto page It reminds me of "The Velveteen Rabbit", where those deeper life mysteries are discussed within conversation between close friends. I love Sarah Winman's writing.
The way she just puts in these unexpected hilarious little statements kept me laughing out loud. I wear reading glasses, and they kept fogging up at times. It made my mascara run, leaving my husband worried that I was upset about something!!!!
The bonus material at the end was great to read as well. Being a teacher myself, I think that the way in which she describes her writing process, her encouragement to others to write, and her love of writing were fantastic.
This is one book that must be read. Sep 02, Rebecca McNutt rated it liked it Shelves: This book is well-written and highlights events that anybody can easily resonate with if they're old enough to remember them or live in the aftermath, and it's a powerful and poignant story of the love between a brother and a sister, but something about it just seemed too unreal and dramatized. While the moments Elly and Joe live through are some of the most defining in recent history, When God Was a Rabbit fails to really capture the humanity behind them or how it affects these siblings beyond This book is well-written and highlights events that anybody can easily resonate with if they're old enough to remember them or live in the aftermath, and it's a powerful and poignant story of the love between a brother and a sister, but something about it just seemed too unreal and dramatized.
While the moments Elly and Joe live through are some of the most defining in recent history, When God Was a Rabbit fails to really capture the humanity behind them or how it affects these siblings beyond just being alive to remember it all. Don't get me wrong, it's a good story, bringing up how society and chaos can shape a family and how the bond between siblings can survive almost anything, but it was more like watching a soap opera than reading a plausible or realistic story.
I think in some ways this heightened the emotion in each event, which was good, but that at the same time it came off as preachy and far-fetched. Still, it's a decent book with its strong suit being in its characters and their interconnected relationships.
Apr 19, Bianca rated it it was amazing Shelves: There's something etheral, inexplicable about Sarah Winman's writing. I can't quite put my finger on it. It's different, it's imperfect, but, it's so darn affecting. It's like loving someone deeply when you've passed the stage of blind love, the excitement of the newness.
You get to know the quirks and the annoying bits, but you're still in love with that person. That's how I felt about this novel. It's the little things - the details, the quirks, the unexpected, the seemingly mundane - which made this novel special.
I see this novel has garnered the spectrum of ratings. I can see why some would be disgruntled with it. I am in the crazy in love camp. View all 26 comments. Sep 08, Mark rated it liked it Shelves: This review contains a mini spoiler but I couldn't work out how to hide it so if you don't want any giveaway info you'd better ignore this one.
However if you are continuing to read, thanks. Having read this for my local bookclub meeting this evening I am not quite sure what I would want to say. It seems to me that Sarah Winman is not quite sure what she is writing. Is it the story of family relationship both 'nuclear ' and extended, is it a treatise on gay relationships, is it an account Sorry.
Is it the story of family relationship both 'nuclear ' and extended, is it a treatise on gay relationships, is it an account of a brother and sister growing to adulthood across the latter part of the 20th Century and of course all of these can be totally harmoniously co-joined and indeed they are but the story comes off its rails because of the bizarre and unreasonable loading up of accidents of chance and fantasy as it goes on.
When two of the characters,one of whom is besotted with the other, having been apart for years and having had no contact whatsoever, suddenly meet up at a party on another continent from the one in which they had originally met I immediately thought ' of all the parties in all the world you had to walk into one of mine'. I do appreciate that chance and co-incidence often plays an important part in love and romance but this grated as unbelievable.
When the father, having all the time been banking on winning a large prize, does just that I thought unbelievable. When another character supposedly knew the time and manner of his death, a falling coconut,and at one point the very act happened but served not to kill him but to restore his sight I thought unbelievable. I could go on but though there is a good deal of really funny dialogue and some witty descriptions I found the overall affect dubious.
When God Was a Rabbit
Winman addresses beautifully the questions of love, fidelity, expectation and the ability of friendship whether sexually expressed or platonic to enhance and transform but i do wish she had written in a way that did not rely upon, in my opinion, a regular need to massively suspend if not belief then the over the top coincidence quotient.
This story could have been written without them and in that way the story would not have been so much of an obvious novel. I found the characters endearing, maddening, stupid and amusing but they always remained obvious characters in a story.
I never felt moved to believe in their independant existence which is bizarre since they were theoretically growing up as I was and their journey should have been mine Jun 13, Chandler rated it really liked it Shelves: Part One the story of Elly as a little girl is magical, heart breaking, sweet, sad, funny, and in a few words: I think the most fascinating part about stories is not knowing the TRUE ending.
About being left at one part of someone's life and imagining just what happened afterwards. By showing Elly as an adult, the mystery was lost and expectations were not met. The wonder Part One the story of Elly as a little girl is magical, heart breaking, sweet, sad, funny, and in a few words: The wonder and insecurity and confusion of childhood Elly is missing and because of this, part two just doesn't have the same impact.
Regardless, the sheer perfection of part one makes up for any flaws of part two, and I would still happily recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a story about family, love, faith, and wonder. Sep 10, Dem rated it really liked it. Not my usual type of book and had been very reluctant to read this one, several friends recommended it to me but I had put it off for a long time. But I was presently surprised by this book and found it engaging ,funny and sad. This Novel is in two parts and is about Elly who was born in The first part of the Novel deals with her relationships with her older brother, her family and her best friend Jenny Penny.
I really loved this part of the book and the way it is written. I loved her pet ra Not my usual type of book and had been very reluctant to read this one, several friends recommended it to me but I had put it off for a long time.
I loved her pet rabbit named God and her friendship with Jenny penny. There were some really funny moments in this book that had me laughing out loud. I found the characters so quirky and while not all likeable still interesting and I found myself wanting to know what happened to them. View all 8 comments. Even though Elly is older than me, much of her childhood resonates with familiarity - watching the Generation Game and shouting out the prizes in excitement, the magic of polaroid cameras, chocolate teacakes and doing the pools!
Elly shares not just a deep and binding bond with her brother Joe, but also a sensitivity and awareness of the world that seems to separate them from the world of their peers. They are, in everything, a team. The voice of Elly is so pure and magical, extremely evocative - I read the book on the brink of tears for the most part, simply because I could see everything do clearly, I felt I was an onlooker in her life.
The love of the family permeates the story, they might not be conventional in the usual way - this becomes more apparant as the story goes on - but they are a very close unit. At times both Joe and Elly try to escape but they are always drawn back to the warmth and eccentricity of the family unit.
There are some laugh out loud moments and some that make you tear up, it's a tale that rings of truth throughout, heartbreaking, poignant, hilarious, cruel, it's quite simply beautiful. After dissecting this for my book group I have to amend what I have written! Although I did enjoy the book and found it easy to read and involve myself in, the discussion I have since had has made me think more about it. I still stand by the above but would like to add that actually the story is pretty implausible - everything that could possibly happen to this family does, the author seems to have taken every plot under the sun and crammed them into this one novel,so whilst it does make for an exciting read, when you do step back and think, it does make it a less realistic.
Also the 70's reminiscence is too modern in feeling. I don't remember much of the 70's but my fellow group members do and their feeling was that the things discussed so openly in the book would not have been in the 70's as everything was much more pushed under the carpet, politely ignored - the way that domestic abuse, homosexuality, child abuse is discussed in the book is much more post 90's than 70's.
Again, some story lines are started but not adequately finished or even explained and as for God being a rabbit, the premise started off well but seemed to peter into nothng. Then, with reflection, Elly is annoying! She starts by being such a great little girl and develops into a big wet who can't hold anything down and is obsessed with a childhood friend she hasn't seen in years and her equally self-obsessed brother, but why this happens is only implied and supposed rather than told as fact.
I think if more had been adequately explained instead of threads been given and then left hanging it would have been much more satisfying and if we had had a couple of major themes in the book rather than we might have had more loose ends tied up. Yes, with hindsight it is rather fantastical, but if you like drama and high maintenance characters who have everything happen to them and it all turns out really well, then read it, you won't be disappointed - just don't expect much in the way of reality!
View all 7 comments. Jun 26, Elizabeth rated it did not like it.
When God Was a Rabbit
I can imagine that as a writer it is tempting to do too much in one's first novel and I think this is what's wrong with this particular debut. As many have commented, the first section is far better than the second. It is in the first section, however, that we get a taste for the unnecessary and somewhat sloppy storytelling that's to come.
It annoys me greatly when an author glosses over the realities of life by making characters incredibly rich. I saw no need for the sudden, imprecise wealth th I can imagine that as a writer it is tempting to do too much in one's first novel and I think this is what's wrong with this particular debut.
I saw no need for the sudden, imprecise wealth that befell this family before their relocation to Cornwall. It seemed to serve only to answer potential questions and explain how it was no one really worked for the rest of the book.
Still the book and characters seemed comfortable in England and there the story made sense. When Joe oddly appeared in New York as a banker, I grew worried. First a Princess Di mention and now this a Sept 11 foreshadowing. And it was well written and definitely evoked emotion although that's relatively easy with this subject ; but was it necessary?
If anything it distracted from the heart of the story and relied on the reader's existing emotional connection to the event to tug at the heart strings. I read this book in a couple days on holiday and it suited that purpose well. I didn't dislike it, I was simply disappointed that no one encouraged the author to strip out the global events and concentrate on developing the characters she so lovingly introduced early in the book. There was enough there already.
View 2 comments. Mar 11, Ben rated it it was amazing Recommended to Ben by: Anna Butler. Every once in a while you read a book that passes straight into your bloodstream, and you are hardly aware of how it happened.
When God was a Rabbit describes itself as the story of a brother and sister, "about childhood and growing up, friendships and families, triumph and tragedy and everything in between That is a perfectly fair description as far as it goes. What it doesn't say is anything of the quiet and kindly magic with which Sarah Winman defines her charac Every once in a while you read a book that passes straight into your bloodstream, and you are hardly aware of how it happened.
What it doesn't say is anything of the quiet and kindly magic with which Sarah Winman defines her characters. Elly, her brother Joe and her childhood friend Jenny Penny are all outsiders - not the angry and embittered kind, though, but the kind who know they are in some small way different, unique, set apart. They, their family, and the friends who become a part of that extended family may be fictional, but they have the immediacy and honesty and vibrancy of real people, and their lives have the ring of a true story.
They are flawed, passionate, muddled, baggage-laden, generous, tragic, vibrant, good, above all human. They are the people we know, the people we are, the people with whom we want to surround ourselves. Elly and her family live through the events of the s, s and the early years of the new millennium - a shared experience for many readers, and one that rings true even at those points where are own memories are different.
Winman has the particular gift for being able to spring a momentous event on the reader, whether historical or fictional, with all the unexpected impact of real life. And then there is the language. Winman has the eye for observation of a small child and the pen of a poet, but combines them with the technical skill and self-control to reserve her poetic imagery for the moments that really matter, big and small.
The result is that we are never inured to her description, we never lose the sense of wonder or the ability to see the extraordinary nature of the ordinary. Read this book late at night, when the house is quiet and your defences are down. Let it work its magic. Drink in its imagery and its goodness and its sadness and its hope like a drowning man inhales the ocean.
Let it into your DNA; let it enlarge and enrich your emotional vocabulary. Let it tell you that you are not alone. Joni Mitchell 4. And during the seventy-yard walk back down to our house, her amniotic fluid mixed with the December rain and spiraled down the gutter until the cycle of life was momentously and, one might say, poetically complete. The year Paris took to the streets. The year of the Tet Offensive. The year Martin Luther King Jr.
Which is just as well, her parents seem so easily preoccupied, distracted by life, in general. The connection is still there, but distance adds challenges. And when she is suddenly faced with the tenuous nature of love and life, the connections we hold so dear, everything changes.
View all 12 comments. Nov 01, christa rated it really liked it. Coming-of-age novels come with an absolution: They can just be. A series of events, linked or otherwise, that start quirky and end artfully or in some combination of that. It has no plot line that looms, waiting to be solved, fixed, r Coming-of-age novels come with an absolution: It has no plot line that looms, waiting to be solved, fixed, redeemed or rectified, instead it has episodes that must be handled before the next episode or just later.
The story centers on Elly, a sassafrass little missy who auditions for the Christmas pageant with a monologue that references booze and abortions, lands the role of an innkeeper, then spontaneously changes the Christmas story mid-performance by assuring Mary and Joseph that there is plenty of room at the Inn, not to mention a view.
She also has some thoughts on the illegitimate child. When a life-changing incident occurs, and Elly mentions it to her older brother Joe in an off-handed way, he handles it the best he can and then gives her a gift, a rabbit that she names God. Just a sentence or two that provides direction either from his mouth or her imagination.
Elly becomes best friends with Jenny Penny, a schoolmate with wild hair and a wilder mother.
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Jenny Penny is a little bit of a seer, as tamed and subtle in her art as the talking rabbit. Meanwhile, Joe goes off to school and later to New York and Elly is left to wander in the woods, delve further and further into herself and just get weird. There is a cast of characters who are taken in by the family: An elderly man with a host of wild stories from his past and a woman who croons showtunes and is most comfortable with a feather boa. In the second half of the book, lost characters return and characters become lost.
Winman is a super skilled in the art of subtlety. A lot of the biggest reveals in the book are unraveled either without words or backward. Two characters are missing, one calls, it takes half a page to figure out who is on the phone with Elly. And in a fun moment that epitomises her control with language: This was a good book, a quick read and a nice introduction to a new writer.
View 1 comment. Mar 26, Jules rated it liked it Shelves: Firstly, this is a fiction book of two halves. First half I was loving the book and would have given it five stars. Second half — I loved it less so three stars.
Good book, unusual but messy — I will explain further. The fictional character of Elly is a real British girl. Born in , she charts her life around popular culture and world events as she becomes self-aware and of what it means to be British, female and part Firstly, this is a fiction book of two halves. Born in , she charts her life around popular culture and world events as she becomes self-aware and of what it means to be British, female and part of a loving family.
In an un-chick-lit way, the author Winman paints characters that seem to live whimsical lives lived between fact and fable. Hard for any reviewer to describe quite frankly. Bonkers in a nutshell.
It with this then that I personally feel that Winman has gone too far with her work. At first, I found her characters, lovely, warm quaint and feasibly British with all their little quirks of decades gone by. I love a book that pushes the boundaries and dares to be different but this book loses its ethic for me.
I like good fiction but this is crazy-mad and a bit pithy, silly and desperate by the end. Sorry author!
Jan 15, Grace Harwood rated it did not like it. F Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote "character is plot, plot is character". The characters, who could have been so interesting if fully formed, are half-baked, badly drawn, sketch outlines of characters, insipid and vapid, nothing substantial in them at all.
The plot just isn't there. Where, I asked myself after nearly pages of reading, is this story going? The answer - I didn't know - and worse - I didn't care. It was F Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote "character is plot, plot is character". It was just meandering along, some questions being lifted into the mind of the reader, only to be abandoned and never picked up on again. To illustrate this point - early on in the book, the main character's brother asks how she knows about Mr Golan's penis.
Good question - an interesting question, hinting at some trauma or tragedy which has befallen the heroine during her formative years.Want to Read Currently Reading Read. I see this novel has garnered the spectrum of ratings.
Thought re-reading might change my opinion on it but it didnt at all.
Still the book and characters seemed comfortable in England and there the story made sense. Elly shares not just a deep and binding bond with her brother Joe, but also a sensitivity and awareness of the world that seems to separate them from the world of their peers.
But I was presently surprised by this book and found it engaging ,funny and sad. Winman addresses beautifully the questions of love, fidelity, expectation and the ability of friendship whether sexually expressed or platonic to enhance and transform but i do wish she had written in a way that did not rely upon, in my opinion, a regular need to massively suspend if not belief then the over the top coincidence quotient.
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