When God Was A Rabbit

Goodreads Synopsis
This is a book about a brother and a sister. It's a book about secrets and starting over, friendship and family, triumph and tragedy, and everything in between. More than anything, it's a book about love in all its forms.
In a remarkably honest and confident voice, Sarah Winman has written the story of a memorable young heroine, Elly, and her loss of innocence- a magical portrait of growing up and the pull and power of family ties. From Essex and Cornwall to the streets of New York, from 1968 to the events of 9/11, When God Was a Rabbit follows the evolving bond of love and secrets between Elly and her brother Joe, and her increasing concern for an unusual best friend, Jenny Penny, who has secrets of her own. With its wit and humor, engaging characters whose eccentricities are adroitly and sometimes darkly drawn, and its themes of memory and identity, When God Was a Rabbit is a love letter to true friendship and fraternal love.
Funny, utterly compelling, fully of sparkle, and poignant, too, When God Was a Rabbit heralds the start of a remarkable new literary career

At the end of this one, I needed a beer.

This book was a bit strange to me. The first half is about Elly's childhood and all the horrible things that happen in it. The second half is about her in her twenty-somethings and all the terrible things that happen in it. I thought this was supposed to be about the relationship between her and her brother, but really it's about Elly's life and HER relationship to him, and all the other characters in this book. I'm not sure still why the synopsis' make a point to tell you it is a brother/sister story because I didn't really feel that.

It wasn't a bad book at all. In fact, I gave it 4/5 stars. It was a very dark and intriguing book to me. It sort of reminded me of the move Little Miss Sunshine, because of all the dark things that happen sometimes hidden in humour.

In the Author's note, Winman tells us violence is one of the common themes in this book, as well as the "magic" of being about to start fresh when this is entirely impossible in real life, and we carry our past with us no matter how hard we try not to. I think she did a great job in sticking with these themes, and after reading her author's note, I feel like I "got it" because the whole second half of this book lost me. I still couldn't put it down but it went from this weird dark book about a child , to a very heavy, very realistic 9/11 story that almost had me in tears.

So although I do feel this book to be a bit strange, I am definitely glad I took the time to read it. I little out of my comfort zone genre wise but I like doing that from time to time.