I hadn’t heard about Sarah Winman’s When God was a Rabbit novel until it was given to me by a friend along with quite a few other titles and chose it from the rest, merely by its intriguing title. I am one who hates overly descriptive books and often when I come across a section within the book that is taking a pause to describe every single detail of a landscape or setting with no bearing to the plot I will often skip right over the section out of boredom or disinterest, so needless to say I find it hard to write reviews but it is this very reason I am forcing myself to do this.
Within this one book, Sarah managed to weave in an array of events, relationships, and character profiles that only motivated the reader to continue effortlessly following the paths of all involved. I don’t want to give anything away but the wanna-be psychologist inside of me always finds it fascinating how certain events in our lives, however young, can really cement our future path and create such a block or opportunity for personal growth. In Sarah’s book it was fascinating to read about all the relationships she examines through Elly, the main character of the book, and despite Elly’s ability to connect with so many interesting people there is one type of relationship that is truly absent from her life. An issue stemming from her childhood that gets examines only peripherally but explains so much and yet so little.
There was one passage in particular that stood out for me:
‘Do you believe in God, Arthur?’ I said, eating the last piece of sponge.
“Do I believe in an old man in the clouds with a white beard judging us mortals with a moral code from one to ten? Good Lord no, my sweet Elly, I do not! I would have been cast out from this life years ago with my tatty history. Do I believe in a mystery; the unexplained phenomenon tha tis life itself? The greater something that gives illuminates inconsequence in our lives; that gives us something to strive for as well as the humility to brush ourselves down and start all over again? Then yes, I do. It is the source of art, of beauty, of love, and proffers the ultimate goodness to mankind. That to me is God. That to me is live. That is what I believe in.’ p.122