This is a book about a brother and a sister.
It's a book about childhood and growing up, friendships and families, triumph and tragedy and everything in between.
More than anything, it's a book about love in all its forms.
When God Was a Rabbit is the one and only book Sarah Winman has written and its a pretty good debut novel. It's packed full of interesting and colourful characters. I would say it's a love story but not in the traditional sense as it's more about love for family and friends which made it much more enjoyable.
Eleanor Maude lives in Essex she loves her brother and her slightly odd best friend Jenny Penny and her life is tinted with childhood simplicity despite hints in the novel that Eleanor was abused by a neighbour and that Jenny Penny's life is far from normal. When Eleanor's family move to Cornwall her friendship with Jenny disappears when one evening Jenny phones saying she has to move with her mum and she's never heard from again.
The novel follows Eleanor from childhood into early adulthood and introduces many interesting characters along the way as well as building on existing characters like Jenny or Eleanor's brother, Joe. Whilst I throughly enjoyed the book I would say that my only minor complaint would be the lack of detail about each character, their secrets, quirks, adventures and general life were hinted at but I felt like I wanted to know more and I do believe a lot more could have been written about them and the issues they presented could've been explored a lot deeper.
I also feel the ending did in someone close the story but also left it open for another installment, perhaps from Jenny's point of view so I'm disappointed that Winman hasn't written any other novels. I do recommend When God Was a Rabbit as it is a great book it just could've benefited from more detail.