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When God Was a Rabbit

About the Book

When God Was a Rabbit

Elly is the kind of girl who grows up too fast. She doesn’t like to play with little girls her age; she prefers the company of Mr. Golan, her elderly neighbor. But her friendship with Mr. Golan takes a dark turn, and only Elly’s brother, Joe, knows her secret. Joe gives Elly a pet rabbit, which she names god, to alleviate the loneliness of her childhood. Elly soon finds another best friend: Jenny Penny, a new girl in town who has a chaotic home life. But Elly and Jenny are soon separated, too --- Elly’s parents decide to open a bed-and-breakfast in Cornwall, and Jenny disappears without a trace. Friendless in her new town, Elly leans on her family for support, especially Joe, who is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality.

Even as an adult, shadows from childhood haunt Elly’s life. She learns that Jenny Penny murdered an abusive husband, and they renew their friendship through letters Jenny writes from jail. Elly finds her calling as a newspaper columnist, writing about the relationships she has lost and found. Joe tries to start a new life in New York, but he disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Elly manages to track Joe down, but he has lost his memory and feels stifled by his sister’s devotion. As Joe’s memory gradually returns, he reveals Elly’s childhood secret: Mr. Golan molested her. Elly’s loved ones can finally help her heal, and she learns to rely on the family and friends who have stood by her during her years of silence.

When God Was a Rabbit
by Sarah Winman

  • Publication Date: May 10, 2011
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • ISBN-10: 1608195341
  • ISBN-13: 9781608195343