Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett (our November selection) has flown somewhat under the radar. I’d not heard much about it until voting on what to read for Bookly in 2018, and I feel like that’s somewhat the norm. Not many have heard too much about this one, but those who have seem to have really enjoyed it.
It’s the story of Elvis Babbit and her family after her mother’s drowning during a routine sleep swimming episodes. Survived by 11-year-old Elvis, her sister, and her dad, the family goes down an odd path of grief involving world record baking, talking birds, seashell jesus sculptures, zoological metaphors, and more sleep-driven chaos. For all its quirks, Elvis, the Babbit family narrator, brings a bright and young perspective of hope to her family’s tragedy. Her voice was entirely unique and a pleasure to read.
I will say, this is the type of book/story that isn’t usually my first choice. A character-driven family drama where nothing much happens except a quirky familial arc. However, Harnett didn’t drag it along. The pacing and length were just enough to say what needed to be said. The writing was enjoyable. And Elvis was absolutely my favorite part of it all. Beyond that, this book is hard to describe. You’ll just have to read it for yourself. But I will say, if you liked any of these books*…
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
(*family dramas as told by an young, endearing female protagonist)
… you’ll most likely enjoy Rabbit Cake (and vice versa). Now, on to the next!