I submitted my first book review last week for the virtual book club that I joined through a friend on Facebook, so as part of the ‘Read’ theme of my blog, I thought I would also share my thoughts about it here too…
The book was ‘When God was a Rabbit’, a debut novel by Sarah Winman. I won’t write too much about the storyline in case anyone wants to read it for themselves (which I would highly recommend), but I read this one in six days which, given the limited spare time I find myself with, is indicative of how hard I found it to put down. I really admire Winman’s writing style, but moreso her ability to totally bring her characters to life and make me fall in love with each and every one of them. I think she is brilliant at balancing dark and light as some of the subjects the story deals with are hard hitting and shocking. But the interspersal of amusing, and sometimes unbelievable and surreal, scenes provided cynical smirks and some laugh out loud moments of light relief.
The overall theme of the book is ‘love’, which is as important to me as it is to most people…and it was interesting and warming to see it played out in so many different forms, linking the various characters.
The first half of the book is set during the main character’s younger years, and it really reminded me of aspects of my own childhood, which provided me with a happy trip down memory lane. I found myself reminiscing about games of ‘Pom Pom’ and ‘Kerbsie’ with the neighbouring kids on the green that our houses sat around, practicing back flips, roller skating and skateboarding down the hill, trying to ride my bike with no hands (to this day I still can’t, and have only ever got down to one hand), sleepovers at Claire Bee’s (my oldest friend who lived down the road – hi Claire if you are reading!) as well as forming the infamous S.S. Paparazzi club whose HQ was located in the space underneath her cabin bed, water fights in the summer and hazy summer days that seemed to last forever…all those little moments and memories flicked through my mind like a slide show and made me smile.
I enjoyed the book, but I also enjoyed where it took me and the fact that it made me realise how happy, innocent and uncomplicated my childhood was. I am all too aware that not everyone is as lucky, and it made me feel truly grateful, appreciative and blessed.
Just as I was about to post this update I checked Facebook (as I do more often than I should) and saw a quote that I think really sums up what I’ve been thinking about since reading the book. This kind of thing happens all too often to me at the moment so I’m going with it and will leave you with that quote:
“We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.”
I was nominated to choose September’s book for the virtual club, so I hope that I get as much out of my choice (which is ‘The Hand that First Held Mine’ by Maggie O’Farrell) as I did the first one.
Until next time…
Love and happy memories, sm x