When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman (4.5/5 stars)
Despite the title of this book, it actually has nothing to do with God, or even religion for that matter. In the book, God actually is a rabbit, a pet rabbit named by a little girl who believed that God could be anything so why not a rabbit? Usually I try to write my own little blurb on what the book was about but I think the one on the back of this book itself is so perfect I'm just going to share that: 'Spanning four decades, from 1968 onwards, this is the story of a fabulous but flawed family and the slew of ordinary and extraordinary incidents that shape their everyday lives. It is a story about childhood and growing up, loss of innocence, eccentricity, familial ties and friendships, love and life. Stripped down to its bare bones, it's about the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.'
I loved this story. It's beautiful, poetic, captivating and honest. It's a coming of age novel that will capture your heart. The book is split into two parts, childhood, and adulthood, and while I adored both I think part one was slightly better where the characters innocence and childhood creates a beautiful sense of family life. It's like everything in life, as we grow up things become a little less magical but find new ways of being wonderful.
Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon (4/5 stars)
When Amy was 15 years old she disappeared while walking home from school before later being found in a coma, her attacker having left her for dead. Fast forward 15 years and Amy is still lost to the world, having never woken up she is trapped inside her teenage mind unaware of all the time she has lost. Alex is a reporter who stumbles across Amy while writing a story on the hospital and her doctor's treatments. Remembering Amy's attack, Alex becomes determined to find justice for her, to discover what really happened while trying to overcome her own battle with alcoholism.
The story is told between Alex's present and Amy's hazy past, unfolding the story slowly but keeping you guessing. It's a story of two women who have spent years fighting coming together to find some justice in the world, creating a bond that only one of them can truly appreciate. Alex's alcoholism also adds an interesting layer to the book which I really enjoyed, although I would have liked to have known more of the back story to her struggle and how she developed the problem in the first place. Although this book is a who did it type, it's so different to any other I have read, taking a fresh angle on the same old plot. A really wonderful debut from Holly Seddon.
Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani (4/5 stars)
The Trail of Broken Wings follows three sisters, each who followed a different path in life, come back together as their father lies in a coma. Heartache, pain and shame gripped the women and their mother for years, their strength destroyed by their father's hand. Coming back together, they face the memories they had long buried and tried to forget and the pain of discovering the true extent of the damage their father inflicted upon them.
This story really took me into a whole different world, one where pain and abuse are normalised and happiness seems like only a dream. It's a moving and powerful book that really portrays the destructive impact that a of a childhood of beatings and living in fear can have on a future life. Sonya, Trisha and Marin have each hidden their pain for so long, pushing it to one side, running away and trying to live out a normal life, but the bruises go so much deeper than they could ever imagine. Now, the man who created such pain lies unconscious and unable to hurt them anymore, but they still struggle to truly let him go. I really loved this book and although it deals with a difficult subject matter, it is done so in a really insightful and compelling way.
What books have you loved recently?