Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett

5 Stars

“We’re all different combinations of crazy.”

A book hangover, that is. It appears a handful of my friends read Rabbit Cake this past Spring, but GR must have been glitchy (or maybe I was sleep-scrolling then) because I don’t remember hearing anything about it until just last week when my real-life friend (hard to believe, but yes I do have like two of them) said she thought it might be right up my alley. If you’re reading this, let me say THANK YOU REGINA!

Meet the Babbitts . . . .

Things have been a little rough ever since Eva (the Babbitt wife and mother) died. Now, Elvis spends her time trying to figure out what really happened to her mother, Livvie is a potential danger to herself (and sometimes the entire family) every night when she sleep-eats and their Dad walks around wearing their mom’s robe and lipstick while caring for the new love of his life – a parrot named Earnest whose voice sounds exactly like their dearly departed loved one. Rabbit Cake is a story about the grieving process, told by a family who is just . . . .

“trying to be good.”

Warning to all readers: If you plan on enjoying a slice of Rabbit Cake the first thing you’re going to have to do is resign yourself to the fact that Elvis is a 10-year old trapped in a 147 year old’s body. Not literally, of course, but there has never been a human born who has the wisdom and insight and humor as our young heroine, here. If you can allow yourself to let go and enjoy and the ride, you’ll find one of the most delightful dysfunctional families since the Bluths or Belchers.

We’re talking people who will make you laugh out loud . . . .

“How is she doing?”

“She’s dead.”

“Oh my God,” he said.

“Thanks for the help.”

And, as much as I hate admit, maybe look like this before you’re finished . . . .

As you come to the conclusion with the Babbitts that . . .

“Death never makes sense, no matter how someone dies: murder, accident, old age, cancer, suicide, you’re never ready to lose someone you love. I decided death will always feel unexplained; we will never be ready for it, and you just have to do the best you can with what you have left.”

Rabbit Cake is going down as one of my favorites this year (which should serve as Exhibit A on why GR shouldn't push its users into sharing their 2017 wrap-ups so early) and this family is one I won’t ever forget. All the Stars.

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