book review

BOOK REVIEW: Rabbit Cake

In the brilliant voice of twelve-year-old Elvis Babbitt, Rabbit Cake successfully balances grievance and comedy. This intriguing, just-weird-enough tale receives 5 stars and IBR's Book of the Month honors.

BOOK REVIEW: Rabbit Cake

Reviewed by Joe Walters

Rabbit Cake isn’t leaving my head anytime soon.

In the brilliant voice of twelve year-old Elvis Babbitt, Annie Hartnett’s newest book successfully toes the lines of grievance and comedy. This intriguing, just-weird-enough tale kept me entertained from the first page to the last.

After her mother sleepwalks into a river, Elvis, the youngest in her house, keeps her family afloat.  Her older sister Lizzie, fresh out of her time in a youth psychiatric hospital, focuses her mind on baking the most cakes in the shape of rabbits that this world has ever seen. Her dad? He’s wearing Mom’s robe and lipstick around the house, tears stained on his cheeks. Elvis just picks up where her mother left off with her pride and joy: a book about the sleeping habits of animals. Elvis doesn’t mind the work. She particularly relates to the naked mole rat, who can’t feel any pain.

It is not easy to do what Annie Hartnett has done in Rabbit Cake. An adult novel, told clearly through a child’s point of view. But Elvis keeps it together. She’s the mature one. It’s not like she’s seeing her sister’s rabbit cakes come alive or anything.

This book is funny, smart, and everything in between. Hartnett’s characters all feel so undoubtedly likeable and real, offering me no chance to put it down.

Rabbit Cake comes not only highly recommended from Independent Book Review–but it comes demanded. Read this thing. Share it with your mom. Your brother. Everybody. They need it too.

Publisher: Tin House Books

Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Life

Print Length: 338 pages

ISBN: 978-1941040560

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