When God Was a Rabbit
1968. The year Paris takes to the streets. The year Martin Luther King loses his life for a dream. The year Eleanor Maud Portman is born. Young Elly’s world is shaped by those who inhabit it: her loving but maddeningly distractible parents; a best friend who smells of chips and knows exotic words like ‘slag’; an ageing fop who tapdances his way into her home, a Shirley Bassey impersonator who trails close behind; lastly, of course, a rabbit called God. In a childhood peppered with moments both ordinary and extraordinary, Elly’s one constant is her brother Joe.
Twenty years on, Elly and Joe are fully grown and as close as they ever were. Until, that is, one bright morning when a single, earth-shattering event threatens to destroy their bond forever.
This marvellous book explores the pull and power of family ties, childhood, love and sex and the dark sides of all of these things as it moves between suburban Essex, the wild coast of Cornwall and the streets of New York. Spanning four decades, this is a story about loss and life.