When God Was A Rabbit Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of When God Was A Rabbit

The life of and lessons learned by Elly as she grows up in Cornwall and later navigates her way around New York, the title referring to a pet rabbit named God. Elly is born on a rainy day in England and grows up in the bed and breakfast run by her parents in picturesque Cornwall. She is close to her older brother and the book chronicles their lives as she transitions into adulthood with the help of an elderly musician masquerading as a concentration camp survivor, a Hollywood star aunt, and a rabbit named God.
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Elly is, as a young child, molested by an elderly man she thought to be her friend. Her brother, made aware of this betrayal, terrifies the old man into suicide, turning him over to a place where no other Elly can ever be harmed.

Comfort comes for Elly in the form of a Christmas present: A rabbit she decides to name God (a decision that does not go down well at Sunday School).

Although God eventually disappears from their loves, he keeps reappearing in magic-like encounters that are deemed special moments in her life.

Soon Elly and her brother, Joe, are all grown up and as close as they had ever been. Elly has just broken up with her boyfriend and her brother is still mourning the loss of emotional connection with his childhood boyfriend.

As the three of them (Elly, Joe, and Joe's ex-boyfriend) come together in New York City, their lives are torn apart when the World Trade Center –Joe's workplace   falls down on September 11th.

Although originally feared dead, a Joe who had been suffering from amnesia is located and re-introduced to society and his former flame.
Best part of story, including ending: I loved how it spanned four decades but read as easily as one.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene is when Elly is berated by her teacher at Sunday School for naming her rabbit "God".

Opinion about the main character: I dislike Elly's inability to forge a real connection with a man that is romantic. The only relationship she was ever in is glazed over and no other relationship (not counting a one-night stand) ever takes its place.

The review of this Book prepared by Avantika Chitturi a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of When God Was A Rabbit

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   religious issues Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book War/Revolt/Disaster on civilians    -   Yes Conflict:    -   Terrorism

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   a kid Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Misc setting    -   resort/hotel

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   actual description of hetero sex Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like When God Was A Rabbit

Sarah Winman Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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