‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett
“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka
Thursday, 14 April 2011
The Rabbit Girl - Mary Arrigan
It tells two stories, parallel to each other in alternating chapters. One is set in and around the Second World War, first in Ireland, then London, then the Lake District, as young Tony travels to England to be with his father who has found work in London, and slowly adapts to a new life, before having to adapt all over again when the War begins.
The second is in the present day, and tells of a teenage girl called Mallie Kelly, who lives alone with her mother Sarah. Mallie worries for her mother, who seems to keep losing jobs and has lost her love for her talent, which is drawing and art. Mallie secretly takes a job working at the pet shop, against her mother's wishes, to get some money and buy her mother a special gift.
This gift turns out to be very special indeed, and it is this, alongside the romantic matchmaking attemps by Mallie for her mother, which ultimately draws together the two strands of the story to meet.
There is a secret which you may guess at during the story, which is revealed at the end of the story. I'll say no more than that.
I am a huge rabbit fan, and a fan of the Lake District, and so this story combined many favourite themes for me, which added to the delight I derived from reading it.
I think this is a children's/young adult's novel but as an adult I loved it and would recommend it if you are looking for an enjoyable, sweet and touching story.