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An Amazon Best Book of the Month for March 2017
A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week for March 6, 2017
An Indie Next List Pick for March 2017
A School Library Journal Top Pick of Adult Books for Teens
Fans of Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go Bernadette and and Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You will delight in Annie Hartnett’s debut, Rabbit Cake, a darkly comic novel about a young girl named Elvis trying to figure out her place in a world without her mother.
Twelve-year-old Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, she knows a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds, and she knows that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly eighteen months.
But there are things Elvis doesn’t yet know―like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother’s silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother’s death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama.
As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss.
“Heartbreak and dark comedy fuse together in this endearing story of family dysfunction and loss.”
Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author
“Annie Hartnett’s Rabbit Cake is fantastically original, a story about loss that expands in such exciting, unpredictable ways that I found myself completely won over by the unique Babbitt clan. Hartnett has such a gift for absurdity without ever losing the essential heart of the story. With this novel, she’s become one of my favorite writers.”
Kevin Wilson, New York Times bestselling author
“Hartnett has written a quirky, slightly magical coming-of-age story that will have your heart. She is a writer to watch.”
Heidi Durrow, New York Times bestselling author
“A memorable young narrator’s desire for rationality wrestles with her grief…Her story is affecting, exploring how a fragile but precocious girl strives to define herself after a tragedy.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Brilliant…The moving and often funny story of a family trying to figure out what to do next now that their touchstone is gone…Charming and beautifully written.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Hartnett adeptly conveys a full picture of this family’s emotional turmoil, tinged with the sincere hope of a child and the rising anxiety of an adolescent.”
School Library Journal
“A truly terrific and original novel about grief, family, and finding hope in the aftermath.”
“Darkly funny and endlessly smart, Rabbit Cake chases down the quivering heart of familial loss and reminds us there is no right way to grieve.”
Ploughshares (Must-Reads for 2017)