First of all, let’s talk about the title: “When God was a rabbit”.
It sounds like introducing a nostalgic walk amongst memories of a long gone past, when reality and imagination were not always that well separated and a rabbit could easily become – and be called – God.
“I divide my life into two parts. Not really a Before and After, more if they are bookends, holding together flaccid years of empty musings, years of late adolescent or the twentysomething whose coat of adulthood simply does not fit.”
from When God was a rabbit, by Sarah Winman
This is Elly. The first of her bookends was a long time ago.
Everyone of us remembers that time, when monsters hid under the bed – or in the neighbour’s house – and our big brother was the invincible hero who came to save us.
Though, that’s the only fear you have to face, the unearthly monster lurking in the dark, easily defeated by the light left on, on the nightstand.
It’s in this time that the strongest bonds are made, with people you’ll never forget – who’ll never forget you.
And the strongest bond of them all is the one between brother and sister.
It’s a connection formed when your world was not bigger than the palm of your hand, the one you used to cling on to each other – supporting each other.
It’s magic, a secret code of words unspoken and shared looks that say it all.
It’s more than friendship and it’s not just family. It’s a whole universe locked and shared in the heart of two people, each one half of the other.
The violence out in the world is something so far away, it can’t possibly touch you. Bad things happen to other people, in other places.
Until they happen to you. The second bookend, when the outside universe burst into your little world, invades it. That’s when old bonds are those you need to stay afloat, though they may be the hardest to recover.
What else could I say? Memories and miracles, love – not necessarily romantic – and family – not necessarily conventional.
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