Rabbit Cake

Rabbit Cake

by Annie Hartnett


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People MagazineBook of the Week

A Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, Book Riot, The Chicago Review of Books, Minnesota Public Radio, and more

An Indies Introduce and Indie Next Pick

Fans of Maria Semple'sWhere'd You Go Bernadetteand and Kevin Wilson's The Family Fangwill delight inAnnie Hartnett's debut,a darkly comic novel about a young girl named Elvis trying to figure out her place in a world without her mother.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781941040560
Publisher: Tin House Books
Publication date: 03/07/2017
Pages: 287
Sales rank: 106,266
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Annie Hartnett was the 2013-2014 winner of the Writer in
Residence Fellowship for the Associates of the Boston Public Library and has received awards and honors from the Bread Loaf School of English, McSweeney’s,
and Indiana Review. Hartnett received her MFA in Fiction from the
University of Alabama, an MA from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of
English, and currently teaches at Grub Street, an independent writing center in
Boston. Shelives with her husband and their beloved Border Collie in
Providence, Rhode Island.

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Rabbit Cake 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely worth the read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Few books are heartbreaking and hilarious at once. A story about a very eccentric family dealing with grief and life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delightful story kept me up late into the night.
Two2dogs More than 1 year ago
This book was the April pick for my book club, I did enjoy the book, would not have read it if the book club had not picked it, I do recommend this book.
Melissa_W More than 1 year ago
When you're twelve, and your mom dies in a freak accident, you use whatever facts you have at your disposal to try and create a roadmap to grieving. Because that is the major problem facing Elvis Babbitt: there doesn't seem to be a single best way to get through mourning her mom. So she takes the best advice available - from her guidance counselor who is obsessed with her recent divorce - and carves out the next eighteen months to mourn and to try and figure out how to help her dad and sister mourn, too. Rabbit Cake is a funny-sad-sweet slice-of-life novel about a girl and her family as they mourn the death of their mom/wife. Elvis is a really sharp narrator, precocious without being precious or too adult. As Elvis goes around collecting information and facts she occasionally gets the wrong end of the stick because she is a child; the adult characters eventually provide the right context for her. The cast of characters (Dad, out-of-control sister Lizzie, chatty parrot Ernest, stray roommate from the mental institution they take in Vanessa, school grief counselor Ms Bernstein, zoo veterinarian Dr Rotherwood) are kooky in that truth-is-stranger-than-fiction way. There's also a little bit of a Steel Magnolia edge - this family sticks together, through tragedy and mishap, and always finds a way to laugh. Bonus: you get lots of animal facts, particularly about sleeping habits.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rabbit Cake is the captivating, humorous, and highly original story of 10 year old Elvis - a loving, compassionate, and wise girl, who seeks to understand and recover from her mother’s untimely death. While seeking clues to solve her mother’s death, Elvis uncovers disturbing information about her parent’s marriage, her sister, and her teachers. Yet, ever resourceful, Elvis persists to uncover enough information to bring her peace. Along her journey, Elvis is compelled to care for her reckless older sister and her grieving father – forfeiting her sleep and studies. Working to carry on the work of her biologist mother, Elvis forges her own path caring for exotic animals at the local zoo – and achieves success and acceptance. With her loyal dog, Boomer, and her unfailing love for her family, Elvis courageously pulls her challenging family together to once again achieve happiness.
katelyng23 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved RABBIT CAKE! Elvis's voice and story are so unique that you can’t help but laugh and cry with the whole quirky Babbitt family. RABBIT CAKE one of those special novels you want to immediately press into the hand of a loved one.
crystallyn More than 1 year ago
Rabbit Cake is fun, serious, funny, clever, imaginative, sad, and sometimes shocking. After reading this book, I have never wanted so badly to go make cake, preferably in a mold, with crazy colors and flavors. I loved the twisty way that Elvis's family tries to make life work after the strange and unusual death of her mother. The characters are all quirky, lovable, broken, battered and yet still full of hope. Annie's debut is truly stunning...to have such command over the nuance of story and to deliver such emotion to the reader through masterfully wrought characters is not easy to do. Definitely add Rabbit Cake to your TBR pile as soon as you can.