Review: Anna McPartlin – The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes

WP_20150213_06_37_19_ProI don’t think a book has ever left me crying at my desk within the first 20 pages, but this one did. And it didn’t stop after that.

I probably should have guessed that a book about a woman dying with cancer was going to be emotional, but I didn’t expect it to be quite such a rollercoaster of emotions. It was definitely a mistake reading it at my desk on my lunch break though, trying to hide the tears as they slowly rolled down my face.

The worst (and best) thing about the book is that you immediately feel like you’re part of the Hayes family. The characters are so well written and relateable that you feel like you’re losing someone dear to you, even though you’ve only been with them for a matter of pages.

Rabbit Hayes is such a brave character, and through her flashback dreams to her earlier life, you experience all the love and loss that she’s been through, as well as the pain that she’s currently experiencing. I think the most heart wrenching thing for me though was the fact that you get the book form the perspectives of all her family and friends, including her young nephews, and worst of all, her 12 year old daughter. I lost my granddad to cancer when I was about 14 and that was bad enough, but losing your mum at 12, and having to look after her with such bravery was just astounding.

The book was so brilliantly written, that it felt almost like a memoir, which I think is what made it so much more emotional, at the back of your mind there’s always the idea that this is a real person, even though you know that truly it’s not.

The book wasn’t all sad though, as well as some poignant moments there was plenty of humour, mostly from Rabbit’s mother. She’s a typical Irish character, and there’s lots of swearing, so this book isn’t for the easily offended. But it’s all swearing in the right places, and it brought the occasional smile to my face while reading what was obviously quite a tough read.

While the start of the book may have made me shed a tear, the end left me almost bawling my eyes out. If I hadn’t been in a crowded office, I know exactly what would have happened. Just a beautiful book front to back, just don’t read it if you’re feeling a little low.

5/5

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