Published by Macmillan, St. Martin's Press on August 4th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Family Life
eARC provided by Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
Mia-"Rabbit"-Hayes knows that life is hard for everyone. And she knows that she's one of the lucky ones. She loves her life, ordinary as it is. And she loves the extraordinary people in it: her spirited daughter, Juliet; her colorful, unruly family; the only man in her big heart, Johnny Faye. Rabbit has big ideas, full of music and love and so much life. She has plans for the world. But the world, it turns out, has other plans for Rabbit: a devastating diagnosis.
Rabbit is feisty. And with every ounce of love and strength in her, she promises that she will overcome. She will fight fight fight. She will be with those who love her for as long as she can, and she will live as long as she can with music and love and so much life. And as her friends and family rally round to celebrate Rabbit's last days, they look to her for strength, support, and her unyielding zest for life. Because she is Rabbit Hayes and she will live until she dies.
Well, I just finished this heartbreaking story. I have to say a book hasn’t affected me this deeply in a long while. The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes is so incredibly good. I am just going to gush about this book.
Rabbit Hayes is dying. She has just been transferred to a hospice facility. The cancer that she beat a few years ago came back with a vengeance. Now Rabbit and her family just have to accept it. This story gives us insight into the lives of Rabbit, her mother Molly, her father Jack, her best friend Marjorie, her brother Davey, her sister Grace, and her daughter Juliet. This story allows us a glimpse into each person’s life before the cancer, and how they come to terms with the inevitable passing of Rabbit. Told with unflinching honesty this is a story I won’t soon forget.
OMG! This book had me endure every single emotion. I laughed out loud at the antics of Rabbit and Davey in their youth. I got depressed. I was elated at times reading this story. Then I cried so hard. Right away, I knew this book was going to be sad, but for some reason I didn’t think I would get so attached. Once I was completely invested, I started rooting for Rabbit to pull through. None of my assumptions were correct. But this book was such a great experience, I wish I could go back and read it again for the first time. I felt like I was transferred right into the room. This book takes place in Ireland. I adored the readable dialect and found myself hearing the accents as I read.
Each character brings something important to the story and it all ties in very nicely. Also, the way this family regards each other in the face of Rabbit’s condition was just priceless. Molly, the matriarch, is hilarious. Rabbit is a lot like her mom and ends up as a kind of production manager for Davey’s garage band. Then later she becomes a single mother. The relationships between mother and daughter are very different, but very moving in both cases. These are honest, strong-willed women who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is.
Rabbit relives her youth and the love lost while she wastes away in hospice. The lead singer Johnny is the front man and the boy who steals Rabbit’s heart. Davey and Marjorie make a mistake that might be the best thing for them. Jack and Molly duke it out over how to proceed. Grace remembers all the reasons she loves Rabbit and almost ends her marriage. Twelve year old Juliet deals with so much stress. The question of who will take custody of Juliet absolutely broke my heart.
So there is a lot going on in this story despite the fact that it transpires over the last nine days of Rabbit’s life. I found this story all consuming. When I wasn’t reading it, I was counting the minutes until I could get back to the characters. Now that I am done, I miss them. I loved this story and I highly recommend this read.