I won this book in a giveaway on Goodreads. I loved the idea of it and the story sounded interesting enough.
"Young Elly's world is shaped by those who inhabit it: her loving but maddeningly distractible parents; a best friend who smells of chips and knows exotic words like 'slag'; an ageing fop who tapdances his way into her home, a Shirley Bassey impersonator who trails close behind; lastly, of course, a rabbit called God. In a childhood peppered with moments both ordinary and extraordinary, Elly's one constant is her brother Joe.
Twenty years on, Elly and Joe are fully grown and as close as they ever were. Until, that is, one bright morning and a single, earth-shattering event that threatens to destroy their bond for ever.
Spanning four decades and moving between suburban Essex, the wild coast of Cornwall and the streets of New York, this is a story about childhood, eccentricity, the darker side of love and sex, the pull and power of family ties, loss and life. More than anything, it's a story about love in all its forms."
The book begins innocent and moves on to a darker theme. It is written in two parts, part one follows much of Elly's childhood, and part two follows a period of her adult life. I was hesitant to read Part Two because I had read reviews on the internet saying Part Two isn't as good as the first part. I wholeheartedly disagree; It's just as good, maybe even better. It's sadder, that's for sure, and it doesn't hold the humor so much as the first part, but that's fitting for the events that go on in it. I think that's why the second half of the book gets so much criticism.
The book covers so many events, some of them historical, some of them close to the fictional family, that it keeps the reader interested throughout the entire book. This was one of those books that I didn't want to stop reading until I got to the ending.
Quite frankly, this is one of the best books I have ever read, and I am afraid that it will go unnoticed by many readers. The writing is fantastic, and the story is incredibly quirky and brilliant. Readers, I beg you, pick up this book. Miss Winman, I beg you, never stop writing!