Here is the truth that can't be escaped: for Mia 'Rabbit' Hayes, life is coming to an end...
Rabbit Hayes loves her life, ordinary as it is, and the extraordinary people in it.
She loves her spirited daughter Juliet; her colourful, unruly family; the only man in her big heart, Johnny Faye.
But it turns our the world has other plans for Rabbit, and she's okay with that. Because she has plans for the world too, and only a handful of days to make them happen.
Here is a truth that won't be forgotten: this is a story about laughing through life's surprises and finding the joy in every moment.
I thought that The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes was an incredible read. Anna McPartlin knows how to tell a good story. Rabbit Haye's story was humbling and extremely powerful, the book left me in tears at the end and I just wanted to tell everyone about it.
Rabbit Hayes is dying, she only has days left and has just moved to a hospice. Having already beat breast cancer, Rabbit has had a long battle, it has now spread to her bones and she must prepare to say goodbye.
The book alternates between different character's perspectives which works beautifully as we get to hear Rabbit's inner thoughts then see Rabbit through the eyes of those who love her the most. It is heart-wrenching to see their reactions to her illness, their anger at seeing her suffering is very raw and I felt that this was a very believable and honest account of the devastation that cancer causes.
The story flits between the present day and the past where Rabbit remembers Johnny Faye. He was her only true love; he was in a band with her brother Davey but he too was taken too young. Although Rabbit has got on with her life and gone on to have her daughter Juliet, you get a real sense that she has never let Johnny go. Her memories of their time together gives her real comfort during her last days.
I completely fell in love with the Haye's family, their only concern is for Rabbit and to do the right by Juliet who she will have to leave behind. It was interesting to see how each member of the family dealt with it differently; at times they didn't agree about Rabbit's care or what should happen to Juliet but when it came down to it they pulled together as a family unit. So much humour cane from the Haye's family, especially Rabbit's mum Molly. Although this book made me cry, it also made me laugh out loud on many an occasion.
Anna McPartlin's writing style was very confident and fluid; the dialogue was particularly good and felt very natural. The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes makes you think about the importance of each day and appreciating the little things, I highly recommend this emotional read, just make sure you have some tissues ready.
Many thanks to Alice at Transworld for sending me a copy of this wonderful book to review.