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Didn't quite hit the spot.

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes - Anna McPartlin

Am I just cold hearted? I expected to be sobbing throughout this book, like I was with Paula by Isobel Allende, but this one just didn't affect me in the same way (possibly because this was fiction, while Paula was a memoir).

I enjoyed the characters and the back-story of Rabbit Hayes, her brother's band, Kitchen Sink, and Jonny Faye, the lead singer, but the gradual decline of Rabbit from the time that she was admitted to the hospice, was interesting rather than distressing.

There were quite a few family members in Rabbit's life and they all took a part in helping and encouraging her and each other, both in the hospital and out. Various people became stressed and there were a few blow outs, as you'd expect, but I think the style of writing was just a bit too formulaic and matter-of-fact to totally involve me. I can't say I found it as amusing as other reviewers have done either.

I would also question the relevance of the death of another character in the story, which distracted from the main plot, in my opinion. In the end it was the situation of rabbit's twelve year old daughter, Juliette, that moved me most.


Personally, I think I would have enjoyed this more as an audiobook. The Irish accent didn't always read well and to have had the dialogue read correctly would have greatly improved the flow. One or two phrases meant nothing to me at all; "Dee O'Reilly let me drop the hand the other night" and "She didn't lick it off the stones, Jack observed", I assume they are Irish colloquialisms.


Having said all this, I will add that I was in the minority in my book group - everyone else thought it was an excellent read, so take a look at a few other reviews before you make a decision based on mine.