The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes – Anna McPartlin

Here is a 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 out the world has other plans for Rabbit, and she’s OK with that. Because she has plans for the world too, and only a handful of days left 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

My Review: I don’t think anything I write here will do this book justice so all I will say is it is the most moving and charming and exquisite book full of heartbreaking yet wonderfully funny characters and I know that this book will stay with me for a very long time.

WARNING:  Make sure you have a huge box of tissues nearby!

About the Author: Anna McPartlin is a novelist and scriptwriter. Her previous incarnation as a stand-up comedian left an indelible mark. She describes herself as a slave to the joke and finds humour and humanity in even the darkest situations. Anna lives in Wicklow with her husband and animals.

Update: 5th August 2020

I never ever ever re-read books, but when I saw that Anna McPartlin had written a sequel to The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes I knew I had to read it again even though I knew I would cry.

The second time around for me didn’t disappoint, in fact it was a different experience altogether – a deeper connection to the characters and because I knew how emotional the book was I was able to appreciate each and everyone in the story.

This wonderful, quirky Irish family comprising of a super-strong Ma, an emotional and affectionate Pa, Grace and Davey, Rabbit’s adored siblings and, of course, 12 year old Juliet – part-time carer, full-time devoted daughter are spending the final days of Rabbit’s life coming to terms with her imminent death and remembering the past 40 years with love and humour.

This story is so painful to read, each family member or friend’s feelings are so raw and heartfelt that it’s impossible not to cry at the unfairness of the situation and simultaneously smile at the humour, love and warmth.

I am so pleased I revisited the Hayes family and now feel ready to see what paths their lives have taken in the sequel Below the Big Blue Sky.

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