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the reading spot: the last days of rabbit hayes...

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The weekend before last I was once again caught up in the tangle that is weekend rail works. This time no rail replacement bus service but a diversion and a change at Preston. Sat in piccadilly train station I was reminded of all the time I use to spend there waiting for trains home and to wherever else I was going. It turns out Starbucks there is open 24 hours. And I had an hour until my next train, so naturally I found myself new book in hand and latte in another.

I'd picked up The last days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin on a whim from Smiths, it was buy one get one half price and the cover and title reminded me of one of my favourite books When God was a Rabbit. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but this time I'm glad I did. Within the first few pages I was hooked, and I nearly missed my train. Within the first few chapters I was laughing, crying and making my fellow passengers very uncomfortable.

Maybe it is because this was the first paper back I had bought in a while, or maybe it wouldn't have mattered which format the words presented themselves in, because the story was just that good, either way, I couldn't put it down. Not only on my train journey home, but all of Sunday too.

My favourite spot to sit in my flat, is on my sofa, underneath the window, sat sideways with my legs stretching out, and my eyes occasionally wandering out across the window pane. Curled up with a blanket and endless cups of tea I spent the whole day reading and it was bliss.

I won't lie to you, The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes, is a real weeper. As you can guess from the title, in a nutshell, it's about a woman's last living days. Or rather that is what the book centres around. What it is really about is family dynamics and that is what made this book so irressistable for me. The Hayes have some beautiful memories together, and they have some pretty sad ones too, now the youngest daughter is saying goodbye to their world, and leaving behind her own child. Every character is so full of personality, even those only playing a supporting role, that everything you're reading feels so terribly real. From the mother who refuses to give up and always says the wrong thing usually followed by a curse word, to the nephew who knew that what is dying aunt really needed to hear about was his latest dalliances with the opposite sex.

It's all told with an understated drama, what makes this book so sad and funny, and uplifting, isn't because the story you're reading seems like such a one off in it's tragedy, but because you know this story is probably playing itself out right now in hospices up and down the country.

I know, on the surface, this sounds like a depressing book, but it isn't. It's robust. It shows you that life can be cut short but that people can and will get on with it, and it's al done with a distinctively Irish charm.

I'd definitely recommend missing your train for it, and cancelling all your weekend plans too.

Live life & spend a day in your reading spot x

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15 comments

  1. A very sensitive review, it sounds like a lovely book... love the sound of blankets and endless cups of tea - mm bliss! May have to give this one a go :)

    Jo x
    http://thefashionparadepage.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. What a great recommendation! I love when you unexpectedly get sucked into a story like you seem to have been and can't put it down. I wish I'd spent my long car journeys this weekend reading, and yet about 15 mins into our 4.5 hour journey on Sunday and then the whole way back on Monday, my granny who was sat next to me was buried in the book I brought to entertain myself! Alice xxx

    www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

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  3. This sounds like a really lovely read. I love books that mix sadness and hopefulness. Definitely putting it on my to-read list!

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

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  4. Well this seems like the sort of book I could do with to get me back into reading. Honestly, it has been so long since I picked up a book it's embarassing! xx

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  5. It's always the best feeling when you completely get involved in a book and can't stop reading it. I'll definitely keep a look out for it next time in a book store :)

    vvnightingale.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. I'm flying to Spain next week, do you think this would be a good read for my cross Atlanta flight? Or better to not cry unless I have a hidden window seat, haha?

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  7. It really is, you'll completely fall in love with the family in it! xx

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  8. Ooooft I can't read in the car, but I must admit, I've been known to be a book stealer. I always try to heavily influence my families book choices when we go on holiday, just so I can read it when they are finished. Or before if they're not quick enough! xx

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  9. It was just so realistic, literally every emotion was covered! Let me know when you've read it! xx

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  10. Do you know, I honestly think it was physically having the book in paperback that really woke the book monster in me! I will bring it with me on Sunday for you to borrow! xx

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  11. You know a book is good when you actually feel like you miss being part of the characters lives once it's done! xx

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  12. I would definitely recommend it for your flight! It is a bit weepy, and full of laugh out loud moments, but it's more the silent tear slipping out rather than the 'Oh my god, I can't breathe' crying! xx

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  13. This book sounds really good and I was on the lookout to add a few new ones to my reading list. Definitely bookmarking for future reference x

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  14. I would definitely recommend it for your flight! It is a bit weepy, and full of laugh out loud moments, but it’s more the silent tear slipping out rather than the ‘Oh my god, I can’t breathe’ crying! xx

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