By Sara Vilkomerson
Updated May 04, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

When God Was a Rabbit

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Don’t be fooled by When God Was a Rabbit, the existential-sounding title of Winman’s debut novel. Her protagonist, Elly (whom we’re introduced to as a child growing up in late-1960s England), simply has a pet rabbit named God. God the rabbit is a bit magical — he’s able to speak with Elly — but that’s par for the course in this eccentric coming-of-age story. Winman’s prose is elegantly restrained as she sketches Elly’s family life, touching lightly upon both good and bad moments. It’s these little moments — some small, one monumental — that are the most affecting and poignant. B+

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