"In this extraordinary novel's opening pages we learn of a mother's tragic accidental death—she drowns while sleepwalking. Rabbit Cake is the unexpectedly comic story of a family's grief told through the thoughtful and matter-of-fact voice of the youngest Babbitt daughter, Elvis. The Babbitts' obsessions and coping techniques (baking rabbit-shaped cakes, nurturing a pet bird, studying naked mole rats) are captivating, heartbreakingly genuine, idiosyncratic, and deeply felt human responses. Life, death, family, illness, humanity—it can all be pretty absurd. And acknowledging that absurdity is both a tragic reality, and a great relief."
Fans of Maria Semple's Where'd You Go Bernadette and and Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You will delight in Annie Hartnett's debut, Rabbit Cake, a darkly comic novel about a young girl named Elvis trying to figure out her place in a world without her mother. An Indies Introduce and Indie Next Pick Twelve-year-old Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, she knows a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds, and she knows that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly eighteen months. But there are things Elvis doesn’t yet know?like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother's silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother's death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss.