How could I resist a novel called When God was a Rabbit? It's well worth reading too, though make sure you have a hanky ready as it's a very emotional experience.
The first part of the novel follows Eleanor Maude as she grows up with her family in the south of England (starting off in Essex and moving to Cornwall). The second part sees her as an adult. All through the novel, the details of Ellie's life are set against the events of the time, many of which impinge on her life (the Queen's Silver Jubilee in terms of the street party she attends, the falling of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in a far less benign way). A lot of Christmases are celebrated in the novel, which make it an ideal Christmas read.
While she is a child, Eleanor has a big rabbit, that she calls god. Given the title of the novel I had expected god to be more of a central character than he is. I also felt that god was banished too much to his hutch and not given enough attention, for example I suspect that his hay wasn't changed as often as it should have been.
Aside from my lagomorphic concerns though, this is an excellent novel, about loneliness and fitting in and about how life can change unexpectedly, giving second chances where you might not have expected them. Winman has a great eye for detail, there are some lovely descriptions for example of the river near Ellie's home in Cornwall. Ellie is also a character who is very much at home in the natural world.
So definitely a book I would recommend, just don't expect the rabbit to be centre stage!
When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman published by Headline