Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Annie Hartnett's Rabbit Cake is fantastically original, a story about loss that expands in such exciting, unpredictable ways that I found myself completely won over by the unique Babbitt clan. Hartnett has such a gift for absurdity without ever losing the essential heart of the story. With this novel, she's become one of my favorite writers." Kevin Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of The Family Fang
"In Hartnett’s winning debut, a memorable young narrator’s desire for rationality wrestles with her grief.... Affecting." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"A brilliant book.... How a whip-smart young girl handles the loss of her mother and the reorientation of her family; charming and beautifully written." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
People Magazine Book of the Week
A Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, Book Riot, The Chicago Review of Books, Minnesota Public Radio, and more
An Indies Introduce and Indie Next Pick
Fans of Maria Semple's Where'd You Go Bernadette and and Kevin Wilson's The Family Fang will delight in Annie Hartnett's debut, a darkly comic novel about a young girl named Elvis trying to figure out her place in a world without her mother.
About the Author
Annie Hartnett's debut novel, Rabbit Cake, is forthcoming from Tin House Books in March 2017. She is at work on her second novel, Driver's Ed, which is a darkly-comic story about a sex crime in a small town.
Annie is a 2013 graduate of the MFA program at the University of Alabama, and was the 2013-2014 Writer-in-Residence for the Associates of the Boston Public Library. She currently teaches classes on the novel and the short story at Grub Street, an independent writing center in Boston.
Annie lives in Providence, RI with her husband and their exceptional border collie, Harvey.
Annie Hartnett on PowellsBooks.Blog
When I was writing my novel, I listened to Dolly Parton’s music every morning (the same five songs) because the songs always energize me, put me into a creative space. But the inspiration I get from Dolly Parton goes beyond her music. It’s her whole persona that’s helped me, and the way she’s handled her career...