The Rabbit Girl
by Mary Arrigan (Author)
There are two narrative strands to Mary Arrigan’s latest offering, which together weave the type of suspenseful story for which this consummate storyteller is renowned. Tony, a lonely young Irish boy, is taken to 1930s London by his father, and is then evacuated to the Lake District when the Blitz begins. Mallie, a spirited teenager growing up in present-day London, is convinced that she must help her single-parent mother find both romance and an outlet for her artistic talent.
The way in which Arrigan links these two stories together is truly skilful, as readers became increasingly aware that a connection somehow exists between these apparently very different children. In unravelling her mystery, Arrigan impresses upon readers the fact that we are all of us destined to face challenges and even suffering in our lives, and that the best way to do so is with generosity and love.
There is, as this suggests, a darkness to be traced in The Rabbit Girl, and readers should be aware that the opening chapter is concerned with a description of the five-year-old Tony’s distress upon his discovery of the death of his mother. That said, there is ultimately more light than darkness at the heart of this charming story, and the rabbit girl of the title celebrates both the joys of childhood friendship and one of the greatest writers for children who ever lived. Arrigan’s book should appeal to readers between nine and twelve years old.
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