The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes

Anna McPartlin
Jan 21, 2017

Mia, "Rabbit", Hayes is a fighter and the very heart of her adoring family. But so is the cancer slowly taking over her body. Rabbit, however, refuses to acknowledge that her diagnosis has just rapidly plummeted or share the news with her 12 year old daughter, Juliet. Neither of them is ready to say goodbye. Rabbit's family is amazing, particularly her strong tough Irish "Mammy" Molly, who fights like a tiger for her daughter's life. Rabbit's father, Jack, and her siblings, Grace and Davey, are believably drawn characters. At times, the imminent loss of Rabbit threatens to push the family apart, but the reminder of how lucky they are to have each other to love quickly pulls them back together.

There are a lot of funny parts and the back-story is particularly strong and full of references that remind me of my own teenage days. These flashbacks, which are often humorous, provide well-timed relief from the sadness. Rabbit also shares her story through a blog written as she celebrates her first remission and realizes how full her life is.The contrast between how Rabbit is in the present and the descriptions of her hopes and dreams of the past make it even more upsetting as it shows just how much cancer steals. 

This is not a light-hearted read, but it is touching, brave, and at times a funny novel about a family facing an imminent death. Anyone who has lost someone close will identify with it and remember how the heartbreak is so often shot through with a blessing of humor. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. 


Reviewed by Library Staff