I am absolutely buzzing today to share my review for Below the Big Blue Sky, the wonderful new release from Anna McPartlin.
This book picks up in the immediate aftermath and heartbreak of Rabbit’s death it is heartbreaking from the very first page and there is a balance of extreme sadness and happiness as the family tries to figure it’s way forward without the glue that was Rabbit.
I absolutely loved this book, I loved reading The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes and loved how this book just followed straight on and the story of this wonderful family continued. This story confronts the many different ways that grief manifests itself as you follow the journey of the Hayes family over the year that follows immediately and beyond.
At times this book made me laugh but the grief with tangible throughout you could almost reach out and touch it and I cried at many stages during this wonderful book.
A truly brilliant book that is one of those rare gems that will stay with me as these characters remain firmly imprinted in my imagination.
When forty-year-old Rabbit Hayes dies, she leaves behind a family broken by grief. Her mother Molly is distraught and in danger of losing her faith. Her father Jack spends hour upon hour in the family attic, poring over his old diaries, losing himself in the past.
Rabbit’s brother Davey finds himself suddenly guardian to her twelve-year-old daughter Juliet. Juliet might be able to fill a hole in Davey’s heart – but how can he help Juliet through her grief when he can barely cope with his own?
Meanwhile, Rabbit’s sister Grace is struggling with the knowledge that she carries the same gene that made her sister ill, and Rabbit’s best friend Marjorie is lost, struggling to remain a part of a family she has always wished was her own now that her link to them is gone.
But even though the Hayes family are all fighting their own battles, they are drawn together by their love for Rabbit, and their love for each other. In the years that follow her death they find new ways to celebrate and remember her, to find humour and hope in the face of tragedy, and to live life to its fullest, as Rabbit would have wanted.
Below a Big Blue Sky will make you laugh, cry and shout with joy for the colourful, unruly Hayes family as they battle with the loss of their beloved Rabbit, the daughter, mother, sister and friend, who in her own crazy way taught each of them how to live, and goes on showing them how to love from beyond the grave.
Available to purchase here
About the Author
Anna McPartlin is an international best selling author, currently published in 15 languages across 18 countries. Pack Up The Moon and The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes were nominated for Irish book awards. Rabbit Hayes also won a silver readers book award in Germany. In the UK it was a Simon Mayo and Richard and Judy book club pick and in the USA it was a Barnes & Nobel Book of the Month.
In the last few years Anna has been honing her TV scriptwriting skills working on medical drama ‘Holby City’ for the BBC (UK), legal drama ‘Striking Out,’ for RTE (IRE) and historical adaptation Jesus His Life for History Channel (USA).
Anna was nominated for an Irish Film & Television Academy award for her one off bi-lingual drama ‘School Run,’ and is currently in development with Hot Drop Films / Treasure Entertainment and funded by Screen Ireland for the film adaptation of ‘Rabbit Hayes.’ She is also in development for a crime series ‘Serious Crimes,’ with Blinder Productions (Virgin Media) in IRE. A historical crime drama with Noho Film & TV (UK) and ‘Richter,’ an RTE/NZ TV co-production crime drama with Blinder Productions.
Anna’s first children’s book the ‘Fearless Five’ came out May 2019. Her next fiction novel ‘Below The Big Blue Sky,’ is on shelves in UK and IRE in April 2020 and she is currently working on her ninth commercial fiction title.
Anna started out briefly as an actress and stand-up comedian but although her heart wasn’t in performance, she revels in storytelling and shining a light in dark places. Anna’s USP is in tackling difficult subjects with understanding, empathy and humour that spills onto every page.
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