The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty

Brief Summary Book Of The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty

Introducing the Rabbit Hutch—a virtual obituary creator, a young mother guarding a concealed secret, and a woman engaged in a solo crusade against a rodent invasion. These diverse individuals reside in the close confines of a budget-friendly housing complex situated in the formerly bustling industrial hub of Vacca Vale, Indiana.

Step into this captivating narrative.

Blandine, possessing an ethereal beauty and formidable intellect, shares her apartment with three teenage boys who, much like her, have aged out of the state foster care system. Their experiences within the system have been marred by repeated failures, and now they find themselves in search of purpose in their intertwined lives.

Spanning a scorching week in July and culminating in a surreal outburst of violence that becomes the catalyst for irrevocable change, The Rabbit Hutch offers a starkly exquisite and humor-laden portrayal of modern America. It weaves a compelling and thought-provoking story of isolation, desires, captivity, and, ultimately, emancipation.

“Gunty’s writing possesses a perceptive and empathetic gaze, delving into various forms of intimacy—the connections we construct with others, and the intricate personal aspirations we nurture.” — Raven Leilani, acclaimed author of Luster.

 

Review Book Of The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty

What an intriguing reading journey that was! I’ve once again encountered a situation where the prose itself shone brighter than the entirety of the story. However, the central issue here lies in the somewhat lacking cohesion. While certain sections were commendable, the narrative seemed to lack the binding agent to unify its elements. The character portrayals are nothing short of captivating, albeit leaning towards the eccentric and occasionally bizarre end of the spectrum. The narrative orbits around a multitude of characters, primarily the inhabitants of a timeworn and budget-friendly housing complex known as The Rabbit Hutch. A handful of additional characters also meander into the storyline, including a schoolteacher, a television celebrity, a mental health blogger grappling with his own mental health, and a priest. The nucleus of the story could arguably be attributed to the enigmatic eighteen-year-old Blandine, who possesses an otherworldly aura. Though she’s dropped out of high school, she stands out as possibly the most intellectually astute of the entire ensemble. At times, I found myself questioning the authenticity of her voice, pondering whether it truly mirrored reality. While there might indeed be young women out there with similar speech and thoughts, I have yet to encounter one personally. Her fascination with Hildegard of Bingen, a multi-talented historical figure, adds another layer to her character.

Residing in one of The Rabbit Hutch’s apartments alongside Blandine are three young men who, akin to her, have recently departed the foster care system. Distinguishing one young man from another presented a slight challenge. The narrative utilizes both first and third-person perspectives to introduce them, with all of them eventually falling under the ghostly allure of Blandine. Naturally, chaos unfolds once this romantic dynamic ensnares them, taking an unforeseen and turbulent trajectory. The ensuing events delve into unanticipated avenues, deviating from the anticipated confrontations like physical altercations.

This prompts contemplation about the novel’s backdrop—a dying town named Vacca Vale, Indiana, left desolate by the decline of the automobile industry. A narrative that resonates across the United States and beyond, undoubtedly. My mind couldn’t help but drift to Larry McMurtry’s “The Last Picture Show,” a book I recently read and admired. It thrust me into the decaying realm of Thalia, Texas, where its characters grappled with desolation and solitude. The inhabitants of The Rabbit Hutch were similarly plagued by despair, their struggle for connections palpable. Yet, the characters in McMurtry’s work somehow engendered greater belief in their plights than those in this tale. Conceivably, the reason lies in the author’s ambition here—despite her linguistic prowess, she seemed to stretch a tad too far. An excess of characters, an excess of peculiarity, and consequently, a sense of disjointedness. Certain storylines fizzled into obscurity, while the primary narrative crescendo, though admittedly “rewarding,” proved profoundly unsettling. The concluding section, however, unveiled Tess Gunty’s keen intuition. I yearn for another tale featuring a more restrained cast of characters, prominently spotlighting Joan—an intriguingly uncertain and middle-aged tenant of the apartment complex, who comes across as authentically depicted.

“Miraculous. Joan recalls the existence of dogs, craft stores, painkillers, the public library. Cream ribboning through coffee. The scent of the lilacs near her childhood home. Brown sugar on a summer strawberry. Her father’s liberation from multigenerational alcoholism’s grip… The euphoria following winter’s thaw, the solace after a shivering cold, the resurgence of appetite post-anxiety attack… These musings—how she compels herself to conjure them. Miraculous.”

Brief Summary Book Of The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty Introducing the Rabbit Hutch—a virtual obituary creator, a young mother guarding a concealed secret, and a woman engaged in a solo crusade against a rodent invasion. These diverse individuals reside in the close confines of a budget-friendly housing complex situated in the formerly bustling industrial…