I love Kevin Wilson’s work and since I’ve read all he has to offer right now, I looked to Annie Hartnett. Once I read this novel set in New Hampshire featuring a dying father, a reluctant substitute teacher, the opioid crisis, and a cast of ghosts, I had to find more of Hartnett’s signature voice.
I loved following the internet breadcrumbs to Hartnett’s essay about the pre-release of Unlikely Animals and the 350 drawings she designed for readers.
Read that fabulous essay about gifting art here:
Hartnett’s debut, Rabbit Cake, is a worthwhile read, but I took issue with the school counselor’s advice to the main character, Elvis Babbitt, that grieving her mother who drowned while sleepwalking would take exactly eighteen months. Ha! Not funny. Much of the book is both funny and edgy with an older sister struggling with her own mental health issues and a quest to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Almost everyone loves cake and cake features prominently in this novel.