> Skip to content

Book clubs  •  2 July 2021

 

The Rabbits book club notes

A (Penguin Literary Prize) winning pick for book club.

Explore themes of family secrets, art, very mild superpowers, loneliness and the strange connections we make in the places we least expect with your reading group. Get the conversation started with the questions below.

Discussion points and questions:

  • The Rabbits contains various examples of female friendship – between Olive and Lux, Olive and Mindy, and November and Delia, to name a few. How do these differ and what did you take from them?
  • Families are complex and rich. The Rabbits sets out to explore the deep-set need of individual family members to feel seen and heard by the people they love. Is the author successful in this ambition?
  • Sophie Overett flips the typical outback setting of Australian classics with The Rabbits embracing the hotbeds of differences and secrets that comprise our suburban areas by drawing on her own childhood in Brisbane. How real did the setting of the novel feel for you?
  • How does the oppressive Queensland summer heat affect the action in the novel?
  • Delia says that Griff ‘play[s] at love with an image in his head, hold[s] it to her and pretend[s] she fits it’, but that it still ‘feels good to be seen, even in the abstract’. What do you think Delia is really saying here, and what is she looking for in her relationship with Griff?
  • November and Delia refer to the different standards that fathers and mothers are held to (‘You know a father can do nothing but show up for one soccer game, and he’s somehow number-one dad, but there’s no such thing as a good mother.’) The Rabbits presents a number of portraits of fathers, but they are not the central roles of the novel. What are your thoughts on this?
  • What views do different characters in the novel hold about the relationship between someone’s identity, work and interests?
  • What is it that brings Delia and Ed together? Do you believe they could have a future together?
  • Magic realism is one of those genres that people often profess to hate. Do you think The Rabbits fits into this genre? Is your understanding of the story that Charlie really was invisible to the human eye?

The Rabbits Sophie Overett

From the winner of the Penguin Literary Prize and the Kathleen Mitchell Award. A multigenerational family story with a dose of magical realism. It is about family secrets, art, very mild superpowers, loneliness and the strange connections we make in the places we least expect.

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Q&A
Sophie Overett Q&A

The Penguin Literary Prize winner on inspiration, advice and what's next.

Book clubs
Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone book club notes

Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone is a fiendishly clever mystery that will keep your book club guessing and introduces a family of characters brilliant for discussion.

Book clubs
The Last Station book club notes

An unputdownable Australian novel to read with your book club.

Q&A
How author abandons classic notions of the afterlife in Here Goes Nothing

Steve Toltz shares his inspiration for the afterlife, how he freed his characters from technology, and how he envisioned a near-future world in his new novel, Here Goes Nothing.

Q&A
The questioning of faith that led author to write his debut novel

Ashley Goldberg talks favourite scenes, lived experience, and the real-life events that inspired his debut novel, Abomination.

Article
Nicole Alexander details river-trade history that inspired new book

The Last Station introduces us to a once-prosperous family facing ruin and a paddle-steamer captain clinging to a dying world.

Article
QUIZ: How well do you know The Great Gatsby?

Celebrate the anniversary of The Great Gatsby by putting your knowledge to the test with our newest quiz!

Q&A
The infuriating meeting that pushed author to write novel

Bonnie Garmus was seething when she got back to her desk after a work meeting. It was then she began writing Lessons in Chemistry.

Article
Meet the family at the centre of our must-have whodunnit

The Cunninghams don't really get along, and every one of them has killed someone. Meet the family to help you find the culprit.

Article
Our top Easter long weekend reading picks

Looking to escape into a book this Easter long weekend? Here are our recommendations to truly help you unwind.

Article
The books behind the BAFTA award wins

Find out more about our books that are behind this year's British Academy Film Award winners.

Q&A
Author's bizarre Google search while writing new book

Benjamin Stevenson talks to us about his new must-have mystery and his friend's odd act that inspired his book.

Looking for more book club notes?

See all book club notes