BookBrowse Reviews The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes

by Anna McPartlin

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin X
The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2015, 368 pages
    Aug 2016, 384 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book



A moving and uplifting story about family and the things that matter most, brought into sharp focus by imminent death.

Rabbit Hayes has a limited time to live but that just means she and her family find extra concentrated doses of joy and happiness to be savored. This story of a young mother resonated with BookBrowse readers with 11 out of 14 reviewers giving it a full five stars.

Debbie Downer? Not quite

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes is the story of a young woman who is dying. It is about a family and how they get through this heart-wrenching emotional stage of their lives (Maggie S).

As a breast cancer survivor, I was not sure I could see it through. Several times I put it down, not wanting to face what had to be coming - but I am ever so glad that I went back to finish. This is a rich and rewarding book in many ways (Susie J).

To my pleasant surprise, The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes is a well told story - not about dying, but about living until you die (Karen J).

As soon as I read the first page, I debated whether to continue or not. I didn't know how I would fare with this type of book, but I made a commitment to read and review this novel, and I am so glad that I did. Beautiful, heart-wrenching, funny, sentimental are only some of the words that I can use to describe this wonderful, wonderful book. Using such an ugly subject matter and making it into this, is nothing short of miraculous (Barbara B).

Family Ties Resonate

The theme of family and friends is developed throughout in honest and realistic terms, and this reader found herself becoming part of both groups (Susie J).

Although the book was very difficult to read, through all of my tears, I fell in love with every one of the characters. It is a real family with all of the love and anger and forgiveness and laughter that make a family what it is (Maggie S).

Lessons Learned

There are lessons to be learned from this family's grace and humor. The book resonated with me as I lost a sister to cancer. It rang true to the upheaval in emotions and the need for family to circle their wagons (Donna M).

The universal themes of death and dying and coming to grips with saying goodbye to a loved one are grounded in the specific details of a specific person in modern day Ireland (Kathleen W). What I love the very best about this book is the author's strong affirmation of both life and death, and the indelible link between the two (Susie J).

Too Depressing for Some

I just didn't want to read any more about this young mother with a 12-year-old child and a wonderful supportive family, dying. I just didn't feel like crying through another 150 pages. This book is not for the faint of heart — but perhaps someone who has cared for a loved on in their final days would enjoy it (Amy W).

In the End, Surprisingly Uplifting for Most

Once you accept the fact that Rabbit Hayes is going to die of cancer, it leaves you free to enjoy the close relationships she has with her entire family. This book is more about family and less about dying. In the end, it was uplifting in a way I didn't see coming (Dannielle I).

Not many novels can have you crying on one page and laughing on the next. Also the characters are wonderful, funny, flawed (Diane S).

This review was originally published in September 2015, and has been updated for the August 2016 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Uplifting Books

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: In Extremis
    In Extremis
    by Lindsey Hilsum
    International journalist Marie Colvin pushed the limits in her work and her personal life. Widely ...
  • Book Jacket: Vita Nostra
    Vita Nostra
    by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko
    Vita Nostra by Ukrainian authors Sergey and Marina Dyachenko is one of those novels that defies ...
  • Book Jacket: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    by Patrick Ness
    Patrick Ness has developed a reputation for experimental literature executed well, and his latest, ...
  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Severance

Severance by Ling Ma

An offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire that is featured on more than twenty 2018 "Must Read" lists!


Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.