Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit by Nadine Sander-Green

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit is a story centered around Millicent, a shy, 24-year-old reporter who moves to Whitehorse after graduating from college, where she focused more on poetry than journalism. Yet off to journalism she goes, to work at the Golden Nugget, a failing daily newspaper with three staff. Millicent doesn’t really know anyone in Whitehorse, except a friend from college, and she certainly doesn’t know what she is doing. She is lonely, but unsure how to not be and is avoiding thinking too much about that. This book perfectly captures the loneliness and struggle that exists in the search for joy, when you are young, not knowing where to find it. It is a slow, character driven novel, that is both sparse and atmospheric, unsettling, and hopeful.

This book perfectly captures the loneliness and struggle that exists in the search for joy, when you are young, not knowing where to find it.

Millicent is very naïve and doesn’t do a lot of research before she heads to her new reporter position. She doesn’t even know who the premier of the Yukon is, let alone the hundreds of years of unrest, land concerns and development. While trying to find her voice and understand complex issues about her new territory, she is also looking for a lightness she has yet to find. Millicent’s mother is sick with something unnamed, and Millicent has learned to not ask for what she wants. She settles for that which does not satisfy her, and in this case with Pascal, a middle-aged man who lives on a school bus in a Walmart parking lot. Millicent does a human-interest piece about him and then allows herself to get sucked into his orbit. Pascal is delusional, but Millicent likes his attention and love. Millicent is a very relatable character and very raw and imperfect. You feel for her trying to find her way, but also you want to shake her and demand she try to get her act together a little bit harder. 

Beyond her terrible relationship, we are also given a chance to ponder, what is work and is there really shame in not being a “real artist”? What makes a “real artist” anyways? Do all young women need to learn to stand on their two feet and stay away from the jealous types? Is it time to give up on government and capitalism? Why do so many naïve white people think we can save the world? 

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit is about learning to trust yourself and who you are, and who you could be. It is also about the North of Canada, a place both full of passion and people running away. It is slower paced but chocked full of deep meaning and understanding and the complexity of human relationships.

Nadine Sander-Green grew up in Kimberley, British Columbia. After living across Canada—in Victoria, Toronto, and Whitehorse—she now calls Calgary, Alberta, home. She completed her BFA from the University of Victoria and her MFA from the University of Guelph. In 2015, Nadine won the PEN Canada New Voices Award for writers under 30. Her writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Grain, Prairie Fire, Outside, carte blanche, Hazlitt, and elsewhere.

Publisher: House of Anansi Press (April 16, 2024)
Paperback 5.25″ x 8″ | 320 pages
ISBN: 9781487011291

Laurie Burns is an English as additional language teacher to immigrants, literacy volunteer and voracious reader living in Dartmouth.

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