The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty review – a riveting debut about love and cruelty

The ecstatic mingles with the banal in a novel about lives lived too close for comfort in an apartment block in rust-belt Indiana

“On a hot night in Apartment C4, Blandine Watkins exits her body. She is only 18, but she has spent most of her life wishing for this to happen,” begins The Rabbit Hutch. “The mystics call this experience the Transverberation of the Heart, or the Seraph’s Assault, but no angel appears to Blandine. There is, however, a bioluminescent man in his 50s.”

So whatever happens next, you know that debut author Tess Gunty can nail an opening. What happens next is the gradual, chronology-hopping revelation of who Blandine is, what the mystics have to do with anything, how a glowing middle-aged male got himself involved in all this, and why so many human lives (and one goat) have converged on this one horrible moment.

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