Book Review: ‘The Rabbit Hutch’ by Tess Gunty

A Poignant Exploration of Desires and Struggles


Book Title: The Rabbit Hutch
Author: Tess Gunty
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0861545803
Date Published: Jun. 25, 2023
Price: INR 377

The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty Book Cover

Book Review

Tess Gunty’s debut novel, “The Rabbit Hutch,” is a compelling narrative that delves into the lives of four teenagers who recently aged out of the state foster care system. Set against the backdrop of the post-industrial Midwest, this novel intricately weaves themes of transcendence, love, and the complex interplay between individuals and their environment. Gunty’s masterful storytelling shines through as she crafts a story that resonates deeply with the reader’s emotions.

The novel portrays Vacca Vale, Indiana, a town devastated by the automobile industry’s decline. “The Rabbit Hutch“, a run-down apartment building, is a testament to the town’s decline. The protagonist, Blandine Watkins, emerges from a turbulent childhood seeking an escape and connection to mysticism. Gunty’s portrayal of her internal struggles and relentless pursuit of meaning makes her a memorable character in the story.

Gunty’s “The Rabbit Hutch” includes characters facing various problems, creating an intricate web of interrelated storylines. Starting with a terrible act of violence, the novel’s narrative travels readers back in time, illuminating the characters’ lives and the greater atmosphere of economic degradation and societal indifference. Gunty’s attention to detail and subtlety enrich the story, painting a vivid image of community amid odd circumstances.

Tess Gunty’s writing is intelligent and vulnerable, reminiscent of Rachel Kushner and Ali Smith. Her richly detailed prose immerses readers in the character’s emotions and struggles, reflecting the human experience. The book’s well-chosen font size balances readability and aesthetics, enhancing the engaging reading experience. The cover image, colors, and page setup improve readability, inviting readers into the apartment climate and capturing the essence of the story’s themes and characters.

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The Rabbit Hutch” is Tess Gunty’s debut novel, showcasing a new voice in American fiction. The novel explores themes of loneliness, community, and personal transcendence with grace and authenticity, highlighting the resilience of the human spirit and the connections that bind us all.

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