Review: The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde

England, 2020.

There are 1.2 million human-sized rabbits living in the UK.

They can walk, talk and drive cars, the result of an Inexplicable Anthropomorphising Event fifty-five years ago.
And a family of rabbits is about to move into Much Hemlock, a cosy little village where life revolves around summer fetes, jam-making, gossipy corner stores, and the oh-so-important Best Kept Village awards.

No sooner have the rabbits arrived than the villagers decide they must depart. But Mrs Constance Rabbit is made of sterner stuff, and her family are behind her. Unusually, so are their neighbours, long-time residents Peter Knox and his daughter Pippa, who soon find that you can be a friend to rabbits or humans, but not both.

With a blossoming romance, acute cultural differences, enforced rehoming to a MegaWarren in Wales, and the full power of the ruling United Kingdom Anti Rabbit Party against them, Peter and Pippa are about to question everything they’d ever thought about their friends, their nation, and their species.

It’ll take a rabbit to teach a human humanity . . .

I have loved Jasper Ffordes books for years, so was thrilled to be sent an ARC copy of The Constant Rabbit. Reading a new book by an author you love is always slightly nerve wracking, you want it to be good but what if you’ve built it up to be too big and it can’t match it.

I’m delighted to say that The Constant Rabbit had absolutely no problem in matching my expectations for it. In fact in my opinion its the best Fforde book in years.

The Constant Rabbit is set in an alternate 2020 where the UK has a population of anthropomorphised rabbits for reasons no-one quite knows (not even the rabbits). I loved the rabbit culture that Fforde wove through the book and the extremely clever way the anti-rabbit movement was used to shine a light on current UK politics.

Also worthy of huge praise is the way Pippa’s disability is never outright mentioned but is learnt about in a subtle and natural way, the odd comment about her being able to manage on a smooth grassy service, and alluded nod to her ‘accident’. We are never actually told the extent or cause of her disability and it feels all the more real for it.

As someone who has spent most of my working life in various libraries I adored the ‘speed librarying’ that starts this book off. It was a brilliant satirical look at the future of libraries and great fun.

I adored this book from cover to cover.

With thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for a copy in exchange for honest review.

The Constant Rabbit is available 2nd July 2020