Get hooked on Elvis -- the sweet, quirky main voice of the story...like I did! It's a dark comedy with a family dealing with a sleepwalking mom who drowns. Heartbreaking Yes -- but so heartwarming too, as Elvis, the old soul in a 10-year-old's body, learns to deal with grief and the changes that take place after the loss of a loved one.
— Sue Moretti
March 2017 Indie Next List
“When Eva Rose Babbitt, mother of daughters Lizzie, 15, and Elvis, 10, drowns while sleep-swimming, her daughters are left to fend for themselves emotionally while their father tends to his grief by wearing his wife's bathrobe and lipstick. Elvis stays up at night, trying to keep Lizzie, a sleepwalker and sleep-eater, from burning the house down with her nocturnal 'cooking'. But Elvis doesn't trust the circumstances of her mother's death and is determined to finish her mother's book, The Sleep Habits in Animals and What They Tell Us About Our Own Slumber, so she does a little research of her own. Annie Hartnett has created endearing and memorable characters in a delightfully original story that is sure to become a beloved favorite of readers everywhere.”
— Kris Kleindienst (E), Left Bank Books, Saint Louis, MO
Fans of Maria Semple's Where'd You Go Bernadette and and Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You will delight in Annie Hartnett's debut, Rabbit Cake, a darkly comic novel about a young girl named Elvis trying to figure out her place in a world without her mother.Twelve-year-old Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, she knows a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds, and she knows that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly eighteen months. But there are things Elvis doesn't yet know―like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother's silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother's death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss.