I’m not the type of person who can only read books with likeable characters, but I do have my limits – which were tested in the first quarter of The Hare. Rosie is an art student, raised by her grandmother in an environment that didn’t exactly curst with love and money, who meets an older man, Bennett, and quickly falls in love with him. Bennett is written as such an obviously shady guy, with very few redeeming qualities, that it’s hard to understand why Rosie is enthralled by him to such an extent that she makes some seriously questionable decisions. Because before she knows it, Rosie living in a boathouse, becomes pregnant, and drops out of art school.
But while that part of the story takes up a decent chunk of the book, it’s what comes after that makes this such a remarkable novel. Soon after Rosie’s daughter Miranda is born, Bennett uproots their lives, dumps Rosie and Miranda in a cold, rickety house in the mountains, and disappears for months. Left to her own devices, Rosie has to reinvent herself in order to keep herself and Miranda fed, and soon starts to thrive.
I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, so I’ll just say that it is one of the more original stories I’ve read, with a set of truly multi-dimensional secondary characters. With Rosie at the center, Finn examines the way in which women relate to their daughters, to men, and to themselves, and tells a story of strength and resilience.