Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Heartbroken after the death of his beloved Nana, Hannes, the family outsider, finally allows himself to grieve. The legal battle over Nana’s quirky old house — the only place he’s ever felt accepted and loved — is over, and he moves in and finds a sense of peace.
… And a rabbit.
An adorable bunny with a huge personality moves in, too, and refuses to leave. Hannes instantly falls in love with the sweet animal who helps heal his heart. But one morning, Hannes’ view of the world changes when the rabbit transforms into a man. A man named Mattis.
After the initial shock, Hannes and Mattis discover a connection between them that runs deeper than it seems. Will their newfound feelings survive unraveling secrets and meddling families, and grow into something real? Something deep and everlasting?
Poor Hannes. His very beloved great-grandmother died suddenly (at age 109) and not only did he lose the only family member who supported and really loved him, but he had to fight his relatives for the house she left him. The will was contested and thirteen months spent bitterly fighting before Hannes was allowed to move into his inheritance. Which he did with such grief it poured off the pages. “I couldn’t even cry on the one-year anniversary of her death last month, but here, in her garden, I finally let go.” Nana and Hannes forever, it was supposed to be. The rest of the family are as intelligent as Hannes but chose different paths – doctors and surgeons and they look down on Hannes for his career as an herbalist. A career Nana supported fully.
He is heartbroken that because the court fight took so long, nothing remains of Nana’s scent in the house. The sight of her favorite cardigan sends him into tears again. Then he spies, in the middle of the kitchen, a white and black rabbit. He, in his grief and loneliness, is so grateful for a warm, soft friend who he can cuddle and confide in. “You see, little one, my parents are smart and successful, but not particularly warm.” That is such an understatement, especially Mommy dearest.
Hannes names the rabbit Mio and it becomes his companion. When people come looking for their brother, he obviously hasn’t seen anyone. However, when they return to ask about a rabbit…well, Hannes doesn’t know why but he lies. No rabbit here, nope. And so the connection between Hannes and Mio (Mattis as a human) becomes even more.
The story is very sweet and pretty angst free. It is told in first person present tense by Hannes, not my favorite. Also, the mothers of both of them are pretty wretched, though Hannes’ mother wins the worst mom award by far. “You know how we feel about pets,” Mother says. Well, this isn’t your house and he’s an adult, so who cares? I did love Hannes standing up to her. Mattis’ mother is just rude, not a horrible person.
There is explaining to do and I have to say I was glad Hannes didn’t just, ok, a rabbit, cool. Because that would freak anyone out! I liked the explanation of the warren, as well, and the reason Mattis left.
This is a sweet, pretty fluffy tale (see what I did there?) of a boy and his rabbit.
Cover art, showing Hannes and his man bun, is spot on.
Kindle Edition, 95 pages
Published July 6th 2019 by JMS Books LLC