Out of the Rabbit Hutch

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
398 Pages
Reviewed on 04/20/2019
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Author Biography

Her name is Nanette L. Avery, but she is also called Nan. Drawing upon her experiences and the backdrop of life growing up in the Virgin Islands, she is an eclectic author who transcends many genres. Her latest novel, Out of the Rabbit Hutch, delivers a haunting saga marked by the richness of historical authenticity and fictional imagination that earned her novel Orphan in America distinction as one of Kirkus Reviews “Best Indie Books” and a “Reviewers Choice Selection” by Forward Reviews. Nanette lives outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and their orange cat.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Out of the Rabbit Hutch is a work of historical fiction focused on culture and colonization, penned by author Nanette L. Avery. Set largely in America before and after the Civil War, in this story we meet Mallabal as he journeys from the destruction of what would eventually become Tasmania to the proposed freedom of America. As a free Aborigine, Mallabal’s involvement with the enigmatic Sydney Bushnell places him in a forbidden romance, causing problems from the first minute they lock eyes. Meanwhile, the other main character, Asa Young, is a veteran of the Civil War, recently released from an asylum in the hopes that the war has not broken his psyche totally, but only time will tell.

Complex and winding, with a huge set of unusual and interesting characters, the work of Nanette L. Avery takes time to get into, and you get even more out of it. This lavish work encapsulates so many different cultures, traditions, races, and attitudes, painting the portrait of two nations as well as those who no longer feel as though they belong to either one. Colonization is a key theme, returned to cleverly through well-crafted plot moments so that the primary action of the novel keeps moving forward. I liked Mallabal’s story in particular, and the attitudes he faces in the new world. And though this is a tale of history, Out of the Rabbit Hutch presents a relatable story of human hardship that all readers will find immersive and highly inspirational.

Romuald Dzemo

Out of the Rabbit Hutch by Nanette L. Avery is a novel that transports readers into a historical setting that defines a turning point in US history, the period before and after the Civil War; a narrative that spans two generations. The social setting is dynamic and eclectic and readers are plunged into a society of socialites, slave hunters, warmongers, and opium users. It is against this backdrop that the story of Civil War veteran Asa Young develops. Freed from an asylum, he is entrusted to a family where nothing is what it seems. There is also the story of Mallabal, a free Aborigine who flees from the British penal colony to America and finds himself entangled in a love affair that can destroy him. Can he save himself from the charms of Sydney Bushnell?

While Out of the Rabbit Hutch follows the journeys of compelling characters against the backdrop of a world torn apart by war and whose social fabric is held in place by very fragile threads, it also offers readers reminiscences of the Civil War. The narrative is filled with engaging and detailed social and political commentaries, exploring the effects of the war and colonialism, the disturbed soul of a people, and the painful struggle for survival. The historical setting is one of the many strengths of this novel, and it explores how the repercussions of the war change the lives of the characters. Told in an engaging and powerful voice, the story keeps readers absorbed and compels them to witness history through the experiences of the characters. There is a lot to relish in Nanette L. Avery’s novel, from the gorgeous language and the suspenseful plot to the memorable characters.

Ruffina Oserio

Out of the Rabbit Hutch by Nanette L. Avery is an interesting historical novel set in the period during the American Civil War, a narrative that takes a clear look at a society torn apart by the ravages of war, greed, and Britain's colonization. In this story, the author explores the painful experiences of the characters in Van Diemen's Land. Asa Young is a war veteran recently released from an asylum and entrusted to a family that has its own dirty secrets. Can this man, already broken and traumatized, survive in a family full of intrigue and drama? Mallabal, an Aborigine, travels from the British penal colony to America, only to fall in love with a charming woman. But can he survive a love that is forbidden and what are Sydney's real intentions in seducing him?

Nanette L. Avery paints a clear picture of a society tainted by war and explores the painful experience of colonization. The characters are real and it will interest readers how the author delves into their minds. I sympathized with Asa Young more than the other characters and greatly enjoyed the author's ability to develop his mental disposition, linking it with the social conditions in Van Diemen's Land. The prose is highly descriptive with images that are captured with forensic precision. With a strong narrative voice, the author pulls readers into the world of the characters and compels them to imagine the tension, the multifaceted conflict, and the scenes that are focused and charged with strong emotions.