Books: “The Rabbit Hutch” by Tess Gunty
“The Rabbit Hutch” by Tess Gunty is a fascinating tale about a dying Rust-Belt town. It’s not an easy novel to read; its metaphors are plentiful, and the plot twists and turns are mind-blowingly complex. But it’s worth the trip.
The setting is Vacca Vale, Indiana, known in a past life as an automobile manufacturing center and for its preponderance of feral rabbits and goats. The story’s focus is on the inhabitants of a dilapidated apartment building in the town.
Four young people who are refugees from the state’s foster-care system inhabit Apartment 4-C. Three are young men who may or may not be in love with the fourth resident, Tiffany, a precocious HS dropout who has renamed herself “Blandine” after an Early Christian saint.
Their neighbor, Joan, is a fact-checker for an obituary site. She is being stalked by the son of a woman who is unhappy at the obituary of his mother he believes Joan copyedited. Two other elderly residents seek revenge on an upstairs neighbor who may be fouling their terrace.
These unusual (and perhaps somewhat off-putting) circumstances belie a novel of great beauty, eventually touching on an accidental murder, an unhappy liaison between Blandine and her adult teacher, and a confession between a priest and Joan’s stalker, the likes of which I could never imagine if I swallowed 10 Gummies. Hollywood, you need to reach out to Tess Ginty as she is the next Carson McCullers or David Lynch. You heard it here first.