1968. The year Paris takes to the streets. The year Martin Luther King loses his life for a dream. The year Eleanor Maud Portman is born.
Young Elly's world is shaped by those who inhabit it: her loving but maddeningly distractible parents; a best friend who smells of chips and knows exotic words like 'slag'; an ageing fop who tapdances his way into her home, a Shirley Bassey impersonator who trails close behind; lastly, of course, a rabbit called God. In a childhood peppered with moments both ordinary and extraordinary, Elly's one constant is her brother Joe.
Twenty years on, Elly and Joe are fully grown and as close as they ever were. Until, that is, one bright morning when a single, earth-shattering event threatens to destroy their bond forever.
Spanning four decades and moving between suburban Essex, the wild coast of Cornwall and the streets of New York, this is a story about childhood, eccentricity, the darker side of love and sex, the pull and power of family ties, loss and life. More than anything, it's a story about love in all its forms.
In 1961, Joy Adamson first introduced to the world the story of her life alongside Elsa the lioness, whom she had rescued as an orphaned cub, and raised at her home in Kenya. But as Elsa had been b...