Themes and Symbolism Planted in The Year of the Rabbit - The Novel

 In alphabetical order:

This page is evolving... Come back again to read more entries about the themes and symbolism. In the meantime, you can read some excerpts on the YOTR blog.

Updated: October 2015 | Return to Home page | Follow the blog

The apple appears many times - mostly as a symbol of innocence and discovery. It leads Sera through thoughts of life after death then the accidental revelation of her true paternal origin. There is another scene where its innocent influences cannot prevent Sera from acting on uncontrollable rage. Blog entry: Apples | Return to top of page

The Church
The Roman Catholic Church. How does one comment on this without offending? Gio was a priest. Early in his training he had been tempted. He confessed and moved on. This is not a campaign to allow priests to marry but one to acknowledge that they are human beings. If they can resist the temptations of the flesh then all the power to them. If they may be tempted, is it not a lesser evil to allow them release with a willing participant - rather than violating an innocent? I have a deep rooted respect for the true Christ reference, the mystery, the rituals and goals to be of service to others. Some of the laws are outdated. Time for a refresh, gentlemen. Return to top of page

Confession is good for the soul. Some things are best left hidden. Gio confessed to his weakness of the flesh. The children confessed to somewhat trivial sins. Marie chose to write her confession then hide the letter away. Would that have been better unwritten and not revealed? Sera chose a different route to confess her crime at first. t

Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse / domestic violence is a hidden shame in this story. The creator of this story was affected by domestic violence and domestic abuse. She wants to help raise awareness and help educate people, starting at a young age. In the novel, Sera's friend Victoria and her mother are victims of domestic abuse. Although it did not happen to Sera, the main character, it has a ripple effect on people surrounding the family. It was imperative that Margaret and Victoria MacDonald were whisked away to safety but that meant Sera no longer could see her friend or be told about the hiding place. The events of that night started her spiral into loneliness. Blog entry: Halloween night - Sera loses her friend | Return to top of page

What is family? This question came up in my Deep Blonde Thoughts blog the spring of 2011 and again in the novel's blog just before Family Day 2012. Young Sera is presented with this question as her own family makeup changes as do the ones around her. She struggles to understand while she loses and gains family members. She loses her family home due to sad circumstances beyond her control. She finds a new home at the Red Hare Restaurant which is owned and managed by the Young family. Although he pushed Sera away due to his hurt feelings, I like to think of Matthew Fletcher as an ideal husband and a good father. Daniel Fletcher on the other hand, helped to make baby Harry but conveniently disappeared from the scene after he was born. Sure, he sent money to help support his child financially but he chose not to return to Seguin Sound or marry Amy. She as well was not eager to marry him. She had found another lover. Harry was about to be raised in a non-traditional family. t

After losing her friend, access to the Red Hare Restaurant and more family members, the public library was one of the places where Sera could seek comfort, familiarity and through reading - escape. In her topsy-turvy world, she appreciated how it could also provide a sense of order. The creator spent a work term at a public library many, many years ago and loved it! Blog entry: For the Love of Libraries | t

Yes, the topic of sexuality comes up a few times in this story. We witness the passionate encounter between teen lovers, Daniel Fletcher and Amy Young. Poor Father Gio has to endure some details of Sera's confession shortly after. A year or so later, Sera discovers Amy's new lover.

Teen pregnancy
Yep, it's bound to happen when you have hormonal teenagers unchaperoned for just a few minutes. As a result of their passionate encounter, Daniel and Amy co-created baby Harry. The event nearly tore apart the friendship between the Fletcher and the Young families.

Trees play important roles in the story. There's the cherry tree, the pine trees in the forest behind the neighbourhood and the birches at the beach. Read about the importance of trees in the author's life - and the story. Kudos if you caught the tree root references in the novel.

The Cherry Tree
The cherry tree has an important role in the story. One could see it representing the tree of life, the cycle of birth, life, death - and rebirth. Kudos if you caught this and the seed references while reading the novel, starting with Chapter 1, when Gio meets Sera.

Wine is featured throughout the novel as a symbol of craftsmanship and patience. It makes an appearance at the beginning of the story, in the middle and near the end during a romantic episode between Gio and Aunt Georgette. | t

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