Finishing this book early on a warm Sunday morning gave me a renewed longing to live on a farm in the English countryside. It is clear that the author was intimately familiar with the setting and with human nature. The fact that the characters are rabbits rather than humans is enchanting.
I love many characters in this book, but Hazel is my favorite. Hazel is a great leader. Is it because he is the cleverest rabbit? No. The biggest? No. The best fighter? No. Hazel is none of these, but Hazel is a great leader because he understands that for the group to survive and prosper he must effectively utilize all of his resources. He asks each rabbit to employ his own unique talents. Each rabbit knows that his gift is appreciated. Hazel even embraces those gifts that he does not understand; he is not afraid of the unknown. He has great courage and trust. He asks none to do what he would not do himself. He is loved by his followers.
And by those who read his story.