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My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

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Author:  Annabel Pitcher

Ten-year-old Jamie hasn't cried since it happened. He knows he should have - Jasmine cried, Mum cried, Dad still cries. Roger didn't, but then he is just a cat and didn't know Rose that well, really. 

Everyone kept saying it would get better with time, but that's just one of those lies that grown-ups tell in awkward situations. Five years on, it's worse than ever: Dad drinks, Mum's gone and Jamie's left with questions that he must answer for himself. 

This is his story, an unflinchingly real yet heart-warming account of a young boy's struggle to make sense of the loss that tore his family apart.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)


Jun 09,2017

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is a teenage fictional novel written by Annabel Pitcher that deeply shows the hardship of losing someone you love. Set in freezing Ambleside, United Kingdom, this novel follows young Jamie's story as he experiences grief, racism and loss.
The characters in this novel are very diverse, which I believe benefits younger children by showing different people that they should embrace diversity. There are characters of different races, family situations and personalities. Sunya is a creative and devious young girl, Jamie is a quirky kid, Jasmine is a rebellious teenager and Jamie's dad is an alcoholic heart-broken man. The difference in characters makes the novel unique and unlike any other. In my opinion, Sunya is the best character featured in this book, because of her intelligence and the different situation that she lives through. Sunya is a Muslim, and this author has happily explored different cultures and beliefs, without forgetting the extra details. Sunya's culture and family does not celebrate Christmas, which I thought was a really important idea to incorporate into this novel to give people a feeling of what it might be like to be considered different in today's society. Annabel Pitcher executed this really well, never forgetting the minor details of the story to make it all link together. I dislike the Dad in some parts of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece because of his racist beliefs and neglection towards his children. I know that in theory he was just grieving his dead daughter, but the way he treated his family in some sections of the book was appalling. However, in other parts of this novel he was a really sweet and loving father to his two children. I realise still that these diverse characters shape the book and it's storyline, and that without them the novel could lack individuality and interest.
The language used throughout this novel is quite engaging and descriptive. Annabel Pitcher used first person and the personality of Jamie, the main character, to influence the way she wrote. Using his immaturity and quirky style, she has written the book as if Jamie was the narrator. In My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, the descriptive language is very strong and prominent. An example of this is on page 198 when Annabel wrote, "And my silver tears fell into Roger's orange fur."
I believe the moral of this novel is that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Even though Jamie and his family had been through many rough times, they came through as a family in the end. They may not be perfect and they may never be, but they slowly built a new and trusting bond, and faced their fears together. During this novel, there were many deep emotional moments that may target your tear ducts, but overall it's a pretty calm novel. All in all, I moderately enjoyed this novel except for the second quarter of the book, where the storyline lacked anything very interesting. The rest of this book was really engaging and captivating in my opinion and I definitely suggest reading this novel if you are a 12-16 year old.

Mar 17,2017

I have just started reading this book and am very interested on what's in store to come every page that I read. It may be hard for some people who have lost someone who they loved because they might make connections to the person they have lost but nevertheless it is a very good books so far.


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