7 May 2017

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

Title: My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
Author: Annabel Pitcher
Pages: 240
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Book Description:
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.

My Opinion:
This novel follows the life of a ten year old as he struggles to comprehend the death of his older sister along with watching his family break apart. it tackles issues that are relevant today and is narrated by the voice of a child, highlighting a ironic separation between the readers and characters. I really enjoyed this book and feel like it raises awareness on important issues.

Despite being published in 2011, it tackles themes that are still prominent in society today, including racism and the impact death and divorce can have on a family. The plot is in depth and encourages a range of emotions, from heartbreak and sadness to romance and humour. There were some interesting twists throughout which I wasn't expecting and the ending was unpredictable. It didn't follow a happy ending which was hinted at by the narrator and I found this to be realistic and more interesting.

This is likely to be due to the child narrator which I believe was the strongest part of the novel. It's a unique factor that showed me the difficulties children face in processing adult issues, such as the divorce of parents of the death of a loved one. Each person reacts differently and handles the situation in their own way. Due to Jamie's narration, we see life from his point of view and watch as he progresses and begins to understand his new way of life without his sister. The narrative uses childish descriptions and explains things easily which makes the voice believable.

Due to the length of the book, it was short and an easy read. It left me with no unanswered questions and came to a solid conclusion where everything was as solved as possible. I would certainly recommend this book to all readers of any age. Although it is mainly targeted at young adults I think it raises important issues that everyone should be aware off, especially those surrounding family situations and the impacts behaviour can have on children.

Favourite Quotes:

I stared up at the sky and raised my middle finger, just in case God was watching. I don't like being spied on.


If envy is red and doubt is black then happiness is brown. I looked from the little brown stone to the tiny brown freckle to her huge brown eyes.

Rating ★
4 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen (Rizzoli and Isles #3)

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