My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

How did I get the book? StorytellerInc Book Club – Book 1

Genre: Contemporary

First Impression: So many people keep talking about this, I hope it’s good.   

Synopsis: Tenclick me-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.

200words (or less) review: My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is a touching novel that deals with racism, broken families, alcoholism and bullying. The story is narrated by Jamie and there is a short story from Jas, his sister and the surviving twin, at the end of the book.

Annabel Pitcher uses very little dialogue instead letting Jaime describe his world in detail. He observes very well and a lot of the time the reader realises the full extend Jaime’s broken family before he does. And that is the little snag I had with this book. Jaime comes across as a very young narrator, he reminded me a lot of Jack in Emma Donoghue’s ROOM and Jack is only five.

I loved the honesty of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, the fact that Jaime doesn’t miss Rose because he can’t remember her. The heartbreak at the end of the book, which I will admit had me grabbing tissues.

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is a very impressive debut by Annabel Pitcher and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for future books.

Recommend it?


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