My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
Winner of the 2012 Branford Boase Award, this is Annabel Pitcher’s stunning debut about ten-year-old Jamie, and the way his life and his family are shaped by the sister in an urn on the mantelpiece.
Five years ago, Jamie’s sister, Rose, was blown up by a terrorist bomb. His family is torn apart by their grief. His mum runs away. His dad turns to drink and hate. Rose’s surviving twin sister Jasmine stops eating, gets piercings and dyes her hair pink – anything to look different to her twin. But Jamie hasn’t cried in all that time. To him, Rose is just a distant memory.
Jamie is far more interested in his cat, Roger, his Spiderman T-shirt, and his deep longing and unshakeable belief that his Mum will come back to the family she walked out on months ago.
But moving away for a Fresh New Start introduces Jamie to something else very interesting – a girl named Sunya. Sunya is bright, exciting and fun, and the one person at school he can call a friend. But how far can this new friendship grow when Jamie is desperate that his dad doesn’t find out?
an original, warm and subtle exploration of grief... A complex beautifully drawn story infused with dry wit. -- Viv Groskop * THE OBSERVER * ... at time funny, at times unbearably sad and is at all times brutally honest. It is one tale that cannot and will not leave you unmoved, and is a truly convincing debut novel. * LIBRARY MICE * The stand out title of the year, a heart-warming tale of a young boy whose elder sister has been killed in a bomb attack in London. Despite the dramatic premise, this book manages to be both solidly realistic and very funny. An exceptional debut. -- Suzi Feay * FINANCIAL TIMES * the story is told with warmth and humour. A tear-jerker, but without sentimentality. * THE INDEPENDENT * I loved this book! Jamie was a fantastic narrator and I felt I understood his complex problems entirely * FARM LANE BOOKS * I can't imagine you could read this novel and remain dry-eyed ro fail to clutch it tightly, desperate to know what happens next but almost unable to turn the page to fund out in case it's not what you hoped it would be. * CORNFLOWER BOOKS * Heartbreaking and funny in near equal measure the story of 10-year-old Jamie's direct and wide-eyed telling of the emotional chaos he and his family live through following the death of his sister in a terrorist attack is poignant and warm hearted. Emotionally charged, this is a wonderful, touching story that never slips into worthiness. * THE OBSERVER * You know how, every once in a while, you find a book that you know will become a class reader, found in every book cupboard, on every reading list? Well, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is just one of those books. It is a stunning, special read. * NATE CLASSROOM * Tackling current issues, this debut is brave and significant. * DAILY EXPRESS * This is a book which could easily have sunk under the weight of sentimentality. That it doesn't, that it is an inspiring tale of resilience and kindness, is a tribute to Pitcher. This is a fine debut novel. Truthful, clear-eyed and wise. -- Martin Chilton * THE TELEGRAPH * ...it was so moving, sad and yet ultimately uplifting in a way I can't possibly describe to you. It's just something you simply have to read for yourself. * MAGIC OF READING * This is a warm-hearted, funny tale which will by turns make your spirit soar and your heart break... Painfully honest and beautifully written, you'll devour it - and hopefully be left looking at the world a little differently. * COSMOPOLITAN *
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