Kirsty (overflowing library)'s Reviews > My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
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's review
Jan 27, 15

really liked it
bookshelves: signed, uk-author, ukmg
Read from June 11 to 12, 2011

My sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is a heartwarming and heartwrenching tale about a young boy and how he copes once his family falls apart after his sister was killed by a terrorist attack.

The story is told from the perspective of Jamie a 10 year old boy. A lot has happened to him in his short life. His sister died, his parents split up and he was moved half way across the country for a fresh start. What is really touching about this story is the way in which he deals with all these changes and holds in all together when his family, his parent in particular, are falling apart. He is told he has to be sad and miss his sister but he doesn't really remember her and can't understand why his Dad is so upset with him not being upset about losing her. He can't quite see things from his parents view. It is heartbreaking to see the way in which the other members of the family closedown to Jamie leaving him feeling more and more alone in their own attempts to deal with what has happened.

I think this book is quite brave in the way in which it deals with racism within Britain. Jamie's father is obviously very bitter about the loss of his child and goes from blaming the one or two people involved to blaming all muslims in Britain. I actually think this is a not uncommon mindset in some areas of the UK especially with some of the older generations who live in these small villages that are still untouched by multiculturalism. The issue was tackled well in how Jamie's Dad's view were contrasted against the real life experiences Jamie had when he met Sunya a muslim girl of his age in school and was developed in the relationship that was built up between them.

All in all a brilliant debut novel from a British author which tackled a variety of issues in a sensitive manner.

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