When I first received this book to review for my magazine job, I set about reading it like I would any other; without having read any previous reviews or really knowing anything about it. When I finished reading, only a few days later I was deeply moved and that feeling stayed with me for a long time after. Since then, I’ve recommended the book to my fellow booksellers and to every customer I can stop.
Written by debut author Annabel Pitcher, ‘My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece’ is nothing short of a triumph. It is rare to come across a book by a new author that is so well established and confident in the story that is being told. But it’s a story of human loss and love…of raw emotion – something we all deal with but can rarely share with one another. We follow the story of Jamie who has been through a lot of tragedy in his life – far too much that a boy should ever have to go through. Hiis sister lives on the mantelpiece…in an urn. Ever since Rose was killed in a London terrorist attack things have been terribly hard for James; his Mum has left and Dad drinks. The only hope he has left is from sister Jas and intriguing new school friend, Sunya. This really is a heartbreaking story, not only for James and the devastation left in the wake of her death but also for the reader. But it’s also a read full of hope and moving on and is sure to resonate for a long time.