Synopses & Reviews
My sister Rose lives on the mantelpiece. Well, some of her does. A collarbone, two ribs, a bit of skull, and a little toe.
To ten-year-old Jamie, his family has fallen apart because of the loss of someone he barely remembers: his sister Rose, who died five years ago in a terrorist bombing. To his father, life is impossible to make sense of when he lives in a world that could so cruelly take away a ten-year-old girl. To Rose's surviving fifteen year old twin, Jas, everyday she lives in Rose's ever present shadow, forever feeling the loss like a limb, but unable to be seen for herself alone.
Told with warmth and humor, this powerful novel is a sophisticated take on one family's struggle to make sense of the loss that's torn them apart... and their discovery of what it means to stay together.
"In this powerfully honest, quirkily humorous debut novel, first published in the U.K., 10-year-old narrator Jamie and his family are still dealing with his sister Rose's death in a terrorist bombing five years earlier. After Rose's twin, Jas, stakes her independence by dying her hair pink on her 15th birthday, the family falls apart their mother runs off with another man, and their alcoholic father moves from London to the Lake District with the children, where he lavishes attention on Rose's urn. (In one of many heartbreaking details, Rose's parents cremated part of their daughter's remains and buried the rest, a devastating metaphor for the family's ongoing inability to handle the tragedy.) Jamie's pivotal friendship with a Muslim girl, Sunya, is a standout. Pitcher tackles grief, prejudice, religion, bullying, and familial instability through the unsentimental voice of a boy who loves Spider-Man and Manchester United, misses his mother, and truth be told doesn't remember his dead sister all that well. The adults in Pitcher's story may be a mess, but the kids are all right. Ages 12 – up. Agent: Catherine Clarke, Felicity Bryan Literary Agency. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"[A] striking debut. Realistic, gritty, and uplifting." Kirkus (starred review)
"It lives off the page. It has a warmth you can bask in; an honesty you can cut with a knife." The Guardian UK
* "Straddles that fine line between funny and tragic... As a study of grief's collateral damage, it deals with the topic realistically without losing sight of hope."--Booklist (starred review)
* "In this powerfully honest, quirkily humorous debut novel...Pitcher tackles grief, prejudice, religion, bullying, and familial instability."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
* "Compelling and believable...by turns heartbreaking and hysterically funny... This is an important book that could be used in classes and book-discussion groups. Don't let it fall through the cracks."--School Library Journal (starred review)
-An ALA 2013 Notable Books for Children Pick-A Kirkus Best Children's Book List Selection-"Most Deftly Handled" Atlantic Wire 2012 YA/Middle-Grade Award
About the Author
Annabel Pitcher graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Literature, and went on to edit television scripts for the comedy Harry Hill and the long-running soap opera Coronation Street. Annabel started writing My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece longhand in Ecuador, on a round-the-world trip. This is her debut novel. She lives in Yorkshire with her husband.