When I bought this book, I never thought this will be the book that bawls my eyes out just as how I did when I read The Prince’s Tale in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher is definitely not a cannonades of vocabulary or flowery languages. It is a simple storytelling, from a boy’s perspective.
Jamie stays with his father and sister, Jas. Jas’ twin sister, Rose, was killed in a terrorist attack years back, leaving a family broken since. From what was read, it is known that the relationship between his parents languished, ended up with a divorce where his mother went on with another man from a support group. His father was rather alcoholic at times and may have ignored his responsibility sometimes, as a father. Jas was undergoing her teenage phase, wanting to walk out of Rose’s shadow. The whole family was struggling, his mother simply went on. And there was a hostile sense from his father, against Muslims due to the misperception by most of the world. The story slowly developed when Jamie made a friend, Sunya, who is a Muslim.
The storyline talked a lot from Jamie’s thought. He saw what made the family members’ heart ache, even though his character could not understand. But through the expressive gesture, readers could feel the pain biting parts and parts of the family, as though of an intention of crumbling it down. Jamie was too young when Rose passed away, causing him difficulties to understand what was others going through. But near the end of the story, he experienced lost and he finally cried. I find this honest.
In the end, the family decided to take measures to move on and let go. They are not the perfect kind of perfect people, but they would want to try to continue their life in another way.
If I were to tell you the synopsis at all, you wouldn’t feel the intensity – just like how I didn’t thought of it much after reading some reviews. It was when I read every line of the words, the emotions, the honesty, that made me feel so much.
So, I definitely recommend this book – but please don’t read it when you’re depressed, for real.