Sunday, August 26, 2012


My Sister Lives On The MantelpieceSeries: N/A
Publisher: Galaxy
Publication Date: August 2012
Pages: 211
Source: Received from publisher
Ten-year-old Jamie hasn't cried since it happened. He knows he should have - Jasmine cried, Mum cried, Dad still cries. Roger didn't, but then he is just a cat and didn't know Rose that well, really.
Everyone kept saying it would get better with time, but that's just one of those lies that grown-ups tell in awkward situations. Five years on, it's worse than ever: Dad drinks, Mum's gone and Jamie's left with questions that he must answer for himself.

This is his story, an unflinchingly real yet heart-warming account of a young boy's struggle to make sense of the loss that tore his family apart.

My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece hit me like a punch square to the heart. Told through the eyes of Jamie, who doesn't even remember Rose, My Sister is unflinchingly honest and raw.

Jamie is lonely, and awkward. He just doesn't fit in no matter where he is. This poor sweet boy just wants his family to see him without the cloud of Rose hanging over them, to gain some sort of closure. Rose was killed five years ago, and his parents can't seem move on. They still act as if Rose is there with them; speaking to her ashes, preparing her a plate at special occasions, and neglect Jamie and Jas. Looking for a fresh start, they move out of London. Once there, the routine stays much the same, revolving around Rose. Jamie reluctantly becomes friends with Sunya, a vibrant and happy girl, who is treated poorly by classmates because she is Muslim. Sunya's personality wins Jamie over. But the fact that Sunya is Muslim troubles Jamie, whose father is adamantly racist because the attack that took Rose was carried out by Muslim terrorists. Jamie tries desperately to reclaim his family, but along the way learns that we each must make our own choices and move on the only way we know how.

My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece is a fairly short book, but every single page carries an extraordinary amount of emotion. I can't say that I enjoyed the story, because it is so emotionally charged and a difficult subject.  But it was very, very beautifully written journey and I didn't want to put it down until I'd finished. I've become a parent, I've realized that children are the bravest storytellers. They simply tell the story as they see it; no rewrites, no glossing over.With it's awkward but resilient main character and exploration of the lasting effects of grief on the family unit, I was constantly reminded of About a Boy and The Lovely Bones.

If you're looking for a beautiful story of grief and resilience, My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece may be the book for you.

Favorite Quote:

"My sister Rose lives on the mantlepiece. Well, some of her does. Three of her fingers, her right elbow and her kneecap are buried in a graveyard in London." (pg.1)

Product Details

You can purchase My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository

I'm giving my finished copy of My Sister Lives Under the Mantlepiece away.
A couple of rules:
  • Must be a resident of the US to enter.
  • Must be at least seventeen years of age to enter. 
  • Must fill out the Rafflecopter form.
Giveaway runs August 27 - September 2, 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Oh this sounds so sweet and very sad, I bet I would cry a bucketload! Wonderful review, Andrea

  2. Wow. This book sounds amazing, very deep and very emotional. It also tackles hard issues like grief over a loss and racism. Great review Andrea. I'm glad you mentioned/grouped this book with The Lovely Bones (which I've read). I don't know if or when I'd get around to reading this one, only because I tend to not go for the extremely-emotional types, but it sounds like a sweet and thought-provoking novel nonetheless.

  3. Certainly a complex and emotional story. Nice review.


  4. This one is new to me, it sounds really really good! I have been having this problem lately where paranormal novels just aren't grabbing me but I have been devouring contemp's. This one sounds like it deals with a really heavy issue. I like how you described that you can't exactly say that you liked the story but you enjoyed it. Great review Andrea!

  5. This sounds very emotional. I love emotional reads and I think I would really like this one. Fabulous review as always hon!!

  6. This sounds powerfu. I always enjoy a book that is so emotional.
    Great quote choice as well.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  7. I looove books that make me feel something. I already have a copy of this, so thanks for the nudge to make me read it sooner!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  8. Oh my. Just the title of this novel sent a chill through me. Your description has me all teary-eyed, which isn't good since I am on my lunch break. :) Sounds like a lovely, thoughtful book, but the subject matter isn't something I can read.

  9. Glad you liked this one. Sounds pretty good. :) I haven't really been in the mood to cry though. Maybe I should wait a bit.

  10. This book sounds like I need a lot of Kleenex to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!
    ehaney578 at AOL dot com

  11. Oh this sounds so heartbreaking, Andrea! I don't know if I could read this but you review is wonderful. :)


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