My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece

We had another power cut yesterday – 10 hours in total; that is the ninth significant outage this winter. It was less stressful than previously because I was enjoying Annabel Pitcher’s debut novel – My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece. I was well into the story, enthralled by the voice of the storyteller, (10yr old Jamie,) before discovering that it is actually written for children. No wonder the language was sharp and clear…… no wonder there was little swearing.

Thanks to a new LED lantern it was easy enough to read the print and quite fun to be able to read for a long period without interruption. The narrator’s point of view took me right back to my own childhood; what at first seemed like a fudge of commentary on the story, became eventually a rounded out picture of a family living through tragedy, crisis and grief.

The book is no namby pandy botch-up of a story about loss. It tackles prejudice on all sorts of levels. All in all I was impressed at the craft of the writer. It reminds me slightly of The curious incident of the dog in the night……… but only in the sense that the story-teller’s voice unfolds in tune with his understanding and emotional growth.

Interestingly, I was given this book by our Mobile Librarian – I suspect someone else’s mistake is my gain.  It leads me on to think of reading some other children’s literature. Any ideas and views? (Apart from Harry Potter of course!)

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6 Responses to My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece

  1. Dianne says:

    Sorry, I haven’t read a kid’s book in ages. I don’t even send them to grandchildren anymore. (I was told to let Mom and Dad do it.) Dianne

  2. Last year I downloaded Huckleberry Finn onto my Kindle and since then I have been getting some very surprising “recommended for you” suggestions, the latest being Enid Blyton’s Stories for the Under Fives. I think someone needs to rethink Amazon’s children’s books categories.

    It did not trigger any Harry Potter suggestions. I didn’t think to be surprised until now.

  3. Graham says:

    Alan Garner “Elidor”

    fantasy in the style of the lion the witch and the wardrobe, but an easier read, remember this book from school and it has remained a favorite ever since

  4. Lyn says:

    I had an outage last night, too, but only for a bit over 2 hours. We had horrible winds, some gusts to 60+ mph, and it really did a job on the power lines and some structures. It’s a pain isn’t it?

  5. LC says:

    Sounds like a good read. Freda, I was so thankful to see your blog pop up this morning on my first attempt. After aeveral weeks of being able away from consistent blogging, I am back to checking you, Dianne, Friko and some other favorites . I have been concerned about you for the past several days when I could only get that horrifying message “cannot find that server.” Maybe part something at my end and part your power outage. So glad you are still blogging as I always look forward to your posts. Even the thoughts you “splat” contribute much to my day.

  6. freda says:

    LC – Thanks for your concerns. It has been a week of internet outage, no emails and no blog……… how strange it all felt, and how good to be back online again. I know what you mean about the “server unable to find….” message. It just goes to show how we are starting to form online networks and community. I am looking forward to catching up with online friends, but it will take me a good few days!

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