Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Review: My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece
Author: Annabel Pitcher
Pages: 236+Jasmine's Memory (this edition)
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This book is one of those books that hits you very hard at home. It shows you about grief that people have when a close family member dies, what they do to try and let them live on, and the racism that the world bears.
It's a difficult thing to comprehend, as we don't know if Jamie's dad is really a racist, and believes what he says about Muslims in his heart, or if it's just a side effect of Rose's death. During the book, every time he sees a Muslim, he says things like "go back to your own country", and is horrified when he finds out that Jamie's new friend Sunya is a Muslim. He can't deal with the fact that not all Muslim people are bad; he just sees that they are bad, because some of them, terrorists, killed his daughter.
Another thing is how different members of the family act. When I've had close people die, it doesn't affect all of us, as there are two families in the house; my mum's and my stepdad's, so I've never seen just how differently different people get over their grief. People like Jamie are what a family like this need; a little spark of hope. I think the family's main problem was the father. He was wrecked by grief, drunk and racist. You can see why they have troubles in the book.
When I was reading this book, I felt like I could relate to Jamie, even though I haven't had his exact situation. My best friend died when I was ten; so I could relate to some. But he also has to deal with this uncaring, constantly drunk man, bullying at school and hiding his best friend.
The book wasn't easy to read, though it was easy to finish. In some ways, it's hard to believe it's in the point of view of a ten year old, because there is a lot of philosophical thinking, and he understood things which most children wouldn't at that age! But in other ways, you could truly see his age; for instance, when he was at school, and his thinking that his mum will come back to him for parents' evening, just like that.
So, overall, I loved this book; it was right up my street! I love the harsh reality of it; and seeing how a 10 year old copes with all these problems. I had similar at that age; but different.