You find me in a state of great excitement.
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, by Annabel Pitcher, has come out in paperback and the Mantelpiece musing blog tour is making a stop right here on Sunday October 16th.
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is the story of Jamie, who has just moved to the Lake District with his dad and his sister Jas. His other sister, and Jas's twin, Rose, was killed in a terrorist attack and now lives on the mantelpiece of Jamie's house in an urn. Jamie's dad isn't really being a dad anymore and spends most of his time drinking and Jas is distracting herself by dying her hair pink and not eating. Jamie is worried that he's not sad enough about Rose - he barely remembers her and is more interested in making up Spiderman stories with his new friend Sunya. He has to keep Sunya a secret because she is Muslim and, according to Jamie's dad, Muslims killed Rose. Then Jamie sees an advert for a talent show and sees the chance to make everything better and get his family back to normal again.
Annabel Pitcher takes you right into Jamie's head. The entire book is shaped by his viewpoint, to the extent that there are no quotation marks around other characters' speech - everything is filtered through Jamie. His voice is startlingly direct - he talks about his sister's death in a blunt way, not dressing up his words or using euphenisms like adults do. But at the same time you see what he doesn't see - like the hope he places in his parents , which you know is misplaced. He is both perceptive and naive at the same time - and for the reader this is funny and heartbreaking in equal measure.
This is a raw, funny and uplifting book and I would recommend you read it and then have it read to you by David Tennant. (He did read the audiobook, that isn't just a random fantasy. Although I probably would listen to him reading out the periodic table and still enjoy it. It is very nice listening to an audiobook. It's a bit like someone giving you a bath. Maybe ask David Tennant to give you a bath while reading to you? That would be nice.)
Anyway! The blog tour began yesterday over at Fierce Fiction. Tomorrow it is off to Dog Ear Discs and then through many wonderful blogs, stopping off here on Sunday. In the meantime, here is a book trailer: