Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Review: My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

The psychological impact of 9/11 still resonates today.  Terrorism continues to disturb the world we live in.  Everyone is affected by the memory.  Those too young to remember soon learn about it as they get older.  The following story begins five years after a fictional terrorist attack at a popular gathering place.

Jaime was 5 years old when his sister is killed.   My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher takes place in London.  Now 10 years old, Jaime has vague memories of the sister that died.  Both parents remind him often of the tragedy and they do not understand why he is not  grieving.

Jaime's viewpoint is very straightforward and often humorous. Both characters have issues as they try to navigate day to day life five years after the horrific attack.  Jaime's sister Jasmine does remember her twin, Rose, who died in the attack.  Even though Jasmine has her own problems, she tries to provide some stability for Jaime.  She cooks and makes calls to school as best she can.   Jaime does not dare tell his father he has a new friend at school. Sunya is Muslim. 

Jaime and his sister continue to fend for themselves as their parents grieve.  Amidst the sadness there is hope but no easy solutions for this family, which makes this story real.  There are humorous moments but the ending is not nice and tidy, although it is as good as it gets for this family. 

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