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My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

Narrated by: David Tennant
Length: 5 hrs and 55 mins
Categories: Children, Ages 8-10
4.5 out of 5 stars (523 ratings)

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Summary

Ten-year-old Jamie Matthews has just moved to the Lake District with his Dad and his teenage sister, Jasmine for a 'Fresh New Start'. Five years ago his sister's twin, Rose, was blown up by a terrorist bomb. His parents are wrecked by their grief, Jasmine turns to piercing, pink hair and stops eating. The family falls apart. But Jamie hasn't cried in all that time. To him Rose is just a distant memory. Jamie is far more interested in his cat, Roger, his birthday Spiderman T-shirt, and in keeping his new friend Sunya a secret from his dad. And in his deep longing and unshakeable belief that his Mum will come back to the family she walked out on months ago. When he sees a TV advert for a talent show, he feels certain that this will change everything and bring them all back together once and for all.

©2011 Annabel Pitcher (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

What members say

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enthralling!

I initially downloaded this for my daughter - but I started listening and was spellbound. This is a very contemporary and compelling story which covers loss, grief, prejudice and abandonment. The author lets you see tragedy from all angles and the whole book is thought provoking and touching. David Tennant does a fantastic job of setting just the right tone, and at times I am sure I detected a tear in his eye. Fabulous book - highly recommended!

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Touching

I really enjoyed this touching story of ten-year-old Jamie, desperately seeking the love of his alcoholic father and absent mother. Neither parent is coping well with life after the loss of their third child, a twin daughter, Rose, who was killed five years previously by a terrorist bomb. Only Rose's remaining twin, Jasmine (Jas), has any time for Jamie, but even she has now dyed her hair pink and has a green haired boyfriend.

When Dad gets a job in the Lake District, they move from London, and Jamie has the added trauma of settling into a new school. Only Sunja pays him any attention, but she is a Muslim and "Muslims killed my daughter", as Dad constantly reminds him. Jamie is torn between loyalty to Dad and his friendship with Sunja.

As I listened to the Audible version of this book, read with feeling by David Tennant, I was totally drawn in to Jamie's life and struggles and his gradual understanding of the dynamics of his traumatised family.
I think adults and teens would probably approach this book from different view points but it is an excellent read for both.
Highly recommended and I look forward to Anabel Pitcher's next book.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

What a brilliant listen

David Tennant is one of those really unusual readers who can "be" multiple characters really convincingly - he brings the story alive so much so that when he describes a really sad bit about a animal that I found myself crying my eyes out at 5.30 in the morning whilst I listened to my book. What a brilliant story, brilliantly delivered. I love David Tennant so much - he is the boyfriend I want my daughter to bring home :)

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enchanting and moving from start to end.

What an absolutely lovely book, narrated beautifully by David Tennant. A moving story, tackling very difficult issues, seen through the innocent eyes of a 10yr old boy. This book is suitable for boys and girls age 10+, right through to adults. In fact I can't help thinking that adults will get so much more out of this book.
Very highly recommended.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Heart-warming and heart-rending in equal measure

This is a fantastic listen, a story told entirely by the 10-year old narrator, innocently revealing the ruin of his family in incidental details as he tells you about his daily life. I defy anybody to listen to the last 40 minutes or so without bursting into tears at some point. I think I heard the whole thing inside 24 hours, and would not be surprised if some people manage it in one sitting. It is totally compulsive and utterly realistic, without dragging the listener down. A must-buy.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating

This is a very unusual book - beautifully written and beautifully narrated. I was torn between wanting to listen to it and wanting to save it so I didn't get to the end too quickly!
Be warned though; don't listen to it unless you have a big box of tissues nearby. I would highly recommend this book.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A funny yet moving exprience

An emotional ride through a young boy's eyes, read with feeling. Thought provoking while combating the lump in the throat. The amusing interludes helped immensly. A great listen.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

David Tennant does a great job on here. The book is funny and moving at times. the characters were believable and sweet. One of my favourite audios so far!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well read and entertaining

I really enjoyed this book, read by David Tennant. It is very well narrated and David Tennant really brings the characters to life. It kept my attention throughout and made me laugh and cry. Very well done.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Moving and thought provoking

A very good listen. Moving and honest. It felt real and a lot was said in matters that were hinted at but not explicitly explored.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jill
  • 17-08-12

Memorable Listen

Just listened to this audio book read by David Tennant.
What a perfect voice for Jamie the main character in this tale of loss and coming to terms with grief. This moving story also touches on bullying and racism. Touching, adored it from start to finish.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lynn
  • 18-04-12

Loved it !!

Beautifully written and narrated. A little gem of a story. Touched on some heavy issues such as grief, abandonment, alcoholism, racial prejudice and family breakdown, but still managed to be uplifting as well as heartbreaking.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peta-Jo
  • 25-07-11

Brilliant

A beautifully emotional journey from the simplicity of a child's viewpoint. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the wonderfully talented David Tennant, but the story itself was amusing and heart wrenching. It both strengthens you and breaks your heart. It was brilliantly written and it was so easy to feel as though you were Jamie. I love it and will certainly, quite willingly listen to it again. I highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sue
  • 21-07-11

Amazing

An absolutely wonderful, touching story. The characters and emotions are terribly real and you are completely drawn into their world. David Tennant reads beautifully, more subdued than for other books, embodying the heartbreak and joy in this family's life.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Siobhan
  • 09-04-11

Brilliant

I couldn't stop listening to this book. It pulled me in and wouldn't let me go until it was done. Telling a story dealing with issues as contentious and sad as this through the eyes of a 10 year old boy is a brave and hard thing to do. It could have gone spectacularly wrong, but it works wonderfully.

There are were a couple of times when the audio skipped, but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the book, and David Tennant reads wonderfully, bringing all the characters and emotions to life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Libero05
  • 14-12-19

This story is important

I have to listen to this book every year around christmas. It never gets old. Family matters and even more friendship matters so get together, be tolerant, be kind.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-12-18

Absolutely Fantastic!

One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to. David Tennant is absolutely the best.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Felicity
  • 26-01-17

Great book!

I read this book about a year ago but when I was having some trouble sleeping I decided to download it on audible. It was really nice to listen to and I liked the music between chapters but I have to say I did not like the voice. I suppose I expected a young British boy to do it and not an older man. But overall I do recommend this audio book.

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  • Ann
  • 31-12-16

A beautiful tale of grieving and maturing

I suppose death of a loved one is something all of us must go through, at least several times in our lives. The only differences are in the ways we cope and the age in which we first experience it.
The fact the whole story is told from Jamie's perspective - a ten-year-old boy - gives it honesty and a certain rawness you'd never experience elsewhere. Adults rarely talk about these things; rarely even acknowledge them - the way we cope with pain and loss, and the things we do wrong as we try to survive, as life goes on and nobody wants it to. Even though Jasmine's maturer than Jaime, she isn't quite an adult, either, and her perspective connects Jamie's view with the "adult view", so to speak - the things that are so clear to us listening to the story (or reading it) but he himself doesn't get. They certainly make unusual heroes in this world we live in. And the story, about love and loss and pain and family and racism and bullying and all those tiny little things that make up the human life, is beautiful. Yes, you will cry, but by heaven, it's worth it.
As for the narration: I'm a longtime fan of David's work, so that's hardly a surprise I loved it. David manages to portray every one of the characters, while keeping true to Jamie's view and world. As you're listening, you can literally see Jaime telling you these things; David becomes Jaime, in every sort of way, right until the end. He is absolutely magnificent. But then again, he always is.

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  • S
  • 20-10-13

Compelling, honest and wonderful

What did you like about this audiobook?

Written from the perspective of a ten year old, this book shines a light on loss, racism, intolerance and grief in a way that is not sentimental and which utterly engages both Children and adults alike. My 6 and 9 year olds both loved the book, with each being able to access it at different levels. I loved it too. David Tennant is a perfect narrator. We forgot we were listening to 'DR Who" within ten minutes- he captures the innocence, poignancy and truth in Jamie's narrative voice beautifully,