• My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

  • By: Annabel Pitcher
  • Narrated by: David Tennant
  • Length: 5 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (257 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

My sister Rose lives on the mantelpiece.

Well, some of her does.

A collarbone, two ribs, a bit of skull, and a little toe.

To 10-year-old Jamie, his family has fallen apart because of the loss of someone he barely remembers: his sister Rose, who died five years ago in a terrorist bombing. To his father, life is impossible to make sense of when he lives in a world that could so cruelly take away a 10-year-old girl. To Rose's surviving 15-year-old twin, Jas, every day she lives in Rose's ever-present shadow, forever feeling the loss like a limb, but unable to be seen for herself alone.

Told with warmth and humor, this powerful story is a sophisticated take on one family's struggle to make sense of the loss that's torn them apart...and their discovery of what it means to stay together.

©2012 Annabel Pitcher (P)2012 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Purchased for the narrator, but found it excellent

I grabbed this book after searching for David Tennant. While the narration was wonderful, I was amazed at how moving I found the story to be. There were plenty of times that I found myself smiling or laughing, and in one spot completely bawling.

David Tennant is also quite a talented narrator - I listened to this during a long distance drive, travelling at fast speeds on the open highway, in a car that doesn't have great sound proofing. I never had to fiddle with the volume. David Tennant was able to communicate the full range of the characters emotions with a clear, even tone, that many can't master.

This is a touching, well written story. I'll be looking for more from the author.

21 people found this helpful

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Excellent narration

The narrator brought characters to life beautifully, and added to the richness of the story. I also appreciated the musical interludes between chapters; it allowed for breathing space, giving the listener a break from the tension of the story.

8 people found this helpful

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You will cry

You will cry. It's that simple -- David Tennant will take Annabel Pitcher's words and slowly tear at your heartstrings. Wonderful story, wonderful reader, an amazing listen.

7 people found this helpful

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Moved Beyond Words

A thank you to the author for such a book as this.
If I can edit this later, I will attempt to put the largess of feelings and insight I had from this book

4 people found this helpful

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Buy it for DT, stay for the story

I bought this to hear David Tennant's gorgeous voice on a long trip. DT fans know exactly what to expect with his performance and will not be disappointed.

But the story itself...I laughed, I cried, I hoped, I felt disappointed...the story itself needed no help from DT. The characters leap out of the story into your imagination, and I could not stop listening...almost literally. I forgot to check my gas gauge and and looked down to see my range was down to 2 miles and had to contact my insurance to send for a fuel delivery.

Put the two together, a compelling storyline and David Tennant's narration, and it was dynamite.

9 people found this helpful

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Raw reality

I LOVED this book! I expected a soppy story about people coping and moving on with their lives and learning how to love each other and to make there lives similar to the way they used to be. What I found was the heart wrenching tale of a boy that was smarter than people realized and learning lessons that most adults refuse to face. We are given a very blunt and simple view of complicated matters ranging from divorce and abandonment to responsibility and true evil. He questions everything from God to the honesty of his parents. Racism, prejudice, bullying, arrogance, ignorance, death, terrorism, faith, and depression this book has it all. Pitcher is a new author and it is reasonable to say that this book has it's flaws, but I could easily recommend it to others. This recommendation is strongly reinforced by the beautiful and intimate job Tennant does in it's portrayal.

4 people found this helpful

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Certainly not a happy feel, but that’s okay

I really enjoyed this. David Tennant was brilliant at vocalizing the child-like, deeply honest, and expressive thoughts of a ten year old in his narration. The story was interesting and most characters were built up nicely. I like that the character development wasn’t straight and positive for everyone - it gave more believability and depth to characters who, like real people, don’t always have a happy ending or move in the right direction. But it’s not unsatisfactory -and it helped build the plot as well as the backstories of characters. There’s something unsettling about hearing how raw and honest a ten year old’s thoughts are and how they may see the world we show them. An interesting view on grief and how we all deal with it differently.

2 people found this helpful

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Ordered for the narration, but book is charming

I ordered this book because I love David Tennant's audio performances, and he doesn't disappoint here. I love that he doesn't have different voices for the different characters, but distinguishes them by the changing the quality of his voice. My only niggle was that he used his own Scottish accent rather than using an English one.

The book itself is charming and well written, but I think many of the characters are rather flatly portrayed (although this may be intentional as the narrator is a 10-year old boy). Also, at times the boy seems much younger than 10 years old, to the point where it's a bit unrealistic. Even so, I still like the book because it feels like an honest, simple, and moving depiction of how young people deal with tragedy--of any kind.

In short, well done and certainly worth a listen!

5 people found this helpful

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Bittersweet but beautiful

Would you consider the audio edition of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece to be better than the print version?

David Tennant makes this book! If I could give more than 5 stars for the narration I would!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sunya? Not sure of the spelling. She is Jamie's super hero. It is wonderful to watch their relationship change.

Have you listened to any of David Tennant’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I wish he had more books other than Dr. Who and How to Train your Dragon! He is by far the best narrator I have heard.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both! Hence the bittersweet!

2 people found this helpful

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Came for the voice, stayed for the story

I loved this book immensely! If i'm being honest the main reason I bought this audio book was because I was in the mood to listen to a scottish accent, but was enthralled by the actual plot immediately. Although it is more of a children's book, it deals with heavy topics that even adult fiction struggles to communicate well, and it does it with real skill. I have already recommended this story to so many friends, and plan on continuing to do so. I really don't usually post reviews, but I feel strongly enough about this one that I had to write at least something. This is definitely a book I would want to share with my children if I had any, though due to the heavy nature at times I feel like it would be a good idea to set aside time time to talk over the events of the story. This book is truly a new favorite, and if you are in the edge of whether or not to buy it I'd say go for it!

1 person found this helpful