Tonight I read a book in one sitting. Admittedly, it was a Young Adult title, it was only 230 pages long, and I had nothing better to do tonight. But I loved it: the thrill of ‘gobbling up’ a book, the intensity of the experience, being screen free for a couple of hours, and the book itself.
I was prompted to read, My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece, tonight because I’m meeting the author, Annabel Pitcher, at a library event in the morning. But I’d also heard great thing about it, and had received a free copy from those lovely folk at New Books Magazine months ago.
I don’t often read Young Adult novels, there being enough Adult novels for me to read when I’ve finished reading the preschool and junior favourites with my children earlier in the day. This title has reminded me just how good writing can be, regardless of the potential audience.
(The following is my brief review from goodreads.com)
An honest, funny, moving story of how his older sister’s death five years ago affects Jamie Matthews, his sister Jasmine (dead Rose’s twin), his mum and dad. He hasn’t cried about Rose’s death in those intervening five years, not because he doesn’t care, but because he was too young to remember Rose well, realise the impact on his parents, or understand what it feels like when someone you love is senselessly taken away from you.
Through Jamie’s eyes, over only a few months, his perspective alters: his mum leaves them, he moves from London to Ambleside, he faces bullying and shattered hopes, falls in love, and scores the perfect winning goal.
Pitcher ‘pitches’ (sorry!) her story just right: not too mawkish or gloom-laden, but honest and real, balancing the natural ups and downs of a child on the cusp of adolescence with those of one facing the reality of random, nonsensical death.
I read this in one sitting, with both laughter and tears. Highly recommended.
So, try something new. Try it in one sitting even. We don’t seem too daunted by spending two, three or more hours watching a film from start to finish (Les Mis anyone?), so why not spend an evening reading a book?
I know I will be doing it again soon.
Watch this space.