Sal planned it for almost a year before they ran. She nicked an Ordnance Survey map from the school library. She bought a compass, a Bear Grylls knife, waterproofs and a first aid kit from Amazon using credit cards she’d robbed. She read the SAS Survival Handbook and watched loads of YouTube videos.
And now Sal knows a lot of stuff. Like how to build a shelter and start a fire. How to estimate distances, snare rabbits and shoot an airgun. And how to protect her sister, Peppa. Because Peppa is ten, which is how old Sal was when Robert started on her.
Told in Sal’s distinctive voice, and filled with the silent, dizzying beauty of rural Scotland, Sal is a disturbing, uplifting story of survival, of the kindness of strangers, and the irrepressible power of sisterly love; a love that can lead us to do extraordinary and unimaginable things
|This was a stunning book. Hard to realise it was a debut novel, and such a beautiful debut it was.
The writing is of such a high quality in a book laced with humour and at times tragedy.
The novel opens with sisters Sal and Peppa on the run after Sal has killed her Mum’s abusive boyfriend.
Through her diligent research and careful planning Sal is convinced she and her sister can survive in the Galloway Forrest.
Told through Sal’s eyes it is a story of two sisters; and two very different sisters they are.
Sal is a worrier and planner, whilst Peppa sails through life on the seat of her pants.
Their characters leap off the page fully formed and drag you into their lives and adventures.
You find yourself routing for Sal, even though what she has done is fundamentally wrong.
As said previously it is a book filled with well drawn characters, who leap off the page fully formed and into to your mind with their stories to tell. And what fascinating stories they are.
Sal and Peppa’s. Ingrid, an old woman who befriends them, has her own fascinating story to tell. Even Maw in Sal’s recollections and later on in the book has a story.
A brilliant, fascinating book which is well worth investing in. I don’t think you will be disappointed. Thanks to Mick, Cannongate and Lovereading.co.uk for the ARC.
Worthy 4 stars.
Expected publication: March 1st 2018 by Canongate Books Ltd