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Sal

Narrated by: Sharon Rooney
Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (541 ratings)

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Summary

This is a story of something like survival. 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, the kindness of strangers and the irrepressible power of sisterly love - a love that can lead us to do extraordinary and unimaginable things.

©2018 Mick Kitson (P)2018 Canongate Books Ltd

Critic reviews

"Kitson writes clearly and concisely...The girls’ capability, humanity and humour are inspiring and wonderful. Sal is an ambitious and skilled novel. Literature needs more stories like this." (Jenni Fagan, Guardian)
"Atmospheric...Distinctive...A vivid, moving tale about the strength of sisterhood and the struggle to survive." (Anita Sethi, Observer)
"Kitson inhabits the girls' voices with credible authenticity...This short, impressive debut is an uplifting tale of survival, shot through with humour, compassion and humanity." (Mail on Sunday)

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

beautifully written & read

This story was funny moving and poignant enjoyed it so much I didn't want it to end, the depth to the characters was brilliant and it evoked a beautiful minds eye picture of the landscape the story was set in.

27 people found this helpful

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What a gem!

Loved this book, so easy to imagine as I’ve spend many hours walking in the Galloway Forestry. Adventure, lost innocence, dysfunctional family and survival. Totally recommend this listen, perfectly read and when they make the film it’ll be brilliant!

22 people found this helpful

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Extraordinary tale of remarkable young girl

A very interesting read. Original storyline kept me hooked. Love Sal and Ingrid characters. I really enjoyed all the details of living wild and Ingrid's medical/science background. A refreshing tale overall. I look forward to more from this author.

16 people found this helpful

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Absolutely brilliant, a must listen

I could not put this down, it is such a wonderful, difficult yet beautiful story, and the narration is excellent.
I didn’t wanted to end and I cried when it finished

4 people found this helpful

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couldn't have had a better narrator!

the story was absorbing and read perfectly by Sharon Rooney. I would love a sequel

3 people found this helpful

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loved it

gripped right from the start, Sal is a brilliant story with such down to earth characters

3 people found this helpful

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Wow

So good on so many levels.I listened in one day as I sneezed and spluttered with a headcold.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved it

This book was fantastic. I’m usually a reader of fantasy and science fiction but this was a very pleasant change.

3 people found this helpful

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Troubling, charming

Beautifully narrated, this tough, savagely sharp story gives voice and hope to girls. Abandoned by the people who should help, Sal sets out to be her sister’s saviour. She is such a likeable character: savvy, intelligent, unforgiving but maternal.
The landscapes, life and hopes of these brilliant characters weave in adults as unreliable as the weather, and pull together a story of hope and self-reliance.

3 people found this helpful

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makes you appreciate good books!

Hated the way the narrator kept saying 'she said, then he said, then she said'.
Really struggled to finish. Then such a weak ending.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Maura Cornell
  • Maura Cornell
  • 17-12-19

I fell in love with these girls

Listening to this gorgeous book, I felt both heartbroken and full of admiration for Sal, the young protagonist. Her grit and planning are fantastic and she and her little sister felt like real children despite their unlikely circumstances. Not being from Scotland, I found the narration difficult to follow at times but that did not detract from either the story or the narrator's ability to capture the longing, fear, and incredible strength of Sal. It's a beautifully written, beautifully narrated book. I'm glad to have met Sal and her sister, and wish I could meet them again in a few years as young women to see how life has worked out.