A rich, wild and heartwarming debut novel about the end of childhood, the strength of a sister’s love and the power of nature to heal even the deepest wounds
‘Just wonderful. A breath of fresh air in a book. Sal is a story with incredible heart, told so beautifully and with such clarity and grace I can hardly believe it’s a debut! I loved it’ JOANNA CANNON, author of THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP
AN OBSERVER ‘NEW FACE OF FICTION 2018’
SHORTLISTED FOR THE SALTIRE SOCIETY FIRST BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
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 stolen credit cards. 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.
“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”
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“Atmospheric … Distinctive … A vivid, moving tale about the strength of sisterhood and the struggle to survive”
“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
“Powered by Sal’s innate sense of justice and her fierce love for her sweary, show-stealing sister, this original, bittersweet tale effortlessly beguiles”
“Incredibly engaging … Mick Kitson’s depiction of the siblings’ relationship is spot on, as is his description of the beauties of the natural world as seen through Sal’s eyes … [A] gutsy debut”
Mick Kitson was born in South Wales, and studied English at university before launching the prolific 80s pop band, The Senators, with his brother Jim. He worked as a journalist for several years, then went on to become an English teacher.
Mick lives in Fife, Scotland with his wife Jill and bad-tempered dog Lucy. He has three grown-up children, and spends more time than is good for him fly fishing for sea trout, reading, playing the banjo and growing strawberries. He also builds boats. Sal is his first novel.