Sal by Mick Kitson was one of our Debuts of the Month for March. This fantastic new novel has had a great reception from our Editorial Experts and our reader review panel. The protagonist, the eponymous Sal has a unique voice which is used to full effect to tell the heart-breaking and heart-warming story of how she learns to survive in the wilderness to save her younger sister from Robert.
Sal by Mick Kitson. Cover illustration: Robert Hunter. Art direction and design: Rafaela Romaya.
The Reviews Liz Robinson, our Expert reviewer for Sal, loved this book and called it “Just gorgeous… this is an emotional and quite, quite beautiful read”. Liz goes on to explain in more detail why exactly she fell in love with this book:
Sal tells their story, the first chapter is so clever, I started to realise what had been happening, and then a few carefully chosen, yet almost casually thrown away words, sent a shock-wave running through me. I could clearly hear Sal’s voice, she is so individual and distinctive, her words entered my mind and expanded, filling my heart. [...] Kindness flows from unexpected places, and love is behind every word shared by Sal, even in the darkness. Simple, beautiful, provocative yet touching, this is an outstanding debut’.
To read Liz’s full reviews, head over to the Sal book page, which has even more detail on this delightful debut. This powerful debut has had an impact on everyone who read it. We have a collection of our Reader Review Panel's extended responses to Sal, but here we have a few snippets to whet your appetite:
Lindsey Whittle - Brilliant! Read it in one go, couldn't put it down. Will stay with me for a long time. Alfred Nobile - 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. Val Rowe - An absolute little treasure of a novel - quirky, unique and beautifully narrated. I hope that this will be the first of many novels from Mick Kitson. Adrienne Kinsella - A sad, harrowing tale of survival that's also memorable and wonderfully compelling. Sal has been like a substitute mother to her sister Pippa and will do anything to protect her. Sabine Little - 'An intelligent, beautiful, and sometimes harrowing book, which will stay with me for a long time.'
Sal has been planning for all almost a year to take her sister Pepper and run. She worked hard to protect her sister while she was at home, fitting a secret lock on her bedroom door with the help of stolen tools and YouTube tutorials. But now it's time to leave, they will be safer in the Scottish wilderness than at home. With the help of credit cards that she's stolen, Sal has managed to buy a compass, a Bear Grylls knife, waterproofs and a first aid kit. Sal has also been preparing for their escape with the help of the SAS Survival Handbook and has took notes from the countless YouTube videos that she has watched. This is a marvellous novel that conveys the astounding beauty of the Scottish countryside in Sal's very distinct perspective while telling a story of survival, sisterly love and the kindness of strangers. Sal shows that you can do extraordinary things for the ones you love. Mick Kitson's debut novel was published at the start of the month and has been a massive success and everyone at LoveReading is eagerly awaiting the next book by this phenomenal new author.