Sal acted more mature than 13-years-old. She definitely acted more mature than her mother who chose the bottle over her own children. Fearful of what the future held for her sister Peppa, Sal took matters into her own hands as she felt there was no other way. Her love for Peppa was her driving force.
I loved how much Sal loved her sister and what she did to protect her. Sal felt that she knew what Robert’s intentions were going to be towards her sister and she was being proactive in protecting her. I had a great fondness for Sal as I read the story. As she explained things to Peppa, she reasoned with her, she didn’t get emotional or talk down to her, she wanted her to understand. Sal doesn’t get frustrated and upset when their lives are meet with difficulty, Sal keeps her head on and fights back. I wonder how Sal felt internally when Peppa kept asking about their mother. The mother who allowed her children to be beaten, the mother who was beaten up herself by the same man who beat her children, that same man who visited Sal’s room at night when he thought no one was watching.
When Ingrid entered the novel, I was relieved. Not like a tradition woman, Ingrid was a product of the environment that she grew up in. She was truly a spirited woman and I enjoyed listening to the stories of her life and felt that she led an interesting life. I think it was a mutual blessing that they had found each other as they each enhanced each other’s lives.
When Maw appears on the scene, I was apprehensive about her appearance. Peppa was overjoyed but what I saw first, was that perhaps having Maw back would be more work for Sal. Maw felt like a wild card to me.
It wasn’t a tied-up ending but that ok. The ending I was hoping for isn’t going to transpire so leaving it open is just as well. I’m still apprehensive about their future, but time will tell what will happen. I hope that being with Ingrid, Sal has internalized a bit of her and kept it with her. Ingrid had a lot to give and I was glad that she met someone who appreciated her.
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Canongate Books US in exchange for an honest review.