A disturbing but uplifting story of survival which takes you deep into the 13-year old mind of Sal as she resorts to desperate but strategic measures to protect her younger sister from the abuse she suffers. Her no-option military approach is just relieved enough by hints – her anxiety about her first period and her sympathy for the experiences of an older woman – that she is just hanging on. Beautifully written.
I'd thought of that too. I'd thought about telling about Robert before, and him saying he was going to go into Peppa's room and him hitting Maw and being drunk and stoned all the time. But I knew the first thing that would happen would be he'd get arrested and we'd get taken and split up because that was what always happened. Plus nobody would believe Maw didn't know and she might get charged with abuse or neglecting us and go to jail. I had read stories about it on news websites, where the mother got charged and went to jail and the stepdad went for longer because he was the one who did all the bad stuff like killing a baby or starving a little girl, but they said the mother let it happen and she got done too. They always blame the mother of any kid who gets abused or hurt, but it is always the man who does it.