Fabulous appreciation of the Salt-Stained Book by author and sailor Jan Needle. It was sent in an email but we have Jan's permission to quote:
After this brilliant adventure, you managed a heart-warming and tear-inducing ending. It really is a wonderful book.
It’s also a fantastic tribute to Arthur Ransome, and I’m sure he’d have loved it. The sailing is perfect – light touch, technically delightful, and thrilling when it needs to be. The duel between Polly Lee’s junk-rigged wonder, a Mirror dinghy and a moron in a high-speed launch is masterful. The Hullabaloos live on…
But it’s the children who are the best. Needy, bright and under constant threat by apparently insuperable odds, they have almost no one but themselves to fight their fight. Like Ransome’s children they are doughty, but unlike his, they are up against forces that are modern, dark, and genuinely chilling. Donny and Anna are heart-breakingly real. I’m dying to read the sequel.
If anyone tells you you shouldn’t have done it, tell them to grow up. This book doesn’t detract from Arthur Ransome, it enhances him. I’ve still got the postcard he wrote to me when I was a poor young sailorboy, and his spirit shines through it. After your book, I’m going back to reread his. And any child who liked Goodnight Mr Tom will love it too. It’s terrific.
Jan said that the ending of the SSB almost made him cry - that's nothing to the way Julia felt when she read (and heard) such wonderful words.