Gail Bell reviews 'Any Ordinary Day' by Leigh Sales

Gail Bell reviews 'Any Ordinary Day' by Leigh Sales

Any Ordinary Day

by Leigh Sales

Hamish Hamilton, $34.99 pb, 263 pp, 9780143789963

Any Ordinary Day, Leigh Sales’s investigative report from the coalface of tragedy and resilience, is based on solid research and lengthy interviews. Sales, who wants to know the secrets of surviving outrageous fortune, has the journalistic chops to take on the quest. ‘I rely on a particular skill set … I know how to craft a line of questioning,’ she writes early in her new book. Readers familiar with Sales’s on-camera persona as the anchor of ABC television’s The 7.30 Report will perhaps brace themselves for some field surgery as she probes the testimonies of people who have met and overcome one or more tragedies. But those readers may be surprised.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Gail Bell

Gail Bell

Gail Bell is an author, essayist, and reviewer. Her first book, The Poison Principle, won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction in 2002 and was published in a new edition with a foreword by Helen Garner in 2017. A new edition of her second book, SHOT (2003), appeared in 2018, under the title Being Shot. Her Quarterly Essay, The Worried Well (2005), led to strong public debate and provoked a national response. Her journalism has appeared in publications in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


Published in October 2018, no. 405

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.