A few weeks ago, Nymeth alerted me to the existence of a prequel to the marvellous series of Casson Family books by Hilary McKay - Caddy's World. I have to admit to not having read Nymeth's review yet, as I managed to pick up a supercheap copy of it on ebay, which I'm saving for my wedding trip. I'm so excited about reading it that it will probably end up in my handbag for the flight.
In the meantime, I thought I would prepare for reading this book, by rereading the five-book series, and, I thought I would blog about them, in hoping to share the love a little further. Yes, they are books aimed at the younger end of the teenage market, but I think they are so good that it would be a shame if they were the only group that read them.
I'll talk a little bit about Saffy's Angel, since that is the first book in the series and where we meet the Casson family. Named after paints, by their artistic mother and father, Caddy (short for Cadmium), Indigo, Saffron, and Rose (Permanent Rose), the children and their parents are a somewhat eccentric family. When Saffron discovers that she is not on the colour chart that her parents chose their names from, she starts upon a voyage of discovery into her past, that will take her all the way to Siena (hiding under a beanbag in her friend Sarah's car), to find a stone angel that she was bequeathed by her grandfather. But there are other stories running along the way such as that of Caddy who is on her 96th driving lesson and hopelessly in love with her driving instructor. It's the sort of book that will make you both laugh out loud and bring tears to your eyes - Hilary McKay is truly an amazing children's author and this book deserves to find a place as a modern classic.
The other books in the series are Indigo's Star, Permanent Rose, Caddy ever after, and Forever Rose. I'm about to start Permanent Rose tonight, so I think I shall have plenty of time to savour the rest before I go away. I seem to remember that the rest of the series isn't quite as good as the first two, but I'm sure I will enjoy it anyway.
Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham
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