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Friday, August 05, 2005

Saffy's Angel, Indigo's Star, & Permanent Rose all written by Hilary McKay

Saffy's Angel is the first in a trio of stories about the four Casson children. Their mother, Eve, has named all of them (except the second daughter, Saffy) after paint colors. The oldest is Cadmium, then Saffron, Indigo is the only boy, and the youngest is Rose. When their grandfather dies, he leaves something to each child. Saffy is to receive "her angel." Saffy with the help of a new friend, Sarah, takes a trip to Italy to search for her angel. This is a story of belonging and acceptance. Saffy has learned, by accident, why her name is not on the color chart - that she is actually adopted. Her mother, Linda, was Eve's twin sister. Very enchanting and heartwarming, Saffy's Angel is an unforgettable tale.

Indigo's Star continues the story of the Casson family, focusing on the only male child, Indigo. This is a story of bullying at school. Indigo has been ill, and has missed a semester of school as a result. The school bullies eagerly await Indigo's return, so they can renew their attacks on him. There is a new kid at school though, an American who will be in England for one year, Tom. Tom and Indigo become allies. Meanwhile, Indigo's sisters, Caddy, Saffy, and Rose continue to have thier own struggles with life to contend with; Caddy's boyfriends, Saffy and Sarah trying to protect Indigo, and Rose, who is trying very hard not to wear her new "horrible" glasses. This is a hilarious, warm and engaging continuation of the Casson family story.

Permanent Rose is the third in the series of books telling of the four Casson children and their parents, Eve and Bill. The Casson household is, as always, very chaotic. Caddy is now engaged to Michael, but not so sure about it. Saffy, with help from her friend Sarah, is searching for her biological father. Indigo is moving on, building a new friendship after Tom, his friend and ally in the last book, has returned to America. Rose is the focus of this story and Rose has problems. She is determined to find Tom, who has not been in contact with the Cassons since leaving for America. Rose begins shoplifting small items, going off by herself to town, and generally not getting along very well. All is resolved by a sudden trip Rose takes to London. This is a delightful continuation of the Casson family story, and hopefully not the last.

It is probably best to read these three titles by Hilary McKay in order, it is less confusing that way.

I haven't read this yet, but is sounds really good.

By the way, 'Saffron' is my middle name.
That's a beautiful name!
"Saffy" sounds so cute and these books sound good, don't they?
Thanks!:) By the way, was I the only member (besides you and shadowkitty) to be on today?
You were! Sadly, participation has really dropped this summer. We have hundreds of people that LOOK at the Blogger Book Club, but few posting lately. (We are so happy that YOU have joined...and are posting, too.) We are always trying to attract new members, so if any of your friends are interested, we could start a Philly branch of the BBC!
Good idea! I'll ask my friends...
I just came back from North Carolina, which is why I havnt been posting. Im sorry I didnt mention I was going, It didnt cross my mind untill afterwards.

I did, however, remember to get Saffy's Angle. I started it today, and I love it. Its very funny and... chaotic, I suppose, would be a good word to describe it. I really like the way its written, the 'voice', I think its called. It's very Brittish, very blunt. And crazy. Yes, very crazy.

Im up to the part where the taxi driver takes Saffy to her old address. I made up some deep philosophical questions about the book so far :). Here they are- How do you think Sarah feels about her parents? Her 'injury'? Why does Saffy not want to go with Sarah at first? Do you like ducks? Nobody has to answer, I'd just thought I'd mention them.
I don't think Saffy really knows what to think about her parents. She knows her mother is dead and has no clue as to who her father is - whether he is dead or alive. My take on the trip is that Saffy is trying to create a past for herself as a means to reconcile the fact that she is adopted. I think Saffy did not want to go on the trip at first because she is unsure of Sarah, not trusting her yet. Trust comes with time and as the result of positive interactions. Yes, I like ducks, not geese though - too messy. Keep reading - as you get through all three books questions will be answered.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I agree. I finished the book last night. I think that the reason Sarah is so persistant about Saffy finding her angle (and, also, in a way, some link to her family) is because Sarah wishes that she was in Saffys' place. I think she wishes for a chance to find a different, better, family, one more
close-knit and friendly.

Oh, and I tend to prefer rubber ducks. Less noise. :) <@___^
PS. This message is the same as the one I deleted, I just fixed somthing.
Whoops, that duck has a disembodied head. hehe...
I have just read Indigo's star FINALLY!!! It took me forever to find it. I thought it was very good, as good as the last. I also just read Surviving the
Applewhites. I noticed that it was a former book club book. (tehe... book club book...) Both STA and IS (yeah, i'm a lazy typer) have big, kooky, artsy famlies in them. How are the families different? The same?
Think about the ways families tend to work successfully. Each family in these books are "support groups" for their members. Also, families can extend and contract to include/exclude those who are not of the same bloodlines. In both there are characters wanting to be considered "family". In both there are those who welcome others in and those who tend to want to keep others out.
Where the differences lie seems more in setting and what is "acceptable" more on a cultural basis. There are also differing underlying tensions in these"artsy" families. While both are seemingly disfunctional, the family structure in INDIGO'S STAR is undergoing more turmoil due to the relationship between the parents. Only one of the parents is acknowledged as "successful". In SURVIVING THE APPLEWHITES all of the adults are portrayed as "successful" even though in different fields. STA is more of an extended family situation with aunts, uncles and a grandfather present. With IS it is more the kids running the show.
The obvious difference is the fact one story takes place in the USA and the other in England. While this seems to be a "yeah, so" there are cultural differences at work.
Both are really good stories about acceptance, families, and relationships as well as growth as a person.
Now, have you found/read Permanent Rose?
I have just finished reading Permanent Rose and I must admit that I'm a little disappointed with the ending.


I find myself asking, "This is absurd! How can McKay portray that Rose is not at all bothered about her father 'being sneaky' with Linda?" It would mean that Saffron is actually their step-sister and not just a cousin.

I didn't go through such an experience but I wouldn't it be tremendously shocking to find out that your former-cousin-now-adopted-sister is really your step-sister? (How crazy is that?) But instead, Rose was not at all bothered by it. She was more worried about visiting Tom.

So, please, can someone give me a proper explanation of Rose's behaviour that time? It'd be very settling for me. I just can't let the thought go.
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