Those of you who have read Hilary McKay’s earlier books, among which are The Exiles, Dog Friday, and Dolphin Luck, will happily welcome her new story, Saffy’s Angel. Whether you have read her work or not, you have a special treat in store in Saffy’s Angel.
You’ll meet the four Casson children, whose mother, Eve, a fine-arts painter, has given them the names of paint colors. Cadmium, called Caddy, is the eldest; then comes Saffron, known as Saffy; Indigo, the only boy; and Rose, the youngest. When Saffy discovers quite by accident that she has been adopted, she is deeply upset, though the others assure her it makes no difference at all. Saffy is the daughter of Eve’s twin sister, who lived in Siena, Italy, and died in a car crash. Grandad brought Saffy, as a very small child, back from Siena. …[more]
The Conroys are no ordinary family. For a start, they don't have a television. Nor are they allowed to keep pets. And Mr and Mrs Conroy never take their daughters - Ruth, Naomi, Rachel and Phoebe—on holiday. But then Mr and Mrs Conroy inherit GBP5000, and, to their daughters' dismay, decide to spend it redecorating the house over the summer. So the girls are packed off to Big Grandma's house for the holidays, where lots of chores and horribly long walks await them. At first, it seems as though Big Grandma is determined to put a stop to any fun. But, being Conroys, the girls soon find novel ways to entertain themselves, and start having as many adventures and mishaps as usual...and after a while, even Big Grandma doesn't seem so bad...
Indigo, having just recovered from a bout of mononucleosis, must return to school after missing an entire semester. Only his younger sister and loyal
sidekick, Rose, knows why he’s dreading it so much. As it turns out, the school
bullies are eagerly awaiting Indigo’s return so that they can pick up where they left off—flushing his head in the toilet. But Indigo hasn’t counted on meeting Tom, an American student who is staying with his grandmother in England for the year. With his couldn’t-care-less attitude and rock-and-roll lifestyle, Tom becomes Indigo’s ally, and together they work to take back the school.
Meanwhile, eight-year-old Rose is desperately trying to avoid wearing horrible glasses, nineteen-year-old Caddy is agonizing over her many suitors, Saffy is working overtime with her best friend, Sarah, to protect Indigo from the gang, and with their father, Bill, in London at his art studio, their mother, Eve, is just trying to stay on top of it all!
As usual, things are a bit chaotic. Eldest daughter Caddy is now engaged to darling Michael, and she’s not altogether sure she likes it. Saffy and Sarah are on a mission to find Saffy’s biological father (while cultivating hearts of stone). Indigo is cautiously beginning a friendship with a reformed bully, who desperately wants to feel like part of the Casson family. Rose, while missing Tom (who none of them have heard from) dreadfully, enters into a life of petty crime, shoplifting small items until her misadventures nearly bring disaster. An accidental trip to London and a visit with Rose’s father lead to a startling revelation, but through it all Rose’s single-minded determination to find Tom remains as fierce as it is hopeless. Or is it?
Hilary McKay has painted the fond mayhem of this delightful family with such humor, warmth, and authenticity that readers will fall in love with them all over again. Once you’ve visited the Casson household, you may never want to leave.
“Some dolphin luck would be very useful,” said Beany.
It’s a wet, cold, and miserable Christmas. Mrs. Robinson is ill and so is Old Blanket, the Robinsons’ beloved dog. Following the doctor’s orders, Mr. Robinson takes Mrs. Robinson off to recuperate in a warmer climate, leaving Beany and Sun Dance, their two younger children, in the capable care of Mrs. Brogan, who with her son, Robin, lives in the other half of Porridge Hall, an old seaside mansion. The twins, Ant and Perry, are shipped off to Great Aunt Mabel. To Beany and Sun Dance, it seems as though things can’t get any worse.
Sun Dance settles down to capture any burglar who may attempt to rob their house, and Beany determines to find an ancient sword, with a hilt in the shape of a dolphin, that is supposed to bring luck and grant wishes. Meanwhile, Ant and Perry find their…[more]