Saffy’s Angel

Saffy’s Angel
by Hilary McKay

Overall: 3 out of 5 stars

This book came very highly recommended by a friend which makes it hard not to give it more stars.  I liked it eventually… I just didn’t love it.  The four Casson children just didn’t grab me.  The oldest one, Caddy, especially, I found unbelievable and irritating.  I felt as though McKay had taken the artist caricature one step too far with Caddy and her mother both, and even the other siblings Rose and Indigo.  I also had a lot of trouble placing the novel in time, partly because of these flighty, vague British characters.  They would talk as though they were straight out of a nineteenth-century novel, but then mention the refrigerator and email and it was all very jarring.  There were a few plot points that made fantastical leaps but perhaps younger readers would be able to make it work.  The overall story was quite sweet, if a bit simple, but again, younger readers would probably really be satisfied by the ending.  I did really enjoy the way that handicaps were addressed – via a neighbor girl who uses wheelchair, who becomes Saffy’s best friend and who is quite possibly the most likeable character in the book.

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