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Saffy's Angel (2001)

by Hilary McKay

Series: Casson Family (Book 1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9191917,698 (4.1)31
After learning that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron's relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes, until they help her go back to Italy where she was born to find a special momento of her past.
  1. 10
    The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall (foggidawn)
  2. 00
    Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan (kaledrina)
  3. 00
    Indigo's Star by Hilary McKay (latinlover)
    latinlover: Saffy's Angel is the book for all people that feel alone in this world. In the end, your heart will start shining.

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» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Really good! ( )
  AlizarinCrimson | Jan 7, 2021 |
September 11, 2010

Based on the covers of any of these editions you'd be forgiven for mistaking the title for "Sappy's Angel". They're all rather precious. The title itself was a bit off-putting for me: I was afraid it was going to being something cloyingly religious, with perhaps, a good lesson about character through suffering. Not hardly.

Thankfully, the book it most reminds me of is [b:The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy|266904|The Penderwicks A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (The Penderwicks #1)|Jeanne Birdsall|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320508900s/266904.jpg|2564478].* Both are stories about four siblings, with one old enough for crushes, and one quite young. Both have an old-fashioned episodic style, although the characters themselves are quite modern, secular, and eccentric. Both have loving but distracted parents who largely leave the kids up to their own devices because they have their own things to do. Both have intimidating rich women. Both are about the importance of family who are actually loving, if negligent in appearances.

This one has a herd of guinea pigs in lieu of Hound, and lots and lots of art as craft and career, which is interesting and in keeping with the overall bohemian feel. And I'm sure it doesn't tell you anything about me that the mother is a crappy cook.

*Saffy's Angel is several years the elder, but alas, I came to it later.

Library copy.

September 13, 2013

( )
  Kaethe | Oct 16, 2016 |
Hmm. 'Eccentric' isn't quite a strong enough word for this family. I think Rose is my favorite character, but the next (and perhaps only other) book I am looking forward to reading about these characters is Indigo's Star. For the right audience, this would be a perfect series. Beautifully & brilliantly written, the adventures of these almost feral children of artistic parents (erm, if they deserve that title...) would enchant a child who wants to live in a family less boring, or poor, or dysfunctional, or whatever... than their own. Literary & powerful, adults can enjoy this book (and, I'm guessing, the others) maybe even more than children... if they can get over being bothered by the benignly neglectful theory of child-rearing, with father in the city being a professional artist all week, and mother in the shed with her own paintings.

The bit about the trip to Wales with a brand-new driver was hilarious. I love that Rose took markers and a drawing pad and communicated w/ other drivers, asking for their patience as Caddy navigated the unfamiliar highway.

[Rose] was painting a vast desert landscape on the white wall of the landing.... [It] was the direct result of her father's telling her to start small and to stick to painting only what she knew."" ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this book and hoped to read the rest of the series in the future. In this book, Saffron, also known as Saffy, finds out she is adopted embarks on a journey to find herself and her place. It is full of humor and sibling bickering. This book touches on theme of the dynamics of a family. It can be used in the classroom to open discussions about what makes a family and the role of each person with in a family. ( )
  TiffanyA | Apr 21, 2016 |
In my opinion, Saffy’s Angel is a well-written book. This book follows the Casson family. The children are all named after paint colors, except for Saffron (Saffy), who “accidently” discovers that she was adopted. The book is a whirlwind of events that all lead up to Saffy finally starting to find who she is as a young lady and as a member of her family. The book is full of dialogue, which helps the reader build a mental image of each character and their individual personalities. An example is when the Casson children are talking about why Saffy needed to go to Italy.
“She had to go,” said Rose.
“It was because of her angel,” said Indigo.
“And because of Granddad,” added Caddy.
“And because of her nose stud.”
“And because her name isn’t on the color chart.”
“She’s lonely,” said Rose. “That’s why.”
Additionally, the book does a great job of using descriptive language. An example is when the author is describing Indigo, Saffy’s younger brother. “Indigo was a thin, dark-haired little boy with anxious indigo-colored eyes… Indigo was crouched on the hearth rug, sorting through the coal bucket… He looked like a small black devil in the shadowy room with the firelight behind him.” The book is sequential, without feeling too structured. In the beginning of the book, Saffy is eight years old and by the end of the novel, she is a teenager. The reader gets to “grow-up” with Saffy and her family and gets to see how their personalities mature and develop over the years. The characters in Saffy’ Angel are eccentric and whimsical, but constructed in a way that the reader can relate to. The characters come alive through the humorous dialogue and vivid descriptions. The big idea of this book is to introduce the reader to a young girl who is searching, striving, and yearning to find where she belongs in this world. It is an idea that many individuals can relate to, male or female and young or old.
  broger11 | Feb 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Casson Family (Book 1)
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When Saffron was eight, and had at last learned to read, she hunted slowly through the colour chart pinned up on the kitchen wall.
Saffy could tell by the feel of the darkness that Caddy was awake. (p. 7)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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After learning that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron's relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes, until they help her go back to Italy where she was born to find a special momento of her past.

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Average: (4.1)
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3 27
3.5 9
4 62
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