This book came out while I was teaching. How did I miss it? I'm very annoyed. Although I'm glad to know of its existence now. I have to thank Kate from Book Aunt for that. She listed the Cassons as one of her favorite literary families, ahead of the Murrys no less, when she handed out her Pistachio Awards last month. I was naturally intrigued. I understand now. The Cassons are awesome.
There are a lot of covers for this book but this is the one currently available in the U.S (although Hilary McKay's website says the Casson books are getting new covers for when the new one is released here).
Synopsis (from Hilary McKay's website):
Saffron is the adopted member of an eccentric and muddled artistic family where she has never felt quite at home. She has memories of a happier time when she had an angel of her own. This is the wonderfully rich and funny story of how Saffron and her angel are reunited - and how Saffron finally discovers where she belongs.
Could I live in the Casson house? Absolutely not. Could I enjoy an extended stay? Absolutely not. Would I enjoy an afternoon visit? Maybe. Visiting them through the pages of their story is my ideal. That way I am not literally experiencing the mess or chaos.
Saffy and the search for her angel are certainly the core of the book but the heart of the story is all the Casson children. Saffy is distant and temperamental but obviously loves her quirky siblings very much. Caddie, Indigo, and Rose are devoted to her and to each other. The way they understand each other and assist each other amid such chaos and despite their idiosyncrasies is heartwarming.
The senior Cassons on the other hand...If I read this as a child I might have found them to be just different, and kind of quirky, like the kids. As an adult I just want to find them a therapist. This made me feel even more attached to the kids. I want to bake them cookies and let them play at my house (provided they leave their rodents and paints at home-they probably wouldn't enjoy it here). Which I guess makes me Mrs Warbeck (a character in this book I found delightful and often misunderstood).
I am very much looking forward to reading the further adventures chronicled in the lives of the Casson siblings.