16 May 2011

Book of the Week (100): "Caddy's World" by Hilary McKay

If you’ve read the rest of Hilary McKay’s Casson Family books, you won’t need my encouragement to read Caddy’s World. Just the knowledge that there’s another one in existence and you’ll be utterly desperate to get your hands on a copy, longing to throw your arms around these characters you’ve so missed. Caddy, Saffy, Indigo and their slightly delinquent parents…

(But wait – you’re wondering – what about Rose?)

In Caddy’s World we go back to a time when the Cassons had only three children – the eldest, Caddy, is just twelve. She has three best friends (perfect Beth, brainy Ruby, and Alison who hates everybody), a sort of boyfriend, Dingbat (whom she shares with the other three) and worries about the stability of her mad family’s mad household, where things seem to keep being upturned just as she’s managed to get her bearings. And then her mother tells her there’s a baby on the way…

You may, like me, worry slightly when a book like this appears – the others in the series are so gorgeous, what if this one doesn’t live up to your expectations? Well, you needn’t fret. Everything you loved about Saffy’s World, Indigo’s Star, Permanent Rose, Caddy Ever After and Forever Rose is here in this book, too, in abundance – a lot of laughs, warmth and mischief, characters with more character than any family of children I think I’ve ever read about, a lightness of touch and, well, so many other things. It’s quite hard to talk about, really – quite hard to describe what it is that makes the Casson Family series so special. But as I say, if you’ve met them already you don’t need me to tell you. So, I’ll just say, Have a wonderful time. Caddy’s World awaits.

(If you haven’t read these books, what on earth are you waiting for? You won’t find a more endearing, eccentric, maddening and marvellously warm family in any other book, by anyone, ever. High claim? I don’t think so. But find out for yourself. Start from the beginning, and go read Saffy’s Angel now. Just do what you’re told. You’ll be so glad you did.)

Recommended by Daniel Hahn

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