Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Saffy's Angel (Casson Family, #1)” as Want to Read:
Saffy's Angel (Casson Family, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Saffy's Angel (Casson Family #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  2,965 ratings  ·  317 reviews
Saffron's two sisters, Cadmium and Rose, and her brother Indigo were all named from a color chart by their mother Eve, a fine-arts painter. When Saffron, known as Saffy, discovers that her name is not on the chart, it soon leads to another discovery. She has been adopted.

Life in the Banana House, as their home is called, is never dull. Caddy, the eldest, is taking driving
...more
Paperback, 215 pages
Published June 13th 2002 by Hodder Children's Books (first published January 1st 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Saffy's Angel, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Saffy's Angel

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick NessHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingNoughts & Crosses by Malorie BlackmanHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Best #UKYA Books
225th out of 408 books — 293 voters
Beyond Bridalveil Fall by Sheryl SealAgainst The Tide by John F. HanleyBeyond Oria Falls by Sheryl SealDreams Come True by Bridgitte LesleyThe Jupiter Chronicles by Leonardo Ramirez
Best Books About Family Relationships
186th out of 330 books — 253 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Beth
Saffy's Angel is poignant and hilarious, and very, very British, and absolutely fabulous. I don't quite know how to recap it without ruining the constant surprise of the humor, but why don't you meet the characters?

Here's Rose:
Rose was still awake, late though it was. She was painting a desert landscape on the white wall of the landing. She had got rid of her father very successfully when he telephoned. Saffron had hardly been mentioned; the discussion had been all about art. The desert landsca
...more
Sherwood Smith
A LiveJournal friend introduced me to the novels of Hilary McKay. They are not fantasies or science fiction, and yet one of their attractions is that peculiar timelessness of certain types of family novels that center around kids, as written by English authors. Well, no, a few Americans have done them, though not many as far as I know. Elizabeth Enright being one. But anyway, they remind me of Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle and Antonia Forest's Marlows (note just how much used copies go for! ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Saffy's Angel starts off a bit harrowing as the author drives you immediately into the world of a family afflicted with artism and associated dysfunctions. Fortunately, that first scene includes a walk-on by a woman who can be used to represent your every-day sensibilities and if you let her carry your own quibbles and expectations as she leaves, you'll be just fine. If you can't do this, there's no way to enjoy the book so you'd best stop there.

Fortunately for those of us not tied too tightly t
...more
Julie
Delightful! A touch of "everything old is new again" here. As comforting and nostalgic as warm rice pudding. The narrator's tone and the characters' language made me often feel I was reading the sort of books I read as a child (translation: books at least 25+ years old). And yet, convincingly contemporary, in particular with wry humor and unidealized characters. The author's affection for all her characters, much as she laughs at them, is one of the book's principal charms. I'm in search of the ...more
Rachel Brown
Lovely British children's book about a family of eccentrics. The mom is an absent-minded painter who named her children after paint colors, the hilariously insensitive father is nearly entirely absent, and the four kids are up to assorted hijinks involving keeping hamsters in pockets, stowing away to Italy, and searching for Saffron's inheritance, a missing stone angel.

A plot description doesn't do it justice. McKay is one of those writers (mostly British, in my experience) who writes short, see
...more
Elizabeth
Sep 28, 2009 Elizabeth added it
Recommends it for: anyone
I just LOVE Hilary McKay. I have read Saffy's Angel several times now and it STILL makes me laugh out loud again and again--even when I know what's coming.

The scene where the Casson kids drive to Wales--that's just got to be the funniest scene in a hundred years of writing for children. It's just genius. I also found myself really enjoying the excavation of the house.

I say again: If more contemporary children's writers wrote like THIS, I would not be so bitter and twisted. I wish I wrote like th
...more
Sara
May 26, 2012 Sara added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Sara by: Elizabeth
I wrote a critical essay for school on this, and it was labelled (by the teacher who hasn't read it) as "girly teen fiction", because it is not about war or best friends killing each other (although there are deaths, and best friends). Fiction? Yes. Teen? Maybe, although there is a massive variety of ages that enjoy this book. Girly? No. My brother enjoys this book. He doesn't like reading, but still he is working on getting through the rest of the series.
Maybe people on Goodreads will apprciate
...more
Katie
This was CHARMING. It reminded me of the older children's books I read as a kid. I laughed my way through the last few chapters and the ending was WONDERFUL.

(view spoiler)
Brandy Painter
Review originally poster here.

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. C
...more
Shelley
Meet the Cassons—Saffy’s very eccentric, tight-knit family that includes an older sister who can’t drive a lick despite 99 lessons from a cute instructor; a brother who tries to overcome his many fears through unconventional means; a baby sister who is a small force to be reckoned with; a distant dad who spends most of the time working in his London studio; and a ditzy mom who works on her art in a shed at the family’s home outside the city. All of the Casson children—Cadmium, Indigo, and Rose—a ...more
Alison
If you haven't met Hilary McKay's enchanting Casson family, then make sure you remedy this omission! Their parents are painters- Bill, their father is a successful and acclaimed artist, living and working in London; Eve, their mother, make ends meet by painting popular subjects and teaching art classes. The children- Caddy, Indigo, Saffron and Rose- get by as best they can in their loving but slightly chaotic home.

Saffron is the focus of this book. She discovers at the age of 8 that she is the a
...more
Merrie Haskell
I'm really amazed that there's something out there that captures the spirit of Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle plus all those interlaced family novels I read as a kid (though I'm blanking on any titles, but I guess somewhere between All of a Kind Family and Little Women), and doesn't sacrifice the modern world. There are mobile phones! It's not trapped in some ridiculous past masquerading as the present--it is thoroughly the present. But it has a pleasant sensibility of another time.

The Casso
...more
Susan
A friend recommend Saffy's Angel to my youngest daughter, who read it, enjoyed it, and then recommended it to me. I liked it a lot as well. It tells about Saffron, whose siblings (Rose, Cadmium, and Indigo) were all named after paints on the color chart (their parents are artists). Saffy discovers that her name isn't on the chart, and sure enough -- she's adopted. She ends up on an adventurous journey looking for an elusive angel figurine that her beloved grandfather left her in his will.

I won't
...more
Frankie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linnea
genre: realistic fiction - series

summary: The Cassion family is unique. They are all artistic in their own way and tend to things that no normal family would do. Eve, the mother, spends most of her time painting in a shed in the yard. Caddy, the teenage daughter, raises guinea pigs in the yard and hamsters in the house, Indigo, the son, spends a lot of time hanging out of the upstairs window trying to conquer his fear of heights, baby Rose sucks on tubes of paint, Bill, the father, is a professi
...more
Melody
I fell in love with Saffy's delightful, goofy family. I hope there are more books about them. It's a book positively infused with gentleness, a bemused goodwill, and love. So much love on every page. No surprises, no tears. I left it in the observation car on the train and was happy to see a young girl engrossed in it the very next day. A sheer delight.
Susan
Cadmium Gold, Indigo, Saffron, and Permanent Rose are the unconventional children of unconventional artist parents. But then Saffron discovers her name isn't on the list of paint colors like the other kids. How does she fit into this family anyway? And will Caddy learn to drive, Indigo become a polar explorer and Rose finish her mural?
Emily
What a perfectly delightful book. I'm totally hooked on the Casson family now and so glad to see there are more books about them! I laughed so hard while I read this-the characters are irresistible. Reading about this sweet, eccentric English family was a real treat.
Patti
What a clever, whimsical and amusing story. The characters in this story are so memorable that I just wanted more, more, more. Thank goodness for sequels!
Claire Scott
Ohhhh. That was far less sweet, and far more wonderful, than I was expecting. How did it take me so long to finally read this?
Izzi47
so far this book has been very interseting and upsetting for poor saffy i hope she finds her stone angel
izzi47
Kaethe
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 The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy.* Both are stories about four siblings, w
...more
Amy
The Casson children - Cadmium, Saffron, Indigo, and Rose - are each named after a color, thanks to their artist parents. But one day Saffron is looking at the color wheel in their kitchen, and can't find her name. After this first indication that she may be different from her siblings (whose names all appear on the color wheel), Saffron learns that she was actually adopted after her mother died in a car crash. Still, they all share the same grandfather, since Saffron's mother and Eve Casson were ...more
Robin
I borrowed this book from the library ages ago; it was so good that I ended up borrowing it again when I missed reading it. In the end I went and bought it (finally).

So what’s good about this book anyway? It was really hilarious. Really. I had to control myself from laughing out loud during the bus ride home from the library, otherwise people would think I’m weird (weirder I mean). The Cassons were a most interesting and unusual family you’ll ever meet. The children are all named after paint col
...more
Loryn
Saffron (Saffy) Casson is part of a unique artistic family; there is her older sister Caddy (short for Cadmium), her older brother Indigo, and her younger sister Rose. One day, after eight-year-old Saffy searches and searches for her name on the color chart like her brother and sisters, Saffy learns the truth about how she came to live in the Banana House in England. Fast forward a few years and meet the now older tween Saffy who is struggling to fit in with her adoptive family and fighting the ...more
Ann Carpenter
I listened to the audio version, and, boy, do I love the narrator!

This was my second time with this book, and while I remembered how funny it was, I'd forgotten how just generally well-written it is. There is a lot of show-don't-tell in regards to character development. While we are given a general description of each character's traits, it is far more through their dialogue and actions that their individual characteristics come through. With so many characters - four Casson children, their par
...more
Margaret
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miz Lizzie
First book in Casson Family series. Life is full of creative chaos in the Casson clan. Parents Bill and Eve are both artists though Bill maintains a professional studio in London and Eve makes do with the garden shed. They have named their four children, Cadmium, Saffron, Indigo, and Rose, after colors in the color chart. At least that’s what all the children believe until Saffron discovers that her name is not included on the color chart pinned up on the kitchen wall. The story of her adoption ...more
Taralen
Nov 02, 2010 Taralen rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children younger than 12
Oh man I'm going to get a lot of people disagreeing with me on this but this is by far one of the most daunting books I've ever read.
I was once into it when I was much younger but I was never compelled to finish until I became older.
This story had undeniable potential. The concept was well thought-out but the execution was lackluster.
Let's start with Saffy, the main character.
Oh mon dieu, is she an annoying character. Bratty, whiny, and just completely infuriating. The only pity I held for her w
...more
Mari - loves to read
Saffy's Angel is the first book in a series of five books about the Casson family. Our main character is 12 year old Saffron, or Saffy as she's called on a daily basis. We also meet Saffy's family. her mother and father and her three siblings. Saffy's mother, Eve, spends most of her days in the shed, painting, and the father, Bill, spends his week in his studio in London. The four Casson children mostly cares for themselves, being a painter doesn't leave much time to raise children(it's not that ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Saffy's Angel movie? what would that be a good idea? 5 21 Nov 24, 2013 04:02PM  
  • Millicent Min, Girl Genius
  • The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (The Penderwicks, #2)
  • Ordinary Jack (The Bagthorpe Saga, #1)
  • Emma Jean Lazarus Fell in Love
  • Here Today
  • Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-you Notes
  • Operation Yes
  • The Great Good Thing (The Sylvie Cycle, #1)
  • Losing the Plot (Angels Unlimited, #2)
  • The Trolls
  • Project Mulberry
  • Millions
  • Peace, Locomotion
  • Well Witched
  • Rodzina
  • A Greyhound of a Girl
  • Invisible Inkling
  • All Alone in the Universe
Hilary McKay was born in Boston, Lincolnshire and is the eldest of four girls. From a very early age she read voraciously and grew up in a household of readers. Hilary says of herself as a child "I anaesthetised myself against the big bad world with large doses of literature. The local library was as familiar to me as my own home."

After reading Botany and Zoology at St. Andrew's University Hilary
...more
More about Hilary McKay...
Indigo's Star (Casson Family, #2) Permanent Rose (Casson Family, #3) Caddy Ever After (Casson Family, #4) Forever Rose (Casson Family, #5) The Exiles (The Exiles, #1)

Share This Book

“Don't call me darling. I'm a driving instructor!” 47 likes
“I can only drive slowly."
"That's all right."
"And I can only do left turns."
Rose ran downstairs, grabbed a road atlas, and ran triumphantly back up again. "Wales is left! Look! It's left all the way!”
19 likes
More quotes…