I don't like the cover
As soon as I’d finished this book I started reading it again; that’s how much I love Hilary McKay. Caddy’s World is a prequel to Saffy’s Angel and I usually dislike that sort of thing. In this case though, a new Casson book is a bonus.
In Caddy’s World we go back in time to when Caddy was twelve and had three best friends. A lot of the story is about Caddy’s insecurities, her desire for everything to stay the same ‘forever and ever’: ‘Caddy’s home was like a world which, from time to time, a genii from a bedtime story picked up in his hand and spun upon his finger.’ Poor Caddy; the genii features often in this book. Bill (dad) is already spending most of his time in London, swooping home occasionally to try and organize his exasperating family. Eve (mum) is completely hopeless at organizing anything. Then she disappears in the middle of the night, Bill is home all the time and there’s a baby in a special care unit at the hospital. The worry of this is very moving and had me sniffing in a few places but somehow it’s all funny as well, and life-enhancing, like the other books. An awful lot is packed in; as well as ‘the firework baby’ we get the stories of Caddy’s friends ‘AlisonRubyandBeth’ and of course plenty about Indigo, Saffy and Daddy.
I’m always more sympathetic towards Bill than perhaps I’m supposed to be. I put this down to having always pictured him looking like Bill Nighy, who would convey his mixture of love and despair very well, I think. I also get irritated by Eve, lovely though she is, for not taking better care of her children. These books are written in a deceptively simple style which is brilliant at conveying nuances. Poor Hilary McKay, she’s probably tired of the Cassons, but I can never have enough of them.
Reading order for beginners:
Caddy Ever After