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Saffy's Angel is a beautifully written, warm and richly comic book. Domestic novels about zany families are often merely unbelievable cartoon versions of reality, but McKay's are not like that. The Cassons could really exist, and somewhere they probably do. Mother and father are both Artists. Bill Casson is a weekend Dad, lurking Mondays to Fridays in an expensive London studio, while Mother hides in the garden shed, painting pictures that actually sell. Their joint benign ineptitude leaves their wonderful, colourful children (Cadmium, Saffron and Rose, girls of eighteen, thirteen and six, and Indigo, boy aged eleven) to bring themselves up. This currently means that Cadmium is taking catastrophic driving lessons with a dishy instructor, Indigo is scaring himself to death in training for Antarctic ordeals yet to come, and Rose is creating a wondrous Edible Art that would be a dead cert for the Turner Prize. The odd one out is Saffron, who five years earlier found out that the others were not her siblings but her cousins. Saffy is adopted, following her mother's death in a car crash. She has felt marginal ever since. The serious side of the story is the troubled thirteen-year-old Saffy's recovery of confident emotional membership of her madcap, loving family, a truthful, moving, comic, ultimately joyous journey of rediscovery. The writing is witty, the jokes are good, the events are hilarious, and the characters are vividly real. This is a novel to be grateful for.