When I was a kid, I read Saffy’s Angel, not knowing that it was the first book in a series. So when I discovered the rest of the series a couple months ago, I promptly checked them all out from the library and consumed them over the course of a few days. The Casson family series is comfort food in book form. This British family is delightfully silly and sweet, and despite their individual problems, they are each lovable in their own ways (with one possible exception…). I’m not going to review each individual book, since they’re all so short (and because there is a prequel that I have not yet been able to get my hands on!). Instead I’ll provide an overview of the Casson family, which beyond any plot or events that may happen is the real focus of these books.
- Cadmium, called Caddy, is the oldest of the family. She’s a bit scatterbrained and can’t seem to stay focused on one thing, but she is the loving older sister (who just happens to let her hamsters and guinea pigs run wild through the house and yard).
- Saffron, or Saffy, is the next oldest. She is sarcastic and fiercely protective of her crazy family. She and her friend Sarah take care of business, whether Saffy’s siblings want them to or not.
- Indigo is the third child and the only boy. He is quiet and introspective, and he loves reading and music.
- Rose is the baby of the family. She is artistic like her parents (although she tends to use unusual mediums and canvases for her work), and she is strong willed in a way that many readers dislike, but I don’t mind at all. Rose tends to cause trouble, so thank goodness her older siblings are willing to go to bat for her.
- Eve is the mother. She is an artist who tends to be scatterbrained and sometimes lives in her painting shed for days on end. Despite her shortcomings and her utter lack of cooking ability, her children love her dearly.
- Bill is the father, and he is the one character in these books who comes off as absolutely terrible. Bill is disdainful of his wife, her inability to cook or keep the house in order, his children’s escapades, and especially Eve’s art, which he deems “not exactly art” as compared with his own Art that he paints in London. Bill has basically deserted his family, only coming back on the weekends (and later in the books, not at all) and always being glad when he can leave his messy, crazy family. Later on in the series, some even more questionable information about Bill is revealed, and I think he is forgiven far too easily. What a jerk!
If you can get past Bill’s bad, irritating behavior, I think you’ll find a lot to love about this series and the family that populates it. Great for a rainy afternoon, a sick day, or anytime you want some sweet, comforting, slightly quirky characters to keep you company.
Rating: Re-read Worthy