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SAFFY’S ANGEL by Hilary McKay


by Hilary McKay

Age Range: 9 - 13

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-84933-8
Publisher: McElderry

When Saffron is eight, she finds out that she was adopted at age three, after her mother—her adoptive mother’s sister—died in a car accident in Italy. For the next five years, she feels isolated despite her loving, sympathetic mother and siblings. Now 13, she learns that she has inherited a stone angel from her beloved grandfather and, since no one knows where it is, resolves to find it. With the help of her new friend Sarah and Sarah’s parents, Saffron travels to Italy to seek her angel and returns more content. Although the focus is on Saffron’s inner and outer journeys, the most vivid character turns out to be, not Saffron, but Rose, her shrewd, determined younger sister. Some very funny scenes revolve around Rose and her singular approach to life. Humor also springs from the eccentricities of the other family members, each of whom doggedly pursues interests, from painting to preparing for future polar expeditions. The secondary characters of Sarah and her parents stand out as unpredictable and engaging, making the trip to Italy the high point of the story. While not as distinctive as The Exiles and Dog Friday, this is nevertheless an enjoyable outing characterized by a spirit of warmth and humor. (Fiction. 9-13)