MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Saffy's Angel

by Hilary McKay

Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay X
Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2002, 160 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2003, 160 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt



Their grandfather was in the kitchen when the children arrived home the next day. This pleased everyone. They all loved him, lately with a sort of fierce defiance, very like the way they had loved Rose years earlier, when she was so frighteningly impermanent. They hurried to include him in their lives. Rose brought him the Banana House picture to look at, and he sat holding it in his thin hands for a long time before laying it on the table. Caddy told him about her driving lessons. A few months ago her father had arrived from London, inspected her exam results (appalling), and announced that it was about time Caddy learned to work. He had then enrolled her to take over everything she had failed, and arranged a course of driving lessons for her.

Caddy told her grandfather how good she was at emergency stops and how bad she was at everything else, especially reversing, which she called going backward.

Her grandfather looked as if he was listening.

"Feel that!" said Indigo, pulling up his sweatshirt sleeve and putting his grandfather's hand on his almost visible biceps, and his grandfather appeared to feel it. Indigo was very pleased and went to find the picture of the ice ax he was saving up to buy.

"I want one too," said Rose.

"When you are older," said Indigo kindly.

Saffron did not bring anything to show her grandfather, or talk to him, or explain pictures of ice axes in catalogs. She just sat beside him. Saffron, who had grown up to be so fierce and alone, was always gentle with her grandfather.

Eventually Caddy kissed him good-bye and left for her driving lesson, with a hamster in her pocket for comfort. Eve came in from her shed at the end of the garden and tried to send Rose to bed.

"Without any supper?" asked Rose, and Eve said, "Food, food, I forgot about food!"

Indigo (who by necessity was growing into a very brave cook) said, "I am making fried corned beef sandwiches for everyone," and then the evening became very noisy and smoky. Indigo cut his finger on the corned beef can, and Rose had to bandage it because Caddy was out and Saffron wouldn't and Eve could not bear the sight of blood. After that there was a quarrel about who would eat bled-on sandwiches (Rose and Indigo) and who would rather starve (Saffron).

During the quarrel Eve suddenly said, "Grandad's tired!"

Saffron looked at him then and saw how terribly faded he had become. He looked narrow and lost. All at once she began to cry. She put her arms around her grandfather and cried and cried, and Eve said, "Come on, Saffy. Let's take him home."


Caddy's driving instructor was called Michael. He had been a wonderful surprise to Caddy the first time she met him. She had been expecting someone gray haired and short tempered and not at all nice. All her friends' driving instructors were like that.

Michael said to Caddy, "Now Cadmium, we are coming up to a crossroads. I should like you to take the turn on the right."

"Right," said Caddy happily, very pleased to be out with Michael again. "I'll remember!"

"You should be slowing down. Look in your mirror."

Caddy looked and said, "I don't like this lipstick."

"You don't need lipstick," said Michael, who always found it very difficult to keep up a professional detachment where Caddy was concerned. "You...turn signal! Turn signal!"

"Too pink," said Caddy.

"TURN RIGHT, CADMIUM, PLEASE!"

"But it was free. It came through the mail. A little tiny one. So I thought I'd try it -- "

"I said right! Crikey! Pull up and park immediately, please, Caddy. Please, Caddy!"

" -- on you," said Caddy, parking very neatly in an entrance marked KEEP CLEAR AT ALL TIMES. "What's the matter? Are you all right?"

Caddy had driving lessons twice a week. She had had dozens. After every lesson Michael had to drive off and find somewhere quiet so he could rest his head on the steering wheel and try to relax. He didn't know why he put up with it, and yet every week he found himself coming back for more.

Copyright © 2001 by Hilary McKay

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Bear
    The Bear
    by Andrew Krivak
    The Bear feels like a novel I've been awaiting for years. I received the book and its message with ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Island of Sea Women
    by Lisa See
    Lisa See's latest novel, The Island of Sea Women, follows the lives of Mi-ja and Young-sook, two ...
  • Book Jacket: Race Against Time
    Race Against Time
    by Jerry Mitchell
    Jerry Mitchell spent nearly three decades trailing cold cases from the Civil Rights Movement. As a ...
  • Book Jacket: The Resisters
    The Resisters
    by Gish Jen
    Gish Jen's The Resisters depicts a future United States, dubbed AutoAmerica, where climate change ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    I Want You to Know We're Still Here
    by Esther Safran Foer

    "A vivid testimony to the power of memory."
    - Kirkus (starred review)
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Mountains Sing
    by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

    An enveloping, multigenerational tale set against the backdrop of the Viet Nam War.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Things They Carried
by Tim O'Brien

The classic, ground-breaking meditation on war and the redemptive power of storytelling.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Mostly Dead Things

Mostly Dead Things
by Kristen Arnett

"Hilarious, deeply morbid, and full of heart."
- BuzzFeed

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Die I C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.