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Permanent Rose

Review

Permanent Rose

PERMANENT ROSE follows more adventures of the deliciously bizarre Casson family. This sequel to SAFFY'S ANGEL (which won the prestigious Whitbread Award, among other honors) and INDIGO'S STAR focuses on eight-year-old Rose, who is yearning for her friend Tom. Tom went back to America ages ago, and no one has heard from him since. Rose, in her grief, has turned to shoplifting. Her brother Indigo, hoping to distract her, reads her bits of King Arthur and Sir Lancelot tales. At first Rose dislikes the stories with their old ornate words, but she soon identifies with the friendship theme and longs for a quest of her own.

Other characters' tales are interwoven into Rose's story. Cousin Saffy, who has always lived with the Cassons, decides she must find her true father. Her friend Sarah helps her search.

Rose's sister Caddy doesn't seem at all positive that she should keep Michael's engagement ring. Rose is horrified at the thought of Caddy's engagement ending. She adores Michael, who brings her a rose every morning. If Caddy returns his ring, Michael is sure to leave, which would break Rose's heart. She's had enough friends leave. Rose decides to make sure that the engagement ring is not available to be returned.

A boy named David has somehow insinuated himself into the Casson family. He adores Rose, but she can't forgive him for the way he once bullied Indigo. Poor fat lumpy David falls into a guinea pig hutch when he glimpses Saffy sunbathing nude. He knows he's totally hopeless...but gradually, tenderly, life changes for him.

A mystery nags the family (and the reader) regarding Saffy's father: Why are there no pictures of him? Why doesn't Saffy's Aunt Eve know anything about him?

This is a story full of humor, quests, and enduring friendships, topped off with an unexpected hero who steps forward when he's most needed. The characters are quirky and lovable, the plot moves quickly and unpredictably, and the writing is completely engaging. Delightful PERMANENT ROSE is a must-read!

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on November 28, 2006

Permanent Rose
by Hilary McKay

  • Publication Date: November 28, 2006
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • ISBN-10: 1416928049
  • ISBN-13: 9781416928041