wayfarers all

children's literature, childhood and culture (and anything else that strikes my fancy).

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Location: pittsburgh, U.S. Outlying Islands

carbon-based life form: thinking, reading and gardening. New College alum; current grad student writing a dissertation. I specialize in children's literature, media, and culture, and queer/gender studies, with a strong interest in 19th century British literature and culture. I like history, a lot.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

i love hilary mckay

last week i was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of hilary mckay's next casson family book, permanent rose. i read it the way i read all of mckay's books - in one sitting, quickly, getting thoroughly absorbed in her characters and plot and style.
hilary mckay, for those who don't know, is one of the best writers i've ever read. she's wonderful - witty and true and symapthetic and manages to craft the most interesting, believable characters. though her families and characters tend toward the unconventional or downright odd, they are still completely believable and real. her exiles books are marvellous, though i've yet to get my hands on the first (the exiles). because i'm a student, i don't have much money and for some reason i have yet to comprehend, i'm stingy with buying books for myself. i've gotten better about this in recent months, but it's still a rare treat to actually buy new books (used is another story altogether). mckay is english, and the exiles books seem a bit tricky to get here in the states (at least where i've looked). and then online is pricier because of shipping. but the two other exiles books - the exiles at home and the exiles in love are both phenomenal.

as are the casson family books - saffy's angel, indigo's star and now permanent rose.

permanent rose picks up more or less where indigo's star left off, following the story of rose's relationship with american tom, now that he's returned to the states. rose is an exquisite character, deep and bratty and intelligent and creative and stubborn, and i love that this book delves more deeply into her character. one of my major - or only - criticisms of the casson books has been bill, the family's absentee-artist father. permanent rose tackles bill more thoroughly and seriously, and resolves many of the issues i had with him.
aside from all the wonderfully mckayish stylistic choices, i think what i loved best about this book is the depth and realness and consideration it gives to rose (who is nine) around her love for tom. mckay's books always take their child/teenager protagonists seriously without feeling heavyhanded or didactic, and i cannot praise this enough.
i will most certainly be re-reading permanent rose (and probably saffy's angel and indigo's star) in the next few weeks. they're just that good.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

u r so wet! i know shes good, but ur acting like shes a godess or somthing! wet-pants!!!!!!

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous you are so rude

3:56 AM  

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