Permanent Rose by Hilary McKay

I absolutely adored Saffy’s Angel, and really liked Indigo’s Star. While I certainly didn’t dislike Permanent Rose, on a first reading I’d rate it below its prequels (though considerably above the other McKays I’ve read).

I think my problem wasn’t so much with the story itself, as with the fact that it seemed to undercut the earlier books. Maybe I should re-read Saffy’s Angel before saying this, but I strongly suspect that the revelations about Saffy’s background in Permanent Rose had not actually been invented when she wrote Saffy’s Angel. Also, I was unhappy about the way Derek had completely and utterly disappeared off the scene since the end of Indigo’s Star. And the Caddy/Michael relationship was a lot less fun than in the earlier books. In fact, the book as a whole seemed rather darker, and less funny.

Permanent Rose may grow on me – I know I liked Indigo’s Star a lot more the second time I read it – but I don’t think there’s any danger of it displacing Saffy’s Angel as my favourite in the series.

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