My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the second in the Casson Family series by Hilary McKay. It reads well as a standalone (an understatement, it reads perfectly and joyously and richly, like the best slice of cake at the best possible time on the best possible day) but treat yourself and read the others. It has been too long since I read these books and I have reserved them all at the library to wallow in on a rainy day. Or a sunny day. Any day, really, for these books are worth cancelling worlds for.
Indigo’s Star focuses on Indigo and his return to school after a long bout of illness. He is not keen to go back but go back he must and face the bullies who are there and seem centred on him. That is, until a new boy arrives to join Indigo’s class and Tom, as the blurb on the back says, “will make all the difference.” Alongside this plot, we have Rose being vividly gorgeous and writing letters to make her dad come home: “Darling Daddy. This is Rose. The shed needs new wires now it has blown up. Caddy is bringing home rock bottom boyfriends to see if they will do for Mummy. Instead of you. Love Rose.”
I love what Hilary McKay does. Sometimes I think through reading so much and simply having so much to choose from, we can miss the great perfect things that are here for us and just aching to be read. Reading McKay is like therapy. This book is full of a tumultuous joy. She captures family quite perfectly; the layering of relationships, the mixture of love and hate and awkwardness and pain and secrets that is family and she does it quite perfectly.
This book (and, to be fair, all of her books) are joyful, joyful things. Indigo’s Star shifts from hilarity through to intense vivid pain and right back again and oh God, how you miss it when it’s done.