Caddy Ever After -- Hilary McKay

I started this book with a bad, bad feeling in my stomach.  I mean, it's called Caddy Ever After -- it must be the last Casson book, right?  Each of the Casson children has their own book now, so it must be over.  Right?


I'm going to put everyone's fears to rest right now.  This CAN'T be the last one.  Leila has spoken.  If it is the last one, there are going to be loads of Hilary McKay fans frothing at the mouth.  It'll be ugly.  She wouldn't do that to us.  Right?  The Exiles series was wrapped up nicely, nary a cliffhanger in sight.  So there will be more.  If there's not at least another one, I'll cry.  (And yes.  Maybe do a little frothing.)

Caddy Ever After sports a different format than the other books.  Rose, Indigo, Saffy and Caddy each tell their own personal stories about the events leading up to Caddy's marriage to someone who is NOT darling Michael.

(For those of you who haven't read the Casson books, know this:  Just the IDEA of Caddy marrying someone other than darling Michael is well, wrong.  And if you haven't read them, you're missing out big time.   Start with Saffy's Angel, then move on to Indigo's Star and then Permanent Rose.  Sheesh!  What do you do with your time!?  Why haven't you read these yet??  I'm not kidding.  Moving on...)

I will admit that at first, the new format threw me a bit.  To write three books about the same family one way, and then to totally change things -- it'd be a bit like if JKR had decided to make Goblet of Fire an epistolary novel or something.  So it took me a little while to get settled -- especially because at first, I was just sitting there, staring at the pages, not really wanting to read because I was dreading the end so much.  (Not dreading the ending -- dreading The End.  You know what I mean.) 

I do think that Hilary McKay must have originally planned on writing a book about each character -- and she has, really -- but Rose really took over.  Regardless of the book's titular character, whenever she makes an appearance, she steals the scene.  (Which is fine by me.  I love Rose.  Then again, I love them all.)

A word of warning:  You MUST read the other books first.  It is technically possible to read the others as stand alones (they still should be read in order), but this one has too much background.  If you want to really enjoy and appreciate it, do it right.  Like, right now.