I just finished Hilary McKay's Indigo Star. First, let me say, I never read Saffy's Angel, so I had no background about this amazing family. Can I just say, I LOVED THIS BOOK. It reminded me of the Penderwicks, only British. Each character was so lovingly drawn, with their own quirks and idiosyncracies, yet done in such a minimal way. An amazing, amazing book.
Here are descriptions I am paraphrasing from memory that I loved.
Rose - she has an endless painting on the wall of their kitchen, and only when she finally realizes her father is not returning from London does she finish it. She is definitely the strongest character in the book and the family anchor, the youngest as well at 8 years old.
Caddy - who starts bringing home "boyfriends" that are really more her mother's age though she truly loves Michael. She collects them like pets and leaves them sleeping around the house. (hoping her mother will like one?)
Sarah - the self-named wheelchair girl who is kick ass with bullies and always there.
Saffron- a true friend to Sarah, she helps find the tins of soup from Christmas when their mother, Eve, has forgotten to get food.
Eve - who at first just seems like a dotty artist, but really is suffering from depression, though it is done in such a light and loving way - she has a garden shed painting studio and has clogged up the kitchen sink with wads of oil point. When she grocery shops she often brings home only berries.
Tom - the boy from America who seeks heights to play his guitar (so he can see America?) and dreams of owning a black guitar from the local music shop. He is cool with the bullies even in the face of their tirades.
Indigo - the MC, though I question that since Rose was so strong, he is a back-down kind of guy, but in his very quiet way, helps Tom find his way back to his family in America. I love the last scene when they're looking at the stars from the roof of the school.
I love when I find authors who make me envious - make me say to myself, wow, if I could write like THAT! Just amazing. I love, love, love, love, loved it. Now I must get all of them!