The Compulsive Reader: How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Shipped off to England from her Manhattan home by her father and his brand new wife, who is most certainly the spawn of the devil, Daisy isn't sure what to expect of her aunt and cousins, with whom she'll be staying with indefinitely. She is surprised to find that her cousins Osbert, Isaac, Edmond and Piper live a mostly independent life while her aunt works long hours, and feels a special connection with her Edmond, who is her own age.

But then the war comes, and Daisy's aunt is stuck in another town, far away from them. They must learn to survive on their own. It all seems surreal as they live nestled in the country, away from rules or adults or expectations. Daisy and Edmond fall in love, despite what others may think. But it is all destroyed when the soldiers come. Daisy and Piper are sent away, and the cousins' separation is almost more than anyone can bear. Although torn apart, they must find away to come together.

How I Live Now is a remarkable novel of survival, loss, pain, love and hope. The story is told from Daisy's sharp and sarcastic perspective ("I don't get nearly enough credit in life for the things I manage not to say," she says on page seventy-seven), and as her narrative progresses we come to find that although strong in her own way, she also has a vulnerable side. The book takes a momentary foray towards more spiritual ground when Daisy insists that she can communicate with Edmond at certain times even though they are miles apart. But besides that, the book is full of thought provoking ponderings, human observations, and musings on true love that will leave the reader with much to think about. The story focuses less on the actual war that is being waged around characters, and more on their individual struggles for survival, which give it a more philosophical air that is intriguing, but some readers may feel the urge to know more about the politics of the unknown war. How I Live Now, while heart breaking, through its strange style, conveys a sense hope and unconditional faith, and is a powerful reminder of the strength of love.


Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

I loved this book when I read it, and have enjoyed Rosoff's other books (Just In Case more so then What I Was)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

great reviw. very interesting...i think i might like this.


Mari said...

This book sounds really interesting.
Thanks for the review.

Rachael Stein said...

i remember seeing this at Target and thinking it looked interesting. now i'm definitely convinced!

Lenore Appelhans said...

I reviewed this too, but didn't like it quite as much as you (the ending really bothered me):


Anonymous said...

oh thank God i stumbled on this entry!
i have another book which i think is part of this seris and i tried to read it but then thought maybe it's another british book that i'll never understand the jokes they tell or something..i got enough of that from harry potter!
thank you!

wdebo said...

I remember reading this book a few years back, I loved it! Great review!


jesus y lorena said...

i read the book, it took sort of a while to get really into it but by the middle of the boo, gosh, it took my breath away. i just melted into the pages. its beautifully written and its powerfully told by daisy's point of view. this book captures the essence of age, terroism, anorexia, teens. i would highly recommend this book.

i'm veronica and i'm 16 years old.

jesus y lorena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
latonya said...

this book corny i just cant get into it i tried but i only got up 2 the 21 pg it is corny