Pin It
Favorite

Book Review 

by Sheri Boggs


What is it with Great Britain and the end of the world? First it was 28 Days Later with its zombie-infested London, its unnervingly bucolic countrysides and that unforgettable image of a dead highway with a burning Manchester at the end of it. Now there is Meg Rosoff's similarly haunting How I Live Now, where war invades Great Britain, the power goes down, and 21st century teenagers are suddenly faced with the prospect of learning how to scratch out their own survival.


Fifteen-year-old Daisy has lived her whole life in Manhattan but when her father's new wife gets pregnant, she's summarily exiled to go live with her cousins in rural England. World-weary and sophisticated beyond her years from life in the city, Daisy isn't prepared for their simple, unobtrusive kindness nor is she prepared for her cousin Edmond's odd habit of being able to answer her questions before she's even voiced them. But nobody is prepared for what happens shortly after Daisy's arrival when World War III breaks out, there's no way to communicate with the outside world and Daisy's aunt - a diplomat - is stranded in Oslo.


At first, Daisy and her cousins live an idyllic existence with a great big rambling house at their disposal, a nearby creek to fish and no discernible bedtimes to observe. It isn't long, however, before they are found out. Separated by their gender, Daisy and her young cousin Piper are sent away with only each other to rely on.


This unnerving, astonishing first novel is categorized as a "YA" title, but readers shouldn't shun it because it's a "kids book." Meg Rosoff imbues her heroine with a very real, very "teenagery" voice -- you can almost hear Daisy rolling her eyes and looking vacant when the adults are around -- yet creates a character you can't help wanting to alternately protect/hang out with. As the war intensifies, Daisy deepens and grows without even being aware of it herself. But what kind of world will she inherit?


With shades of A Wrinkle in Time and the acerbic, world-gone-mad wallop of Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake, in particular), How I Live Now is a timely and profoundly affecting book.





Publication date: 11/11/04

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Seven Ways Drought is Impacting the Inland Northwest
  • Seven Ways Drought is Impacting the Inland Northwest

    No, it's not as bad as in California, but drought is taking a hefty toll
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Call Mr. Yuk
  • Call Mr. Yuk

    Gov. Inslee avoids the "poison pill"; plus, pushing back against empty Kickstarter promises
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
KuroNekoCon

KuroNekoCon @ Spokane Convention Center

Sat., Aug. 1, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sun., Aug. 2, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Sheri Boggs

  • Beer and Branding in PDX

    • Sep 15, 2005
  • Rural Revolution

    All the farms I remember from growing up in North Idaho and Eastern Washington were not what you'd call stylish. In fact, what I do remember are blocky sofas covered in that ubiquitous mauve upholstery, copper Jell-O molds lining the kitche
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • Indigenous Cinema

    Blame it on Kevin Costner. While he may have had good intentions with Dances With Wolves, you gotta wonder how many American Indians in the audience were asking themselves, "Why is this guy telling our story?" And while Costner's effort was
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Rushing's Rant

    The Airway Heights City Council has asked the mayor to resign after posting a racist Facebook message
    • Jul 15, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation