33. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. 194 p. Published August 2004.
In order to escape her troubled life in New York, 15-yr. old Daisy visits her cousins and aunt in England. As Daisy’s aunt travels out of the country on business, her cousins Edmond, Isaac, Osbert, and their younger sister Piper welcome Daisy into life on their small farm. Romance soon develops between Daisy and Edmond, and as war envelops the country, the two lose themselves in each other. The children band together, developing a unique relationship, and work to become self-sufficient as the rest of the country is steeped in chaos.
Soon enough, however, military intervention separates Daisy and Piper from the others and find themselves helping with the daily chores of life as an occupied population. As they learn details of the war that has changed their lives, Daisy and Piper find themselves working to reconnect with their lost relatives. When a sudden tragedy triggers armed conflict in the area, Daisy and Piper take their chance and run, hoping to reconnect with their loved ones and return to their pre-war eden. But Daisy soon realizes that the war has changed everything, and only her love of Piper and Edmond keep her going.
How I Live Now is a touching tale of love in wartime. While the novel starts off a little awkward, and Rosoff’s style takes a little getting used to, the story and characters soon develop enough to ensnare the reader. Rosoff uses Daisy to provide a unique vision of coming-of-age in a war-torn world – one filled with innocence, sorrow, and compassion.
Rating: 3 out of 5