An English idyll explodes in Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now, a novel ostensibly written for children. Adults should read it too, says Geraldine. How I Live Now [Meg Rosoff] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. “Every war has turning points and every person too.” Fifteen-year-old Daisy. How I Live Now [Meg Rosoff] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. It would be much easier to tell this story if it were all about a chaste and.

Author: Gardami Goll
Country: Mali
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Music
Published (Last): 26 July 2008
Pages: 217
PDF File Size: 4.13 Mb
ePub File Size: 16.93 Mb
ISBN: 307-3-32934-488-1
Downloads: 77895
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Zulkitaxe


Rarely does a writer come up with a first novel so assured, so powerful and engaging that you can be pretty sure that you will want to read everything that this author livf capable of writing. But that is what has happened with Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now, which, even before publication, is being talked of as a likely future classic.

Though billed as a book for older children, the novel is full of shocking events – underage sex, with a whiff of incest, appalling violence. But younger readers, with their relative lack of experience and greater insouciance, may well be less troubled by these things than the many adults who tosoff also read the book.

The four cousins are romantic, bohemian and enjoy an eccentric, faintly feral pastoral idyll of an existence in a rambling English country house, mystically in touch with nature and, indeed, with Daisy.


Suddenly last summer…

One of the twins, Isaac, talks to animals; Piper, the girl, knows how to get honey from bees and watercress from a running river. And Edmond, who has ‘eyes the colour of unsettled weather’, is so much her soulmate that he can get inside her head, even when they are far apart.

As Daisy and Edmond fall in not-so-chaste love, her Aunt Penn, who appears to be some sort of international peacekeeper, is summoned to Oslo in an attempt to avert the threatened war. The action takes place in a kind of parallel present or near future.

The unworldly, though not entirely innocent, English children and their sophisticate cousin are left to fend for themselves as the fighting breaks out. Initially, they experience the war chiefly as a glorious absence of adults.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

It is Daisy’s voice – spiky, defiant and vulnerable – that makes this novel; it also ensures that it is so compelling and delightful. Although Daisy can be an unreliable narrator, especially when it comes to things she’s not much interested in, such as the details of war, she is also utterly trustworthy. She is a character we are permitted to see from many different angles – as hurt, but also cool, ironic, downbeat and superior; as an infuriating anorexic; and noww resourceful, self-deprecating, funny and determined.

The latter qualities turn out to be rather necessary, because Daisy and her youngest cousin, Piper, are evacuated, moved rosofr and eventually have to try to trek back home cross-country to find the rest of their family without being killed by one side or the other.


Even though the details remain vague, the noww is fiercely imagined, its interpretation through the offhand eyes of a child making it oddly more horrific.

The first bomb goes off, Daisy informs us, ‘in the middle of a big train station the day after Aunt P went to Oslo and something like 7, or 70, people got killed’.

The violence remains largely in the background until near the end, but touches the children in unexpected ways: How I Live Now is a book written out of an apprehension of how terrible the world is, but also out of its potential for magic. Rosoff has great imaginative reach; rosiff voice is so finely tuned that I instinctively trusted her, from the opening page right up to the wonderfully equivocal ending.

With its lack of punctuation, its muddled tenses, its breezy tone concealing an absolutely stricken state, this is a powerful novel: Topics Meg Rosoff The Observer.