‘How I Live Now’, written by Meg Rosoff is a novel based on young love between two teenagers in the 1940s during the Second World War. This book fits into many genres including romance, adventure and a hint of mystery. It is a diverse book, full of plot twists that create a sense of intrigue as such unexpected events occur.
The characters are all extremely unique as they each possess a strange feature. For example, Edmond is an English boy who seems to have the ability to read his cousin’s thoughts, and Aunt Penn seems to always be on a trip somewhere for no known reason. It is narrated by a young American sixteen-year-old girl named Daisy. She has been sent to live with her Aunt Penn and her cousins Edmond, Piper and Isaac, thanks to her malicious stepmother, who she absolutely despises. Her father seems to have been under her witch-like spell since his previous wife, Daisy’s mother, died.
Daisy is astonished at the abrupt changes between life in America and life in the English countryside. She struggles to adapt to the alien ways of life. As Daisy becomes more comfortable in this new environment a spark seems to catch between Edmond and herself. They soon fall in love and Daisy develops a sisterly love for Piper, her little cousin, and gets along fairly well with Isaac. But things start to change when Daisy and Piper are sent out to live with a different family as Isaac offers their house as a base for a few soldiers.
This book is totally engrossing and it caught me by surprise with its advanced language and vocabulary, and especially because of the combination of different genres. Also, as each character has a unique, strange feature, it allows you to empathise a lot more with them, as you get to know their personal issues and thoughts the more you read. Another reason why it is very interesting is because of the informal language that Daisy uses to show the clashes with the English formal atmosphere.
I recommend ‘How I Live Now’ to anyone who wants to improve their English, as it has a large range of vocabulary that is mostly advanced, or anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of the Second World War and of English country life. Another reason why this book is very useful to read is because you can learn about how each country seems to have a different way of living.
Micaela G, Year 8