Summary- It would be much easier to tell this story if it were all about a chaste and perfect love at an Extreme Time in History. But let's face it. . .
Daisy is sent to England from New York to live with her cousins for a perfect summer.
There are four of them: Osbert, Isaac , Edmond and Piper. Three boys and a girl. And two dogs and a goat.
Daisy has never met anyone like them before. Especially Edmond.
This summer will change her life. It will change the world too.
Review - Meg Rosoff is a hallowed name in most publishing circles that I have glimpsed into. Her book, How I Live Now, won the Printz (her company being John Green and Melina Marchetta) and is universally adored. Like I have said many times, hype can damage my ability to enjoy a book. I will always be waiting for something to hit me over the head with impressiveness.
First of all, I am still processing the novel and its events. I have read a few heavier books this week and they have involved more thought, more consideration, more introspection. I have not read (or enjoyed) many books that feature a stream of consciousness narrative. It always takes me some time to settle into the story but in How I Live Now, I felt settled immediately.
The narrative is an interesting one. Everything, very much so, is revealed when Daisy wishes it too. Hints are carelessly left, ideas trail behind her but everything eventually comes full circle. Daisy’s narrative is interesting to me as she always keeps us away from her. Sure she reveals the events in a very poetic way but she doesn’t allow us to fully embrace her, clasp her to our chests. She instead allows us that opportunity with Piper, the delightfully, pure and big hearted Piper.
All of the characters are so very well shaped from the main kids through to intermittent characters like Major M and Baz. Even the dogs have well crafted personalities and it helps depict these characters clearly while allowing Daisy to keep us at a distance.
War is an ugly business. And let’s face it, it destroys everything and everyone. It’s universal in its destruction, an equal opportunity employer if you will. The struggle to survive, be nourished, to love and to be reunited is painfully told in this story but there is always a steady undercurrent of hope. Hope that they can return them to the peaceful days at the farmhouse.
Rosoff is gifted. Immensely so. Her storytelling is as interestingly and uniquely crafted as she places her faith in the reader. That we don’t need everything spelt out matter-of-factly, that we pluck details and ideas and feelings from her poetic vines. I will definitely be reading more Rosoff.
Format: Paperback, 186 pages
Publisher: Peguin Aust.
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Meg Rosoff's Official Website