Thursday, 19 December 2013

How I Live Now

Daisy’s mother died giving birth to her. Aged fifteen, he father sends her away to live with her aunt and cousins in England. As she settles into life in the countryside and bonds with her cousins, the world outside her bubble is falling apart. A war is brewing and soon she will learn about love and family, and surviving against all odds.

I loved the idea of looking at a war breaking out in modern day Britain and told from the point of view of a fairly normal girl. Not a girl who is central to the fate of the country. How I Live Now is a personal story. As the story starts, the political unrest is bubbling away in the distance but Daisy doesn’t give it a second thought. She is the centre of her world and she is more concerned about the feelings she has towards her cousin, Edmond.

Now let’s try to understand that falling into sexual and emotional thrall with an under-age blood relative hadn’t exactly been on my list of Things To Do while visiting England, but I was coming around to the belief that whether you liked it or not, Things Happen and once they start happening you pretty much just have to hold on for dear life and see where they drop you when they stop.

I’m not convinced the telepathy thing was entirely necessary. It is such a small part of the story and removes it a little from reality, whilst the rest of it seems very real and down to earth. It covers the day-to-day struggles of living in an occupied country and some of the horrors of war. Though maybe the telepathy explains the impact one event has on a certain character, it must have been ten times worse for them…

By the end, we find that the title doesn’t apply to the war, but coping after the events of the story. It’s a thought-provoking and at times rather funny novel. I loved Daisy’s narrative voice and the capitalisation which adds a certain emphasis and more than makes up for the lack of speech marks.

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Also reviewed @ Tiny Library

Shelve next to: This is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees



Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

2 comments:

  1. Hmmmm. This one's had great press AND was chosen for World Book Night... now I just need to remember where the hell my copy went. I think possibly I need to give up the notion that I'll ever find a book when I want it ever again, and just read from the top down until I hit the end of all my boxes. Then I'll fetch the other third from my dad's and do the same again! :D

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  2. I've had this book on my shelf for the longest time! I really should get round to reading it soon ... sounds interesting.

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