'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 this author is capable of writing'.
"EVERY WAR HAS turning points and every person too."
Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins shes never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.
As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, its a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisys uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.
A riveting and astonishing story.
My name is Elizabeth but no ones ever called me that. My father took one look at me when I was born and must have thought I had the face of someone dignified and sad like an old-fashioned queen or a dead person, but what I turned out like is plain, not much there to notice. Even my life so far has been plain. More Daisy than Elizabeth from the word go.
But the summer I went to England to stay with my cousins everything changed. Part of that was because of the war, which supposedly changed lots of things, but I cant remember much about life before the war anyway so it doesnt count in my book, which this is.
Mostly everything changed because of Edmond.
And so heres what happened.
Im coming off this plane, and Ill tell you why that is later, and landing at London airport and Im looking around for a middle-aged kind of woman who Ive seen in pictures whos my Aunt Penn. The photographs are out of date, but she...
Daisy's voice is totally authentic and the story gripped and just wouldn't let go. More than any recent book, How I Live Now brought home how easily a country could be brought to its knees by a small invading force. As Daisy explains, 'when I heard how it happened I was pretty impressed by the cleverness of the guys who planned it, who as far as I understood basically waited for most of the British Army to be lured into crises on the other side of the world and then waltzed in and cut off all the transportation and communication sand stuff so basically they were defending Britain against its own returning armed forces rather than attacking.'
Most poignant of all is a long postscript written by Daisy six years after the war, I have reread these particular chapters a number of times already and will likely return to them again.
If you liked How I Live Now, try these:
Interweaving stories from past and present, All We Have Left brings one of the most important days in our recent history to life, showing that love and hope will always triumph.
From master storyteller David Almond comes a gripping, exquisitely written novel about a hidden-away child who emerges into a broken world.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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