How I Live Now
|How I Live Now|
First edition cover
|Publication date||5 August 2004|
How I Live Now is a novel by Meg Rosoff, first published in 2004. It received generally positive reviews and won the British Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the American Printz Award for young-adult literature.
Fifteen-year-old Manhattanite Elizabeth (who goes by the name of Daisy) is sent to stay with cousins on a remote farm in the United Kingdom during the outbreak of a fictional third world war of the 21st century. Though enthusiastic about moving away from an evil stepmother who is with her child, Daisy is homesick at first. This only lasts for a short while before she and her extended family become close, and Daisy begins to embrace her new home. Daisy soon finds herself falling in love with cousin Edmond and, after realizing that the affection is mutual, begins a relationship with him.
Meanwhile, the family receives news that Daisy's aunt Penn is stranded in Oslo. During this period of time, terrorists attack from an unknown enemy who later occupies Britain. The war becomes increasingly difficult for Daisy and her family as it affects their lives to a greater extent, eventually leading to food shortages and lack of other resources. One day, the farm is taken over by soldiers who separate the boys from the girls by sending them away to live at separate homes, and then separate farms. Daisy and Piper are forced to put survival as their top priority and cannot look for the male members of their family. After the war ends, Daisy must deal with putting the pieces of her life back together and overcoming the terrible experience of war as she reunites with the forever changed members of her family, including a physically and emotionally scarred Edmond.
- Daisy (aka Elizabeth) is an anorexic 15-year-old from New York. She comes to Britain to live with Aunt Penn out of spite of her father and her stepmother. She falls in love with Edmond and begins an intimate relationship with him. Daisy is described as spunky, steadfast, and selfish at times.
- Edmond is a 14-year-old boy who is Daisy's cousin. When Daisy first met him at the airport, she described him as "some kind of mutt, you know the ones you see at the dog shelter who are kind of hopeful and sweet and put their nose straight into your hand when they meet you with a certain kind of dignity and you know from that second that you're going to take him home?" Edmond is innocent, sweet, and incorruptible.
- Piper is Aunt Penn's only daughter and Daisy's cousin She is the youngest of the family and has an almost angelic essence to her. Daisy feels protective of her and acts as her mother when Aunt Penn is away.
- Isaac is Edmond's twin; they look exactly the same except Isaac has green eyes. He shares a special connection with animals, seemingly understanding what they are saying. He is generally silent, only talking when he chooses to.
- Osbert is Piper and Edmond's elder brother. He is 16.
- Aunt Penn is the mother of Piper, Edmond, Isaac and Osbert. She is Daisy's deceased mother's sister. Daisy sees Aunt Penn as the caring and loving mother figure she never got to have.
- Daisy's father is mostly too preoccupied with his second wife and his work to notice Daisy. Daisy used her anorexia and more to attract his attention.
- Davina is Daisy's stepmother and Daisy's father's second wife. Daisy describes her as heartless and cruel, dubbing her "Davina the Diabolical."
- Leah is Daisy's friend. During Daisy's stay at Aunt Penn's, Leah continually updates Daisy with recent news and events occurring at her school.
- Mrs. McEvoy is the woman who Daisy and Piper is sent to during the war. She is described as too nice and cheery, but Daisy overlooks this because "at least she was trying to be nice which even I had to admit is something."
- 2004 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize
- 2005 Michael L. Printz Award
- 2005 Branford Boase Award
- Runners up, etc.
- 2004 Shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year
- 2004 Shortlisted for the Orange Prize
- 2005 Shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Prize.
In 2007 the novel was adapted for radio by Elizabeth Burke. It was directed by Kate McAll and the music was composed by John Hardy. There were five parts of fifteen minutes each, which aired daily from 12 to 15 November as the Woman's Hour Drama on BBC Radio 4.
- Greta Clough as Daisy
- Matthew Barry as Edmond
- Heidi Woodrow as Piper
- Brendan Charleson as Daisy's father
- Erica Eirian as Aunt Penn
- Richard Mitchley as Major McEvoy
- Gareth Warren as Joe
The novel was adapted into a film directed by Kevin Macdonald that was released in 2013 and starred Irish-American actress Saoirse Ronan playing the role of Daisy, with George MacKay as Edmond, Tom Holland as Isaac and Harley Bird as Piper.
- Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2004 (top page). guardian.co.uk. 2012-08-06.
- "Guardian children's fiction prize relaunched: Entry details and list of past winners". guardian.co.uk 12 March 2001. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- Michael L. Printz Award
- Branford Boase Award
- "Interview: Amanda Craig meets Meg Rosoff". The Times (London). 2004-11-14. Archived from the original on 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- "Seven books vie for teen fiction prize". The Guardian. 2005-06-10. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- BBC Radio Programme Information: Week 46, Monday
- Catsoulis, Jeannette (November 7, 2013). "Young Love, Interrupted by a Nuclear Bomb". The New York Times.
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|Michael L. Printz Award Winner
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