How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff was August’s book club read; a YA book but which also had the crossover appeal to adults. How I Live Now tells the story of the American Elizabeth/Daisy spurned by her Father and her new Step Mother and is sent to live in another country with relatives that she’s never met before. Whilst they are left home alone, a war erupts around the world and Daisy and her cousins learn how to survive in an adult world.
A few of our members loved it, including myself, others found the characters irritating and the whole text in bold and capitals even more so! One book member would have liked the book to go into more depth and had the urge of wanting more after completing it. We pondered the fact of whether the author had been selective in her text because of it being a teenage book and whether she had meant to write for such an audience?
One member didn’t believe the lack of communication throughout the book but others argued the fact that the infrastructure of the world is quite easily displaced and loved how this was portrayed within the book. Others wanted more of the gruesome details but we discussed the fact that the author did mention the corpses etc that the children found when returning to the farm.
One of the things that I loved about the book was the simplicity and the fact that it gave you room to use your own imagination. The details of the war are brief and scatty but this makes you think for yourself what it would be like.
The relationship between Edmund and Daisy was discussed briefly and we almost dismissed it as flippantly as the book in the sense that members thought this was just a teenage crush. We discussed what sort of relationship they would have at the end of the book and it was like Daisy had resigned herself to that life, with both of them changed people.
All in all, I think we agreed that this was a good book club choice and we look forward to next month’s horror!