How I Live by Meg Rosoff.
In the book, fifteen-year-old Elizabeth (who goes by the name of Daisy) arrives in England from America to stay with her Aunt Penn and her cousins, Osburt, Eddie, Isaac, and Piper . Her aunt and cousins live on a farm in a remote area of the U.K. Daisy gets a little homesick at first but then falls into a happy life with her family. Despite them being cousins, Daisy and 14-year-old cousin Edmond fall in love.
Here comes the twist – World War Three is about to break out and enemy troops surround the farm. Unfortunately Aunt Penn had been traveling and now can’t get back to her family. Sounds like a tense book with a dystopian theme. I haven’t read it yet but I did watch the movie. This book won the 2004 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.
The movie, I was told, took a few liberties and changed a bit of the plot. That happens all the time though, it’s usually just a similar story line from the book. Daisy, a neurotic and anorexic American teenager, is sent to the English countryside for the summer to stay with her Aunt Penn and her cousins, Eddie, Isaac, and Piper. The movie eliminated the character of Osbert and made Eddie the oldest. When she arrives in England there is tight security due to terrorism, reports of a bombing in Paris.
As in the book, Daisy falls in love with Eddie but the character development is different. Eddie has mystical connection to animals, hawks landing on his arm and other almost spiritual interactions with wild creatures. Not weird, just a strange connection.
As it turns out Aunt Penn is an expert in terrorist extremist groups and has to leave for a meeting in Switzerland. This is the beginning of WW III. In her absence the children explore the woodlands surrounding the farm, unaware of the enemy troops about to converge on the farm and that part of England. Aunt Penn’s expertise would come in handy now but she’s stuck in another country and can’t help.
A nuclear bomb is detonated in or near London killing hundreds of thousands. Martial law is imposed, electricity goes out, troops descend and they are left to defend, hide or flee. This was filmed in England and Wales.
I enjoyed the movie and you can’t go wrong with Saoirse Ronan. I have so many books lined up for this month so I know I won’t get to this book yet, but I would like to compare the differences,
Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday