Saturday, 28 November 2009

How I Live Now

Meg Rossoff.
Right then. This towering pile of books is not going down, so must crack on, and be ruthless.

This is one of those teen/grownup crossover novels, but you wouldn't be embarrassed to be caught reading it on the tube, it contains some mighty fine prose and a great, gripping story, and a reasonable cover for a grownup to be seen with.

It imagines what would happen if war, proper war, broke out in jolly old England. Daisy, the American heroine, comes to live with her English cousins in the countryside, just before the world goes into meltdown. It's absolutely convincing, and a bit disconcertingly prescient about the crackdown on civil liberties by the government, and for a youngsters' book, quite erotic (Daisy and her first cousin fall in love and shag like bunnies til the war separates them.)

It really hit a nerve, because I read it flying to Spain on the very day that terrorists decided to blow up the tubes and the buses in London. Powerful stuff.

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