Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

How I live now

I think How I live now is a very good children’s book. It reminds me of nothing so much as the Famous Five, complete with Jet as Timmy the dog and Piper as Anne etc. (Rosoff touches on this herself with one of her capitalised references, which I can’t now find). Those who know me well know I’m a great Blyton fan - for getting youngsters reading, and this would certainly make them see the point of carrying on. But for adults?

So yes, pacy yarn; good believable narrator; rather sketchy others; Edmond never much developed beyond the promising smoker at the airport and thus his fate seemed random; survival on nuts and berries has been done many times before – cf Laura Ingalls Wilder among others; the inexplicability of the War works to start with, but becomes unbelievable when Daisy returns as an adult – like Ruth I need to know what was going on and think Rosoff is lazy not to tell us. Oh, and you don’t harvest broad beans in September.

I don’t know enough about teen fiction to be able to judge this critically, but as an adult I found it a page turner that was ultimately unsatisfying.