Study Guide

How I Live Now Plot Analysis

By Meg Rosoff

Plot Analysis

Exposition

Supervision-Free Utopia

Daisy and her cousins are living the good life in England, free of school, adult supervision, and other obligations due to the escalating war. This apparent utopia (in a time of war) sets the stage for the obvious conflict that will later ariseā€”nothing this sweet lasts forever.

Rising Action

War Knocks on the Door

The cousins' blissful existence is rudely interrupted by the army, which takes over their house and sends them away, splitting the boys from the girls. Naturally, this complicates things, as our main girl, Daisy, is now separated from her lover (who, yes, is also her cousin) and also has to care for her nine-year-old cousin, Piper.

Climax

Explosions and Time to Run

In one fell swoop, one of Daisy and Piper's caretakers gets shot in the head, his wife has a breakdown, and shortly thereafter, the barn they're hiding in gets attacked. The pinnacle of violence we see, this is the turning point that begins Daisy and Piper's journey home to find their family.

Falling Action

Waiting Game

Daisy and Piper make it back to the house, now vacated by the army, and wait hopefully for the rest of their family to return. Things seem to be safe and starting to calm down, and it feels like so long as the rest of the family comes home unharmed, everything will be okay.

Resolution

Six Years Later

Cut to six years later, after getting sent back to America, when Daisy's finally able to return "home" to England and her cousins. Things end (mostly) happily ever after, with all of them together again, Piper in a happy new relationship, and Daisy nursing Edmond back to health and sanity.

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