Study Guide

Aunt Penn in How I Live Now

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Aunt Penn

Aunt Penn's in the book for approximately two seconds, and the only scene where she makes a significant appearance is when she and Daisy have a fireside chat about Daisy's dead mom. She seems like a sweet woman, though—as Daisy notes:

She made a point of asking me lots of questions about my life and listened very carefully to the answers like she was trying to figure out something about me abut not in the way most adults do, pretending to listen while thinking about something else. (1.4.18)

Aunt Penn lets Daisy know how excited her mom was to become a mom and tidbits about her life before meeting Daisy's dad. Other than this scene, though, Aunt Penn is primarily defined by her absence, which allows the cousins to create their own little utopia in the countryside and catalyzes their separation. It's hardly even a notable event when we eventually learn she's died.

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