Study Guide

Dad and Davina in How I Live Now

By Meg Rosoff

Dad and Davina

The first thing we learn about Daisy's dad and the step-monster is that Davina "sucked [his] soul out through his you know what" (1.4.4)—so it's safe to say that Daisy's not a huge fan. Davina gets pregnant, and Daisy becomes convinced that she's going to be poisoned, so she stops eating, which is the super short version of how she ends up in England. This said, Davina, other than being the catalyst for Daisy's journey, is pretty unimportant to us.

Daddy's got a slightly bigger role, though, since it's pretty clear early on that Daisy's hoping he'll come to his senses and "say Hey I made a mistake sending my only daughter away to another country because of some scheming harpy's ruthless whims" (1.4.27). Must stink if your only parent is given a choice and picks someone else over you, right? Daddy's abandonment sets the stage for Daisy's intense need to find people she can call family and a place she can call home.

We also catch snippets of the ways in which Daisy's upbringing has shaped her sunny personality—"Dad was one of those Never Mention Her Name Again type of fathers which if you ask me was extremely un-psychologically correct of him" (1.5.10). It's not fair to paint him as a totally terrible father, though. He does call a few times to tell Daisy he loves her and ask if she needs anything, and he eventually rescues her from war-torn England. Best of all, though, he uses his influence to gain her passage back to England when he realizes it's what she wants.

In short, Daddy ain't perfect, but at least Daisy never fears he's trying to poison her. What can we say? The bar's set pretty low on the home front.

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