Study Guide

How I Live Now The Home

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The Home

He's exactly like some kind of mutt, you know the ones you see at the dog shelter […] and you know from that second that you're going to take him home? Well that's him. Only he took me home. (1.2.4)

At first glance, this is a simple statement. Edmond's like a puppy dog you can't help but take home… only he's actually the one driving her to his home. Looking back at this line after reading the novel through, it's a play on words with a deeper meaning. The big house in the countryside—as well as Edmond, Daisy's other cousins, and England in general—become Daisy's home in ways she can't even describe.

And for a minute I was so glad I was fifteen and from New York City because even though I haven't actually Seen It All, I have in fact seen more than plenty, and I have one of the best Oh Yeah, This Is So Much What I Usually Do faces of anyone in the crowd. (1.3.2)

Daisy's hometown, New York City, is used as a device to illustrate how jaded and unflappable Daisy thinks she is. In reality, it's all a cover for how utterly terrified she is and how foreign the concept of having a family that cares about her is, but girl is definitely good at fronting.

Edmond said Don't worry and I said I AM NOT WORRIED because THERE IS NO WAY I AM GOING. And looking at all of those miserable faces I wondered whether this was a cultural thing or what, that no one in this country says You've got to be kidding when told to vacate their home. (1.15.6)

Just a few short weeks later, New York is but a distant memory, and Daisy has become so attached to her new surroundings that they've become her real home. One that she staunchly and adamantly refuses to leave… well, until she absolutely has to.

I would have to be buried alive in a ditch and stamped on by elephants before I would ever think that being anywhere with you wasn't a good thing SO THERE. (1.15.29)

To Daisy, home isn't just a place; it's being with the new family she's discovered, a bundle of magical misfits, the most loveable of whom is Piper. And Daisy can no longer fathom the idea of feeling like she's at home without Piper.

When I crawled in between the wool blankets and put my head down next to Piper's I felt almost clean and safe and best of all, home. (1.26.45)

Piper and Daisy have finally made it back to the big house in the countryside. For the first time in Daisy's life, she's arrived at a place after a long journey and a long time away, and it truly feels like home.

When I left England, I entered limbo. For all that time I was waiting to come home. (2.2.6)

Daisy gets ripped away from what she feels is her home when she's sent back to America during the war. Six years back in New York, a place that she spent fifteen years calling home, and she never quite feels that way about it again. For the duration of these years, she pines away for her home of nine months in England.

When I stepped outside, the familiar smell of that rainy April day hit me so hard I felt dizzy and had to put my bag down and wait for the spell to pass. (2.2.31)

We all have sights, sounds, and smells that can bring us right back to a particular memory. Here, Daisy encounter a scent that smells like home to her in the form of a rainy spring day, and the memory is so overwhelming that she nearly collapses.

I'm coming, I said silently to everything I'd left behind, and headed for the single, ragged bus that would take me home. (2.2.35)

Home is what Daisy's left behind. And home is a country, a house, a loft in a lamb barn, a dog, a girl who looks up to her, cousins who have come to be her closest family, and the closest thing to true love she's experienced.

And every minute of every year I was trying to come home. (2.4.60)

Daisy frantically tries to convey to Edmond how desperate she was to return to him and England during the six years she was away. This single line is tinged with hope, sorrow, guilt, regret, and desperation.

After all this time, I know exactly where I belong.

Here. With Edmond.

And that's how I live now. (2.6.12-14)

An epic line to end the book, drawing in the title, her love story with Edmond, her backstory with her father and stepmother, and everything she survives during the war. This line leaves us with no doubt about what Daisy's happy ending will be.

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