Study Guide

How I Live Now Summary

By Meg Rosoff

How I Live Now Summary

In what appears to be one of those old-school, feel-good movies, young Daisy departs Manhattan and her evil stepmother for a simpler life in the English countryside. Daisy has a blast having good, old-fashioned fun (like swimming and fishing and picnics) sans interwebz, especially once her dear old auntie gets stuck abroad at the start of a war. Daisy even strikes up a totally illicit, totally hot, totally lustful relationship with her younger cousin, Edmond.

Yes, we said cousin.

But war's one of those things that happens with boring politician types and people we don't know someplace far away, right? For a while this is true for Daisy and her pals, and they form a Lord of the Flies-esque (minus the depravity and murder) little world of their own, free of outside distraction.

Alas, utopias are always too good to be true, and the war crashes right into their front door when the army needs their house as a post… or something like that. The cousins are separated, the boys and girls sent in different directions.

Daisy and Piper spend a brief time as houseguests to a military family, but when the patriarch is murdered, they move on to spend some quality time hanging out in a barn with soldiers. A middle-of-the-night scuffle leads one soldier-friend to help them escape in order to find their way back to their cousins/brothers/lover. This journey's filled with just a few small mishaps—getting lost, accidentally eating magic mushrooms, and oh yeah, stumbling upon the site of a recent massacre at the farm the rest of their family's supposed to be at.

Bedraggled, Daisy and Piper trudge on home to their house in the countryside, now abandoned by the army, and chillax in the barn for weeks. One day, while grabbing supplies in the main house, the phone rings, and….

Cut to Part 2. Turns out it was Daisy's dad, who used his fancy dad-powers to extract Daisy from England immediately under the guise of needing to be in a psychiatric hospital. Except then the borders close and she's stuck in the old U.S. of A for six freaking years. Ugh.

Finally, once the borders re-open, she returns to England, goes back to live with her cousins (and a new roommate, Piper's boyfriend), and is all set to live happily ever after. Sure, England's a total mess and needs to be rebuilt, and sure, Edmond's a silent basketcase (turns out he witnessed the aforementioned massacre), but Daisy's still sure that everything will be okay now that she's home.