Last night I finished reading Meg Rosoff's 'How I Live Now' which was her first novel and has won all kinds of prizes.
Rosoff creates a story filled with magic, although it is not really described in the usual fairytale terms. This makes it real and believeable. She somehow captures the atmosphere of a place without being explicit. I am not sure how she does this and this is part of the appeal and mystery of her writing.
The book is going to be made into a film and I will be interested to see if it can do justice to the relationships between the children, especially between Daisy, who tells the story, and her cousin Edmund.
Rosoff combines all kinds of challenging subject matter, not least the atrocities of a possible future war, with a taboo-challenging relationship.
There is a dystopian, unflinching quality to it that made me think of The Road a couple of times, and I wonder if her writing style has a similarity to Cormac McCarthy's? Just a thought that might be worth exploring further.
Rosoff's structure reflects the war being played out and consolidates the plot very successfully.
I am sure that had I read this book when I was 14 it would have changed my life.
I know it is going to change my writing.