Saturday, March 27, 2010
THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN by Susan Beth Pfeffer
THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN is the third book in the series by Susan Beth Pfeffer. This book returns to the original cast of characters in LIFE AS WE KNEW IT.
It has been almost a year since the meteor hit the moon and changed life forever for Miranda and her family. Against the odds they have survived, and Miranda has continued to chronicle their experiences in her diaries. Some things have improved - they do have electricity once in awhile and food is still delivered to city hall on a fairly regular basis, however, fewer and fewer people are around. Most have just not survived.
Miranda is still living with her mother and her two brothers and the family cat, Horton. The sunporch with its woodburner is the center of their existence. With the approach of warmer weather, they venture out on bikes to scavenge useful items from nearby neighborhoods. They find things like toothpaste, toilet paper, and other odds and ends that make life seem a bit more pleasant. Miranda's mother even gives the boys permission to leave for a few days to try their luck fishing on the Delaware River. They return with two garbage bags of shad, but the shocking news is that 19 year old Matt returns with a wife.
Syl says she has traveled from place to place ever since the meteor hit, surviving thanks to the kindness of strangers and her own wits. When she and Matt met in an abandoned motel near the river, they stayed up all night talking and decided they were meant to be together. Once the initial shock of being a mother-in-law and having another mouth to feed wears off, Laura decides to accept Syl, and as a family, they carry on.
A knock at the front door brings yet another surprise. Miranda's father, her step-mother, and their new baby arrive. They are traveling with a man named Charlie and two teenagers named Alex and Julie. They never made it to the west coast to find Lisa's family. Delay after delay and months in refugee camps discouraged them, so they have returned to be with family here.
Now there are new challenges to be faced. Can everyone live in peace in their cramped quarters? Will the people at city hall increase the amount of supplies they pick up each Monday? Is having her father back with them a blessing or a curse? Time will tell.
It didn't take long to get back into the lives of Miranda and her family. Pfeffer provides great detail as she describes life after the worldwide disaster. Just like the first two books, the despair and fear present in this new world will stay with me for quite some time. Miranda and her family make it painfully obvious how easily everything could be ripped away from us and how difficult it would be to survive.