Review Blog

Nov 15 2011

Days Like This by Alison Stewart

cover image

Penguin, 2011.
(Age Senior students 15+) Written in post apocalyptic times, Days Like This portrays a soulless existence for the inhabitants of Sydney who live within the wall. Lily and her siblings live in a world controlled by adults. The adults however are not like they used to be; these adults are distant and emotionless and no longer care for the wellbeing of children. There are the terrifying Blacktroopers, a strong, uniform unit which arrive every Friday and give the family their pills. There is Max, who even her parents seem to be afraid of. Finally there is Megan and Pym, her parents, who have changed so much since the wall that Lily no longer calls them Mum and Dad.
Due to global warming a wall was built to separate the haves from the have nots. Lily and her family live on the safe side of the wall, or so they are told. They're told they are privileged because they have food and shelter and protection from the sun. However, the children are not safe at all; they are all in danger.
I had a little difficulty with this novel. For a teenage novel it is very dark and the children are treated so appallingly. Even without the details, the implication that young girls are raped added to my discomfort.
The story does show the tremendous love Lily has for her siblings and her dogged determination to save them against great odds which does provide some hope for the future. However I found the evil of the adults outweighed the good of the children and found the imagery disturbing. I would only recommend this novel for well adjusted senior students.
Sue Mann

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