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While I Live - Synopsis

Life is not fair and it doesn't play by the rules unless you make them. This is the main thing we learn from this chapter in Ellie's life.

After the effort Ellie and her friends put in during the war so they could get back to their normal lives, they find they have to live with a new meaning of the term 'normal'. Ellie in particular has to deal with a personal tragedy and try to get on with her life when it seems the war doesn't want to let her go.

Most of the story concerns the every day goings on at the farm which would be hard work even if there hadn't been a war which has made everything all the more difficult.

What is different in this book is that Ellie has to deal with most of the problems she faces by herself as her friends are in other places most of the time and have their own concerns.

Gavin also features much more in this story and influences the decisions Ellie makes in a big way. She doesn't see him as a burden, more a responsibility and is happy to have a 'little brother' and is even surprised when she calls her father 'Dad'.

Ellie also seems to be having trouble getting adults to respect her, as they seem to have forgotten all that she has done during the war with her friends. It was funny to see what happened to one person who got on the wrong side of her and thought that she would cave in just because he was in a supposedly superior position.

The main death-defying situations that Ellie and her friends are involved in this story seem to be from cross-border raids which are shown to be a big problem as they are so close to the border. This is realistic as the same thing has happened in other countries such as East Timor, Rwanda and Papua New Guinea and are a big problem.

While there is a resolution to some of Ellie's problems in this story, others are left wide open and hopefully they will be dealt with in the future.

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