Life as We Knew It

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Life as We Knew It Characters

Miranda Evans

The sixteen-year-old narrator of the novel, which is told in the format of her diary entries. Prior to the asteroid’s impact with the moon, Miranda was concerned with grades, friendships, boys, and ice skating… (read full character analysis)

Matt Evans

The older brother of Miranda and Jonny. He is away at college when the lunar impact occurs but makes his way home from Ithaca, New York to Howell, Pennsylvania to be with his family… (read full character analysis)

Jonny Evans

The younger brother of Miranda and Matt. Jonny is thirteen years old and hopes to be a professional baseball player when he grows up. Prior to the asteroid’s strike, Jonny had planned to spend… (read full character analysis)

Laura Evans

The mother of Miranda, Matt, and Jonny, and ex-wife to Hal. Laura is an author prior to the moon incident. In the aftermath, her sole focus is keeping her family alive despite… (read full character analysis)

Mrs. Nesbitt

The elderly neighbor of Laura, Miranda, Matt, and Jonny. Mrs. Nesbitt grew up with Laura’s parents and is considered to be part of their family. When preparing their home in the… (read full character analysis)
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Hal

Miranda, Jonny, and Matt’s father, Hal is divorced from Laura and married to Lisa, who is pregnant with their first child together. He is a professor and lives in Springfield, but… (read full character analysis)

“Rachel”

The imaginary name that Miranda gives to her stepsister once she realizes Lisa’s due date has passed and she’s likely given birth. Miranda daydreams of conversations with her stepsister and a future in which… (read full character analysis)

Horton

The Evans’ family cat. He has the strongest bond with Jonny, and when Miranda accidentally leaves the door open and allows him to escape during the time while Jonny is away at camp, she… (read full character analysis)

Brandon Erlich

A famous ice skater whom Miranda idolizes. Before turning pro, he trained with Mrs. Daley, the ice skating coach Miranda had until she was sidelined by an injury. Miranda is very active in Brandon’s… (read full character analysis)

Mr. Mortensen

One of Miranda’s neighbors. After the asteroid collision the Evans family see him twice—once when there is neighborhood caroling on Christmas Eve, and once when he knocks on their door, desperate for medicine for… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Lisa
Miranda’s stepmother. Miranda’s dad reveals on the first page of the novel that she is pregnant with a little girl, whom Miranda mentally dubs “Rachel.”
Megan Wayne
A childhood friend of Miranda’s. Megan is very religious and highly influenced by Reverend Marshall. She spends the days following the moon incident in prayer and fasting until she eventually dies.
Mrs. Wayne
Megan’s mother. After Megan starves to death, Mrs. Wayne hangs herself.
Reverend Marshall
Corrupt leader of the local church that Megan Wayne attends. He tells his congregants that the fallout from the moon impact is God’s punishment for their sins. While his congregants starve and pray for forgiveness, he continues to eat regularly from the food that they bring as offerings.
Peter Elliot
Laura’s boyfriend and a local doctor. He frequently visits their house, bringing information about new illnesses and risks. He eventually succumbs to the flu epidemic.
Dan
A member of Miranda’s swim team that she forms a brief romantic relationship with over the summer. They meet at Miller’s Pond until Dan’s parents decide he should leave and travel west in search of better conditions.
Sammi
A friend of Miranda’s. She is characterized as “dating all kinds of guys,” and after the moon impact she begins seeing George, a much older man with resources and the means to get her to Tennessee, where conditions are supposed to be better.
George
The forty-year-old boyfriend of Miranda’s friend Sammi. He has connections that enable him to provide food and resources for Sammi’s family. He and Sammi move to Nashville.
Becky
A friend of Miranda, Megan, and Sammi’s who passed away after a long illness before the beginning of the novel. She appears in Miranda’s dreams as a gatekeeper to heaven or food.
Mrs. Daley
Miranda’s former figure skating coach. She also used to coach champion figure skater Brandon Erlich, a fact that Miranda likes to brag about in online forums before the asteroid’s impact.
Grandma
Miranda’s grandmother lives in Las Vegas. The Evanses initially have contact with her and confirm that she’s fine, but as communication systems deteriorate, they lose touch.
Michelle Schmidt
A classmate of Miranda’s who is supposedly abducted while walking home from church. This story increases Miranda’s fears of walking alone in public. Later Miranda sees Michelle leaving the town library and realizes the story isn’t true after all.
Mayor Ford
Along with Tom Danworth, he runs the food distribution for the town of Howell, PA.
Tom Danworth
Along with Mayor Ford, he runs the food distribution for the town of Howell, PA.
Mrs. Hotchkiss
The volunteer librarian in the town library. On the day the library is closed, she encourages Miranda, Matt, and Jonny to take as many books as they can carry because there is no guarantee that it will ever open again.
Evan Smothers
A classmate of Miranda’s who becomes part of an opportunistic gang in the aftermath of the lunar incident. Miranda encounters them looting stores in town but flees when she realizes they are armed.
Ryan Miller
A former hockey teammate of Matt’s who becomes part of an opportunistic gang in the aftermath of the lunar incident. Miranda encounters them looting stores in town but flees when she realizes they are armed.
Hospital guards
Hired to guard the local hospital after the police department disbands. They warn Miranda that it is no longer safe for her (and women in general) to go out in public alone.
Nurses
When Miranda ventures to the hospital to get help for her sick family, she finds it empty except for two nurses. The nurses tell her the magnitude of the flu epidemic—Peter, along with “just about everyone,” is dead.
Aaron
A classmate of Jonny’s whose father is president of the school board.
Aaron’s father
The father of one of Jonny’s friends and president of the school board. Aaron’s father leads the meeting that informs the town of closing schools.
Emily
Along with Karen, Emily is a member of Miranda’s swim team. She occasionally swims at the Miller’s Pond with Miranda, interrupting her and Dan’s opportunities to be alone and kiss.
Karen
Along with Emily, Karen is a member of Miranda’s swim team. She occasionally swims at Miller’s Pond with Miranda, interrupting her and Dan’s opportunities to be alone and kiss.
Michael
A classmate of Miranda’s. He receives a piece of Megan’s sandwich when Megan begins to fast despite food shortages.
Brian
A classmate of Miranda’s. He receives a piece of Megan’s sandwich when Megan begins to fast despite food shortages.
Jenna
A classmate of Miranda’s. She receives a piece of Megan’s sandwich when Megan begins to fast despite food shortages.
Mrs. Sanchez
Principal of Miranda’s high school.
Madame O’Brien
Miranda’s French teacher.
Mr. Clifford
Miranda’s English teacher.
Ms. Hammish
Miranda’s history teacher.
Dave
A classmate of Miranda’s. He receives a piece of Megan’s sandwich when Megan begins to fast despite food shortages.