Life as We Knew It

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 leaves to attempt to travel to Colorado where Lisa’s parents live. The last update that Miranda and her siblings receive is that Dad and Lisa had made it to the Kansas border, but weren’t being allowed into the state.
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Hal Character Timeline in Life as We Knew It

The timeline below shows where the character Hal appears in Life as We Knew It. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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May 7. Sixteen-year-old high school sophomore Miranda Evans records in her journal that her dad, Hal, has called to tell her that his new wife, Lisa, is pregnant. Miranda is home... (full context)
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...godmother, and Miranda feels overwhelmed by this request, but agrees. Miranda then talks more with Hal, and they discuss Miranda’s desire to start ice-skating again, as well as Brandon Erlich, a... (full context)
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...has granted her permission for skating lessons, and she’ll spend the month of August with Hal and Lisa. Miranda offers her approval of the new man that her mother is dating:... (full context)
Chapter 2
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...Miranda’s first lines that things did not go as planned. Miranda wants to talk to Hal to make sure he’s okay, but the phone lines have been giving nothing but busy... (full context)
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...that conditions are the same in Ithaca, NY. Laura tries, but is unable to reach Hal or Grandma. The TV signal fades in and out as the Evanses stress-eat the whole... (full context)
Chapter 3
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May 19. Miranda wakes up to a phone call from Hal, who has been trying all night to reach them. He and Lisa are fine, and... (full context)
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...that the schools are open that day feeds into Miranda’s confused emotions. On one hand, Hal is encouraging her to “get on with our lives and be grateful that we can,”... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...pick up Jonny from baseball camp and drop Miranda and Jonny off at Lisa and Hal’s for the month of August. (full context)
Chapter 6
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June 11. Miranda hears from her father—apparently Hal has been trying to call them several times a day and hasn’t been able to... (full context)
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June 19. They try and call Hal throughout the day to wish him a happy Father’s Day, but they are unable to... (full context)
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...bought. At Miller’s Pond, Dan and Miranda have alone time to kiss and hold hands. Hal calls and tells Miranda that things are going as well as can be expected—the baby... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...attached to his baseball camp. She thinks ahead to the month she’ll be spending with Hal and Lisa. She imagines an idealized version of their town where supplies and electricity are... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...to see Dan, but he doesn’t show up. They also haven’t heard from Jonny or Hal. Matt stops running in order to conserve his energy and strength, and because he’s worried... (full context)
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July 21. Miranda is gathering kindling and imagining how perfect things could be where Hal lives, when Sammi comes to visit. She’s there to tell Miranda good-bye, because she’s leaving... (full context)
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...about Becky being a gatekeeper for food and she continues to fanaticize that Springfield, where Hal and Lisa live, is a sort of heaven on earth that hasn’t been impacted by... (full context)
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July 29. Hal and Lisa will be picking up Jonny from camp and arriving the next day. Laura... (full context)
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July 30. Jonny, Hal, and Lisa arrive. There is much mutual scrutiny as everyone tries to deduce how everyone... (full context)
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July 31. Hal says they’re going to need enormous amounts of wood, and that it won’t be safe... (full context)
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...dinner party and invite Mrs. Nesbitt and Peter. Miranda delivers the invitations by bike while Hal, Jonny, and Matt work on chopping wood. Miranda learns that Peter has closed his doctor’s... (full context)
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...the mood changes. Lisa leaves the room when he asks about food running out and Hal follows her, leaving behind the core ‘family’ group that Jonny knows best. Peter says that... (full context)
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August 3. Hal announces that he and Lisa will be leaving the next day. Lisa hasn’t left her... (full context)
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August 4. Hal and Lisa leave in the early morning. Hal hugs them and promises to write, but... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...Sammi and Dan, whom she knows she won’t see again. She fears she won’t see Hal either. She states that she won’t “survive” if she never sees sunlight. (full context)
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August 7-9. The Evanses are all in short tempers after Hal’s departure. Matt snaps at Miranda for going into his room without permission—revealing that he’s exhausted,... (full context)
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...a day, which now feels “normal.” The family is worried that they haven’t heard from Hal and Lisa. (full context)
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...realizes how lucky she is. It ends with Miranda saying she wishes she’d left with Hal since Laura doesn’t love her, and Laura telling her to get out. (full context)
Chapter 12
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September 16. They receive two letters from Hal. Currently Hal and Lisa are living in a primitive refugee camp on the border of... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...situation is. She slips away to record her feelings in her journal and cry—thinking of Hal and Lisa, the baby, and Grandma—how they might be hurt and she might never know.... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...about whether or not their family should stay or leave. Jonny wants to go find Hal, even though they don’t know where he is. Matt asserts that they have the greatest... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...Fridays Matt brings exciting things home from the post office. The first is letter from Hal. Unfortunately, it’s an older letter than the latest they’ve received. While it doesn’t contain new... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...she’s pretending is a girl named Rachel. While Miranda has no guarantee that Lisa and Hal and the baby are even alive, she dreams of a beautiful future where things are... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...from none at all to twelve minutes. The phones still don’t work, but other than Hal, no one would be calling. After the novelty wears off, Miranda wishes that instead of... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...to see her die. She tells them she’s going to check for a letter from Hal about Lisa’s baby, but privately tells Matt the truth. She tells them all good-bye and... (full context)
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...return the following week. Miranda reflects on how much she doesn’t know: the fate of Hal, Lisa, the baby, Grandma, Sammi, and Dan, but also on the blessings she has: Matt... (full context)