This Is How We Are Human
By Louise Beech
Today I have a review of the emotionally poignant – This Is How We Are Human, that may spark some debate and plenty of talk in a book that is beautifully written and is somewhat uplifting too. The more I think about it, the more I think it is such a good and unique book. Find out more in the Blurb and my Review. Continue down to find out what inspired Louise Beech to write this story and a bit about her.
Thank you to Random Things Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour and for Orenda Books for gifting me the book
Sebastian James Murphy is twenty years, six months and two days old. He loves swimming, fried eggs and Billy Ocean. Sebastian is autistic. And lonely. Veronica wants her son Sebastian to be happy, and she wants the world to accept him for who he is. She is also thinking about paying a professional to give him what he
desperately wants. Violetta is a high-class escort, who steps out into the night thinking only of money. Of her nursing degree. Paying for her dad’s care. Getting through the dark.
When these three lives collide, and intertwine in unexpected ways, everything changes. For everyone!
Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, This Is How We Are Human is a powerful, moving and thoughtful drama about a mother’s love for her son, about getting it wrong when we think
we know what’s best, about the lengths we go to care for family and to survive.
I reckon, even though this is quite different in some aspects, but readers who were swept along with “The Curious Incident With The Dog In the Midnight”, may also find they are with “This Is How We Are Human”. Although different in that this is a man with ASD and the other was a boy with Aspergers, but I mention it because I have liked and totally appreciated both of these books.
Firstly, that cover is beautiful and as you read through the story, you’ll see it has some symbolism, including in the snowglobe, and emotion, in this deeply thoughtful book about subjects not often talked about.
Sebastian is Autistic and is now an adult with all the needs and desires of any other adult and a few extra. There is so much that parents who have children and adult offspring, will be able to relate to.
There’s a rawness about the story and sense of truth as it tells the story of a mother and son needing support and guidance for this next stage of life – adulthood.
It’s emotional and sometimes heartbreaking and a bit uplifting, but most of all, poignant and thought-provoking with some possible themes that may be controversial to some, but others would be open to debate, especially when it comes to Sebastian’s sexual desires and how they are handled. It’s a pretty unique book in the subject matter of an autistic adult who is suggestive and has desires like the majority of humans on the planet.
You can see the frustrations and the love coming from Veronica who is desperate to help her son and also the challenges and complexities that surround this. It is emotional and pretty hard-hitting and yet the love of the mother to her son is tender, yet desperate to help him understand relationships and his sexual desires, so hires people to assist.
Aside from Sebastian, there is Isabelle who goes by the name, Violetta, who is trying to be brave and deal with her seriously ill dad, as it shows how being a high class escort and her home/personal life sit very differently next to each other. It also shows how much she needs support and the money to pay for her nursing career. She then becomes linked to Sebastian and lives alter.
How We Are Human, is ultimately a powerful book, which shows lives that may be different from your own and how some things are almost so unimaginably complex and brings topics to the fore that aren’t heard about being discussed so much; if at all in the wider world, in a highly emotionally charged way, mixed with love, desire, lust, family relations. It is beautifully written, without shying away from the biggest of subjects. The book becomes so absorbing and emotionally poignant and ends in a way, perhaps not quite as expected, but better than expected.
Read the Author’s Note too in the book. I think it is important to as it will explain a little bit about ASD and a bit about a family who inspired Louise Beech to write this story.
Inspiration for This Is How We Are Human.
“Though This is How We Are Human is fiction, the premise was inspired by my friends, 20-year-old
Sean, who is autistic, and his mum Fiona. Fiona had spoken to me about how much Sean longed to
meet a girl and have sex. No one talks about this, she said – the difficulties navigating romance often faced by those on the spectrum. It ’s an issue that I wanted to explore. Fiona and Sean encouraged me and guided me through the book; Sean regularly consulted on dialogue, rightly insisting that his voice was heard, was strong, and was accurate. I cannot thank my extraordinary friends enough for their help and support.” Louise Beech
About The Author
Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The follow-up, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted
for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her 2019 novel Call Me Star Girl won Best magazine Book of the Year, and was followed by I Am Dust.