editor's choice


Best-selling novelist Louise Beech’s latest novel, This Is How We Are Human, is really an exploration of love in all its guises.

Beech has proved herself a fearless writer, unafraid to tackle subjects many would run away from. Here she explores an area little discussed, love and sex for those people on the spectrum.  

This Is How We Are Human revolves around three characters and their interaction with each other – Sebastian, a highly functioning, autistic, twenty-year old, whose new obsession is sex, his dedicated mother, Veronica, who wants her much-loved son to experience life safely, and Violetta/Isabelle, who’s forced to work as an escort to pay for her father’s medical treatment and her own education, and whose life and experiences make one want to weep. And while all three protagonists are authentic and compelling, it’s Sebastian who’s the star, bright, charming, without filter.

Beech’s talent as a writer turns a plot that could easily be mawkish in less expert hands into something quite extraordinary. It’s a beautifully realised book, moving and full of empathy.

At times funny, poignant and heart-rending, This Is How We Are Human isn’t an easy read, but my goddess, it’s good.

Highly, highly recommended.

This Is How We Are Human | Louise Beech | 10 June 2021 | Orenda Books | paperback original | £8.99

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Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the virtual book tour. Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours, as always, and to the publisher for sending us a review copy. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved. Please check out the other wonderful reviewers on this tour and please share them.

Also of interest:Alice Walker and the power of poetry‘; ‘By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘Sylvia Plath on poetry‘; ‘WB Yeats, “The Journey of the Magi“‘; ‘Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Remembered‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

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