#Blogtour This Is How by We Are Human Louise Beech @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomTTours #ThisHowWeAreHuman

This Is How We Are Human by Louise Beech Orenda Books 10th June 2021

The Blurb

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 … 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 – intertwine in unexpected ways – everything changes. For everyone.

A topical and moving 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 … to survive … This Is How We Are Human is a searching, rich and thought-provoking novel with an emotional core that will warm and break your heart.

My Review

A new novel by Louise Beech is always something to celebrate, to get excited about and she is an author that never disappoints. This Is How We Are Human was no exception, in fact I would go as far as to say that it is her best novel yet.

I had to wait a couple of days before writing my review. I needed to let the words but more importantly the characters sink in, to gain perspective and just enjoy and appreciate what I had read.

At first glance you would be forgiven that we had been here before, an autistic character grappling with life in a normal world, but Beech turned it on its head and took us somewhere where perhaps we never think about, never really appreciate. Just because a person has what we perceive to be a disability doesn’t mean that they don’t have sexual needs just like everyone of us. What we don’t do is talk about it, we just brush it under the carpet and dismiss, not for Beech.

She gave us Sebastian James Murphy aged twenty years, six months and two days, age so important, to know he was an adult, not a child. He was funny, serious, intelligent, loved fried eggs and desperately wanted to have sex. Mother Veronica was going to make his wish come true and would do anything to make it happen, and when the solution presented itself it all seemed just too good to be true.

Enter Violetta, high class escort, a woman just trying to make the best of her own personal situation. I absolutely loved her, she was honest, practical and the fact Beech didn’t make her the usual stereotypical escort was utterly refreshing. So often we see the glamour, and the money not the risk, the brutality and sense of righteous ownership from the clients. My heart sank every time she went to a meeting and I recoiled as I read Beech’s unflinching descriptions. Beech infected her with such huge vulnerability, a body and mind ripe for something new and unexpected that you sort of guessed what would be yet enjoyed the journey and revelled in the outcomes.

The relationship between Violetta and Sebastian was a true highlight, and one Beech depicted with huge sensitivity. It never felt awkward or forced but tender, poignant. I felt they were each other’s trigger to open their minds to new things, to endless future possibilities. You couldn’t help but admire Beech’s ability to get so deep inside Sebastian’s mind, to normalise his autism, to show that he had the same feelings, needs as all of us, just a different approach to getting there.

But life never runs smooth and when truth found it’s way out it made for some tense and heart rending reading . The emotion Beech infused was, at times, unbearable but necessary, necessary to show what Sebastian, Violetta and Veronica meant to each other and the profound effect decisions made can have.

This was a novel that left its footprints in your mind that would leave an indelible mark, of a novel never to be forgotten and an author who once again showed immense skill and unbound versatility.

I would like to thank Orenda Books for a copy This Is How We Are Human to read and review and to Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Reader’s Choice in 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe, was shortlisted for the 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’s Book of the Year, and was followed by a ghost-story cum psychological thriller set in a theatre, I Am Dust. Louise is currently working on her seventh book, and she lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.

Follow Louise on Twitter @LouiseWriter and visit her website: louisebeech.co.uk.

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