Tuesday, April 13, 2021

This is How We Are Human by Louise Beech

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 …

I received a proof of this book from Orenda Books and Louise Beech in return for an honest review.

I blasted through this book in a day. I first saw the book when Louise was talking about it on her Twitter account, and as soon as I knew she was writing a story about a young adult with Autism, and she had worked closely with a good friend and her autistic son, I knew it was a book I wanted to read. As a mother of 2 autistic children (on the cusp of becoming teenagers), I love reading stories like this, and seeing how similar they are to our lives. 

Well this one was great. There were so many things that made me say, ‘yep I know that feeling’, or ‘my son/daughter does that!’. I’m obviously nowhere near the sex stuff yet with my kids as they are only 11 and 12, but if this is what to come I’m not ready haha! 

You know from the blurb what this book is about, some may say it’s all about sex. But really it’s about love and understanding, and it brings up some real and huge feelings. I cried like a baby during the last few chapters, and my heart absolutely broke for Sebastian. He just wants to fit in, be a normal young adult and do normal young adult things. But like I always say to my kids, what is normal?  There is no normal. I totally understood where Veronica was coming from and why she done what she done. Would I do it. Probably not haha, but did I get why? Of course. 

I don’t know much else to say apart from read it, love it, understand it, and feel it. It’s full of love, laugh and tears, and is ultimately a beautiful story of growing up seeing the world a little bit different.

Thank you again to Karen from Orenda Books and as always, the author Louise Beech... you made me cry.

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