Delighted to host one of today's stops on this blog tour
10 June 2021
My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book
and to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of the blog tour
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.
“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.”
📖 My Thoughts..
I’ve now read every book that Louise Beech has written and each time I finish I am lost for the words which will do justice to the emotion she brings to every single story, and This is How We Are Human is no exception. I read it during a time when I was so sad that the slightest thing sent me plunging down an emotional rabbit hole, and I’m afraid that I mainly read Veronica, Sebastian and Violetta’s story with ugly tears streaming down my face, and yet, it’s not so much a sad story, it’s more of a life affirming, hopeful story and whilst there are moments which brought me to tears, there are definitely gloriously funny bits which made me laugh out loud, and wise and profound sayings which had me nodding my head in sage acknowledgement.
My heart reached out to Veronica, who only wanted what would make her autistic son happy and if that meant hiring a high class escort to teach Sebastian the delights of a sexual experience he so desperately craved, well, who are we to judge if this was morally right or wrong. Sebastian is both gloriously uncomplicated and incredibly complex but seeing the world from his perspective gave me much food for thought about some important issues I hadn't ever considered. Violetta is living a double life, her work as an escort is merely a way to pay for something which means the world to her and putting up with demanding clients is just a means to an end but when offered a chance to earn enough money for what she needs and to do so in a much safer environment is a chance worth taking.
Blending the stories of these three very different characters together is a triumph as not only do they take us right into the maelstrom of an emotional whirlpool but their combined experiences chases away those prejudices and misconceptions which are incredibly damaging if left unacknowledged.
I really do think that Louise Beech is a magician, she sprinkles her stories with a kaleidoscope of colours, blending and turning so that all the complex pieces twirl and dance and then with a flick of a literary wand she delivers a story, which before your eyes, turns into something precious and beautiful and it is that very magic which turns This is How We Are Human into such a compelling and thought-provoking read.
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.
Twitter@louisewriter #ThisIsHowWeAreHuman #BlogTour