We are half way through the year so there are plenty of contenders for the coveted top 10 spots. It’s going to be difficult to prise away at least a top 5 spot from this next book.
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.
What’s so annoying about this review is that it won’t do This Is How We Are Human justice. I absolutely fell in love with this book. Or more so, I feel in love with the characters. Sebastian, Veronica and Violetta. All are broken, yet all are whole. All are flawed, yet all are broken. All have weaknesses, yet all are strong. I dare you to try to dislike any of them. You might not agree with all their decisions but you will understand them, and that’s the most important part.
I’m no expert in autism and I can imagine it must be very difficult to depict an autistic character. Yet I feel like the author does so wonderfully. Sebastian is a beautiful human and through him, we get an understanding of what it is like to live in an world that doesn’t always understand autism. I also love how the author gave him his own voice so we are not seeing him through the eyes of others, which can often be the case.
This Is How We Are Human is a beautiful story with a message: don’t judge others. Yet it doesn’t preach. We learn this lesson by learning to fall in love with the person, not the labels given to them by society. If you read one book this year, please make it this. You won’t regret it.
This Is How We Are Human is available to buy here.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.