Louise Beech: This Is How We Are Human

I aam delighted to be finally sharing my review of This Is How We Are Human. My review is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour and to Orenda Books for my copy of the book.


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.


This is one of those rare reviews that comes with a disclaimer. Nothing I can write will do this book justice so the only thing I can recommend is that you read it for yourself. 

When I heard Louise Beech speak about This Is How We Are Human I was slightly apprehensive because the subject matter is incredibly sensitive and having worked with and known families with autistic people, I am aware of some of the difficulties they face in society. I shouldn’t have worried: Louise Beech writes with so much care and compassion and it never feels like she’s overstepping any marks. I was completely drawn into her writing and captivated by Sebastian’s story. 

The characters themselves are absolutely wonderful and they each have so many layers. Each of the three central characters have their own chapters and this helps us to discover what is going on beneath the surface. When I finished reading, I didn’t want to leave Sebastian, Isabelle and Veronica behind. I was so invested in how their story would play out. 

One day, Louise Beech will write a book that does not make me cry. Today is not that day. I ugly cried my way through at least two thirds of the way of This Is How We Are Human. This is testament to how emotive Beech’s writing is and I welcomed all the feelings it evoked in me. 

I can’t wait to see what she does next!

This Is How We Are Human is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here

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