This Is How We Are Human – Louise Beech


When the mother of an autistic young man hires a call girl to make him happy, three lives collide in unexpected and moving ways … changing everything. A devastatingly beautiful, rich and thought-provoking novel that will warm your heart.

You read a lot of books in this blogging game. Some of them are good, some of them are great. Then there are books like this.

I don’t know how Louise Beech does it, but she’s done it again. After Call Me Star Girl, I was hooked. I Am Dust confirmed her as one of those authors where I’d read anything they write. And now with this? I’m lost for words.

This is going to be a really short review.

Just read it.

There, that’s it. Trust me.

You want more? This is a story which a mother pays a call girl to make her autistic son happy. You might feel a little… apprehensive approaching this book, given the subject matter. But you’re in the hands of Louise Beech here. Nothing is as simple or straightforward as it appears. And it’s handled with such love and compassion that you emerge blinking from the other side, having fallen completely for the three leads.

I read this book in an afternoon, having unceremoniously dumped the TBR pile to one side. And yes Louise, you made me cry.

Sebastian is a young man (twenty years, six months and two days old, thank you very much) who very much wants to have sex. But he struggles with relationships, as other people’s prejudices get in the way. And some people can’t see past the surface to the man underneath. His mother Veronica can, of course. And she’s heartbroken to see her son have to battle through life. Opportunity presents itself in Violeta, a call girl. Could she bring herself to pay this woman to take care of her son? What would he think if he ever found out?

Each of the three has their own story to tell, and they tell it their own way. Beech’s characters are always fantastic, and there’s no exception here. They’re complex, layered, really real people who come alive off the page and leave you changed by the end. Prejudices examined, wrung out and hung up to dry.

Beautifully and sensitively told, This Is How We Are Human is a story about love and life, of discrimation and difference, and the choices we make. It’s ultimately about being… human.

Hugely recommended, I’m putting this straight on the books of the year list.

This Is How We Are Human by Louise Beech is published by Orenda Books and is out now in ebook, and paperback in June 2021. Many thanks to Orenda Books for the review copy.

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

3 thoughts on “This Is How We Are Human – Louise Beech”

  1. I guess I’m a little reluctant to read this book (even though I ordered on my Kindle) because the subject matter sounds pretty uncomfortable. I’m definitely interested in the autism spectrum angle, though. 🙂

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