This is How We Are Human

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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 and break your heart…

‘One of the best writers of her generation’ John Marrs, author of The One

‘A brilliant premise, executed beautifully … such a moving, tender and unexpected read’ Catherine Isaac, author of Messy, Wonderful Us

‘I guarantee you will not read anything like it this year … you will fall in love with this book’ Miranda Dickinson, author of Our Story

‘Incredibly moving, gripping, and full of heart … The novel everyone will be talking about this year’ Gill Paul, author of The Secret Wife


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.


‘Every now and then you read a book that takes your breath away. This is How We Are Human does just that … you feel from the first page to the last’ Liz Fenwick, author of The River Between Us

‘A writer of beautiful sentences, and they are in abundance. This sensitive subject is treated with the utmost care’ Nydia Hetherington, author of A Girl Made of Air

‘Such a complex and emotive book’ Claire King, author of The Night Rainbow

‘It had me gripped from the start and changed the way I see the world. Beautiful, bold and compelling  – another fearless story from Beech’ Katie Marsh, author of Unbreak Your Heart

‘A searching, rich and thought-provoking novel with an emotional core’ LoveReading 

‘This book is just what the world needs right now’ Fiona Mills, BBC

‘Oh, Sebastian, I’ll never forget him. Heart is always at the core of Louise’s books and this one is no exception’ Madeleine Black, author of Unbroken

‘What a brave and prejudice busting story this is … brava’ S. E. Lynes, author of Can You See Her

‘A convincing, bittersweet tale of misplaced kindness, a myriad types of vulnerability, and unexpected consequences … All the stars and more’ Carol Lovekin, author of Wild Spinning Girls

‘A tender, insightful read’ Michael J. Malone, author of A Song of Isolation

‘An exceptional book that will make you laugh, cry and feel better for having read it’ Audrey Davis, author of Lost in Translation

‘The most exquisite and moving story I have read in a very long time’ Book Review Café

‘I don’t know of another writer who portrays characters so true, flaws and all … mesmerising, the characters are beautiful but, more importantly, they’re REAL’ J. M. Hewitt, author of The Quiet Girls

For fans of Maggie O’Farrell, David Nicholls, Ali Smith and JoJo Moyes.

Product Details

£8.99  £8.54
Orenda Books
Publish Date

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