September Reads 2021

I have only three featured on here this month, as I have a policy of only featuring books that I rate 3 stars and over. I don't include books that I don't finish or am disappointed in. For the record I DNF one novel, but might try and resume at a later date.

I also read a special book this month, but you'll have to wait to hear about that as it will have it's very own blog page in November!


This month I highly recommend:


This is How we are Human by Louise Beech

The Hidden Child by Louise Fein

The Fear by C. L. Taylor



This is How we are Human by Louise Beech

Published June 2021 by Orenda Books


Official Blurb

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.


My Review

Each character, Sebastian, Veronica and Violetta, is thoughtfully and beautifully presented. You feel for each of them and Louise's storytelling is natural and effortless. I loved every page of this book and admired the skilful handling of such sensitive and deeply personal subjects. This is the kind of writing I aspire to and will be recommending to everyone for a long while to come.

It is my book of the month.


My Rating

5 stars



The Hidden Child by Louise Fein

Published by Head of Zeus


Official Blurb

London, 1929.

Eleanor Hamilton is a dutiful mother, a caring sister and an adoring wife to a celebrated war hero. Her husband, Edward, is a pioneer in the eugenics movement. The Hamiltons are on the social rise, and it looks as though their future is bright.

When Mabel, their young daughter, begins to develop debilitating seizures, they have to face an uncomfortable truth: Mabel has epilepsy - one of the 'undesirable' conditions that Edward campaigns against.

Forced to hide their daughter away so as to not jeopardise Edward's life's work, the couple must confront the truth of their past - and the secrets that have been buried.

Will Eleanor and Edward be able to fight for their family? Or will the truth destroy them?


My Review

This is another incredibly well researched novel by Louise Fein, set slightly earlier than People Like Us, but the conversation around eugenics is fundamental to both. Told through the eyes of both parents and also epilepsy itself, Louise's work is so thought provoking it makes you realise how good people can end up doing bad things, but that there is always hope. It also makes you question what 'progress' really is and how social, and cultural context is so definitive.

My thanks to Netgalley and the author for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.


My Rating

5 stars



The Fear by C. L. Taylor

Published by Harper Collins


Official Blurb

Sometimes your first love won't let you go...

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn't what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn't repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he's caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it's clear that she could once again become his prey...


My Review

I read this as it was a book my daughter found in our holiday let. She loved it, said I had to read it. So I did. It's well-written, well-constructed (competent to the point of formulaic) and I found it gripping owing to the compelling writing style, but the characters were so annoying. There were incidences that didn't seem believable .. but then it is a thriller, and let's face it, they are rarely realistic. I enjoyed it enough to download it because I hadn't finished it by the end of our holiday and didn't want to steal it. Will I talk about it and recommend it? No. Will it stay with me as the other two novels will? No. I had to look it up to remind myself what it was all about, just to write this review.


My Rating

3 stars

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