BookerWorm.com

How to be Human

How to be Human

Blurb

How to be Human is the story of Mary and her unusual relationship with a fox. The story begins with Mary discovering her neighbour’s infant girl on her doorstep. It is unclear whether Mary herself has taken her, whether the baby’s mother has abandoned her, or whether she has been left their as a gift from the fox.

Initially Mary is scared by the fox but increasingly she comes to see that the fox could be a friend, someone she can talk to about her obsessive ex and her increasingly unfriendly neighbours. As her neighbours step up their efforts to hunt the fox the reader will begin to wonder who is attempting to save who?


Our Review

Honestly, I don’t really know how I feel about this book. I really wanted to like it, and in some ways, I did, but in other ways it was a bit of a disappointment.

How to be Human is the story of Mary and her unusual relationship with a fox. The story begins with Mary discovering her neighbour’s infant girl on her doorstep. It is unclear whether Mary herself has taken her, whether the baby’s mother has abandoned her, or whether she has been left their as a gift from the fox.

Initially Mary is scared by the fox but increasingly she comes to see that the fox could be a friend, someone she can talk to about her obsessive ex and her increasingly unfriendly neighbours. As her neighbours step up their efforts to hunt the fox the reader will begin to wonder who is attempting to save who?

The beginning, when you looked back from the middle, had come four weeks earlier, one miserable Tuesday in June. Mary has just arrived home from work when she sees him sat there in the middle of her garden. She muses that he could hardly have chosen a more ‘ostentatious’ spot for a nap but she knows he isn’t really sleeping as his ears are spiked.

Mary feels as though he has chosen her out of everyone in the neighbourhood and he must have a reason for having come to see her. It is this belief that grows into the seed of friendship between them. In a single visit he had acquired an air of permeance as if he had been here yesterday and would be here again tomorrow.

Overtime Mary increasingly begins to humanize the fox and eventually begins to bring the fox into her home. This part of it was difficult for me to read as I have watched programmes on people who try to domesticate foxes and the negative impact it can have on a creature who is meant to be wild.

When she sees the fox she imagines what her ex, Mark, would have done in her place and she knows he would have thrown stones at it until it fled. She chooses not to do this.

We learn that the house she lives in is one she once shared with Mark and that when they looked at it together he had squeezed her waist in a way that she thought made it seem like she needed to lose weight (she didn’t and that was exactly what he was trying to suggest.) This is the first hint we get that everything wasn’t perfect in her relationship with Mark.

The bits I enjoyed most in the book were the bits written from the perspective of the fox as this gave the reader insight into what the fox was really thinking and what Mary was simply projecting onto him.

“This whole plot was built on scent. Every day the edges needed rebuilding. Patching over. He had to track and re-track. Once the humans stayed in their pens. Now they roamed the woods.

Males and females.

Messing with his scent map. Making him work harder just to own this place. But what a place!

This place was the best of both. Wilderness in the middle. Human food dens around the edge.”

Increasingly throughout the book Mary comes to see the fox as a confidant, someone she can talk to about Mark and the things he left behind her head. She no longer has any real friends as Mark slowly isolated her from them during the time they were together and slowly made it so that she controlled everything she did and everything she said.

 She feels that the fox understands her better than anyone else and she can’t help herself from bringing him more and more into her life and as she does she feels herself start to undergo a change.

Even though I was disappointed by this book I don’t regret reading it.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 3/5

Read & Shared 15 Times.

I hope you enjoyed this book review, please consider sharing it with others.

Get In Touch

Please feel free to leave a comment to this book review below. Or even leave your own review if you like.
If you run a blog and/or have posted a review to this book, a Q & A or general author interview online you can always add a trackback to it here and following moderation we'll add a link to it below.

Leave A Comment
Loading...
Loading...
Add Trackback
Trackbacks are manual submissions only using the form below. Links will be activated following moderation.