This Much Huxley Knows – Gail Aldwin

Genre: Contemporary fiction

Pages: 217

Published: July 2021

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆/5

Synopsis: I’m seven years old and I’ve never had a best mate. Trouble is, no one gets my jokes. And Breaks-it isn’t helping. Ha! You get it, don’t you? Brexit means everyone’s falling out and breaking up.

Huxley is growing up in the suburbs of London at a time of community tensions. To make matters worse, a gang of youths is targeting isolated residents. When Leonard, an elderly newcomer chats with Huxley, his parents are suspicious. But Huxley is lonely and thinks Leonard is too. Can they become friends?

Funny and compassionate, this contemporary novel for adults explores issues of belonging, friendship and what it means to trust.

My Thoughts: I would firstly like to thank Gail Aldwin for a copy of This Much Huxley Knows in exchange for this honest review.

WHAT A FABULOUS BOOK!!! A book for adults, told from the perspective of a seven year old? Such a unique and interesting concept. Huxley is a funny little kid, not knowing what is appropriate and inappropriate for him to say was by far the highlight of it for me (a 7 year old talking about libido and other things he’d overheard, and explaining to his dad about his mum rubbing Paula’s back after swimming were fantastic moments that had me chuckling away). I think what I enjoyed the most about this is that a child of his age obviously has no filter when they’re talking, and Huxley is exactly like that!! He will repeat anything he’s heard because he’s so inquisitive and loves to find out new words and meanings of words. I like how it’s a contemporary story, mentioning the dreaded Brexit and Huxley trying to interpret the news in the world in his mind.

We get to find out so much about Huxley and his family, as well as the middle-class environment they live in. Gail builds the world in so much detail and no stone is left unturned in both the character and world building within the book. As I was reading it, my mind was picturing elements of my childhood – things that I haven’t thought about in years, and that in itself was such a lovely added bonus to the book.

Most importantly, this book has lots of hidden meanings. As its front cover suggests, it’s a story of innocence, misunderstandings and acceptance. There’s nothing about this book that I didn’t enjoy and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone in need of an easy read that will make you laugh from start to finish.

Once again, a huge thank you to Gail Aldwin for allowing me to read this treasure of a book!

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