the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

This Much Huxley Knows: contemporary novel

This Much Huxley Knows is set in the months following the Brexit referendum and it tells the story of intergenerational friendship. The novel uses a seven-year-old narrator and comparable titles include The Trouble with Sheep and Goats by Joanna Cannon, My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal and more recently Home by Amanda Berriman. It will be published in America by Black Rose Writing in July 2021. Here’s the blurb:

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 grows 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 Much Huxley Knows explores issues of belonging, friendship and what it means to trust.

Read this and feel young again  – Joe Siple, author of THE FIVE WISHES OF MR. MURRAY McBRIDE

Moving and ultimately upbeat – Christopher Wakling, author of WHAT I DID

A joy of a novel, with a wonderfully exuberant character in Huxley – Sara Gethin, author NOT THOMAS

Available in North America for pre-order through the publisher Black Rose Writing. Use code PREORDER2021 for 15% discount.

Review This Much Huxley Knows by Sasha Lauren, author of The Paris Predicament

This book surprised me. It’s an innovative, delightful, and insightful story told in first person by a child. The narrator, Huxley, is an innocent, playful, provocative seven-year-old, an “only lonely,” (no siblings), who is achingly searching for a true friend and pushing those around him to be caring and reasonable. What is so extraordinary is that Gail Aldwin beautifully transports the reader inside Huxley’s head and heart. 
 
Huxley is a busy guy: he avoids football but longs for his turn on the monkey bars, covets the relationship his best mate Ben has with his wee sister, Juno, (which is both adorable and sightly heartbreaking), and strikes up a sweet friendship with Leonard, an old man in a scooter. All the while, he keeps himself amused, (and captivates or annoys others), with his whimsical words-within-words. 
 
The adults in Huxley’s life are loving and self-absorbed; generous and selfish. They gossip, flirt, jump to conclusions, and sometimes act more like children than Huxley, who stirs up a ruckus with his own chatter. 
 
For everyone’s sake, I was rooting for them to stop arguing with each other about Brexit, (Breaks-it), and pay attention to their dear ones. And my goodness, give Huxley a little sister!
 
“Mum says I can’t go to Light Club again because she’s fallen out with Lucy. This is not fair on me. I haven’t done anything wrong and I’m missing my chance to make true friends. Ben is only a friend half of the time and that isn’t true. Samira is a new friend. And Leonard, he’s a not-allowed-to-have friend. In my mind, a true friend is someone who is interested in the same things. They laugh at the same jokes. They’re friendly even if there are accidents or times you don’t think the same.” 
 
Ah, out of the mouths of babes comes unfettered wisdom.
 
I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend finding out what Huxley knows. 

About Sasha Lauren

Sasha Lauren, poet, artist, professional organizer, and screenplay consultant, was a globetrotting licensed massage therapist for cast and crew on feature film sets. She won first place in the Channillo Publishing short story contest for “The Country Fair,” and first place in Writers Assembled contest for The Paris Predicament, which is her first dramatic novel. She loves to review films, study world culture through art and music, and juggle. 

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