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July 8, 2021

This Much Huxley Knows by Gail Aldwin ~ a Review

by MK French


Seven-year-old Huxley is growing up in the London suburbs, and there are many tensions present around him. With no friends and no understanding of Brexit or the gangs targeting isolated residents, all he sees is that an elderly neighbor lives alone. Huxley is sure that Leonard is as lonely as he is, and hopes that they can become friends.

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This Much Huxley Knows
July 2021; Black Rose Writing; 978-1684337316
ebook, print (224 pages); fiction
Gail’s seven-year-old voice is excellent. You can really see a little boy saying these things, pronouncing bigger words this way (infatuation becomes “in-fat-you-station” for example), and how he doesn’t see the things that adults do. The adults around him look down on the elderly and disabled and will make cutting remarks about each other, but Huxley doesn’t have those preconceived notions yet. He’s focused on play and getting through school, making sure adults aren’t mad at him and that he can still have friends despite the fact that they don’t understand the way he plays with words. We know more about what’s happening around Huxley than he does given his age, but he sees more than he realizes, he just doesn’t understand what the adults do.

This Much Huxley Knows is a gentle way of looking into the prejudices that adults can have, and the ways we hurt each other without meaning to. I really like seeing the world from his point of view, and that he’s able to subtly influence the adults around him to be kinder to others. Their reminders to him regarding his behavior also remind them that they need to be more empathetic and understanding, and to reach out to make friends. It’s a great message for kids of every age.

(The ebook is a free read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers)

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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