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The Big Read: Family & Relationships

Learn more about "Detective McLevy's Casebook" and the #NapierBigRead

A photograph of two children arm in arm."50. At some point, bad things are going to happen. Have someone to hold on to."

- The Humans, p.274

Love, in various forms from friendship to passion, is a key theme within the book. Do you think our ability to love is what makes us human?


"53. Don't ever be afraid of telling someone you love them. There are things wrong with your world, but an excess of love is not one."

- The Humans, p. 274

Isobel is Andrew's wife in The Humans. Their relationship changes over the course of the book, from one of distance to one of love. Andrew encourages Isobel to finish writing her book. After a period of separation, Andrew find Isobel's finished book in a bookstore and realises that what he wants most is to have a family and a home with Isobel and Gulliver.

"95. Be kind to your mother. And try to make her happy.

96. You are a good human, Gulliver Martin.

97. I love you. Remember that."

- The Humans, p. 277

As the story unfolds, Andrew's relationship with his son improves, and two develop a friendship. At the end of The Humans, Andrew writes out a list of 97 pieces of advice for his son Gulliver, entitled Advice for a Human. Which recommendations spoke to you the most? Is there any advice that you would give that isn't included on the list? Or any that you would remove? 

In the book, Gulliver experiences bullying from his schoolmates. With the help of Andrew, he becomes more assertive and stands up to his tormentors. 

"27. Dogs are geniuses of loyalty. And that is good kind of genius to have."

- The Humans, p. 272

Though mistrustful of each other at first, the main character's relationship with his dog Newton changes throughout the book to one of enduring affection. In many ways Andrew finds it easier to bond with Newton than with other human members of his family. 

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