Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

The Rules of Seeing

by Joe Heap

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Debut Books of the Month Relationship Stories Sagas and Romance

LoveReading View on The Rules of Seeing

32-year-old multi-lingual Nova works as an interpreter for the police. Blind since birth, an operation that restores her sight heralds the beginning of a bewildering journey to understand the world from scratch. The novel is brilliant in offering insights into Nova’s experience of blindness as readers feel her struggle to re-learn everything through her newly-opened eyes. While recovering from the operation, Nova meets Kate, who’s in hospital after sustaining a head injury. The women strike up an immediate bond, which becomes a tender friendship – and more – as they find they are entirely at home in each other’s company, able to open up, experience joy and see the world in new ways through each other’s interpretation of the world.

Throughout, Nova’s “Rules of Seeing” notes serve as practical guidelines with metaphoric meaning - “The brain will hang onto objects after you have stopped looking” – and the novel is fascinating on the nature of perception. Nova’s “childlike wonder” when enjoying new experiences is infectious, while the intense expositions of Kate’s husband’s increasingly chilling actions are powerfully authentic and give this novel the page-turning urgency of a thriller. Raw, and radiant with the promise of new life and love, this dazzling debut comes recommended for readers who relish new novels by Mark Haddon, Matt Haig and Marina Lewycka.

Joanne Owen

The Rules of Seeing Synopsis

`An utterly compelling blend of tenderness and menace...astonishing' Ruth Hogan, The Keeper of Lost Things `Uplifting. I loved it. It's made me see the world in a different way' Dawn O Porter Nova is 32 years old and she is about to see the world for the very first time. Nova can do many things. She can speak five languages. She can always find a silver lining. And as an interpreter for the Metropolitan Police, she can tell when someone is lying just from the sound of their voice. But there's one thing Nova can't do. She can't see. When her brother convinces her to have an operation that will restore her sight, Nova wakes up to a world she no longer understands. Until she meets Kate. As Kate comes into focus and their unlikely friendship blossoms, Kate's past threatens to throw them into a different kind of darkness. Can they both learn to see the world in a different way? Everyone is talking about The Rules of Seeing: `An inspiring story of love, loss and friendship' #1 bestselling author Catherine Alliott `It really made me re-evaluate how I see the world...outstanding'Katy Regan, author of Big Little Man `A book that reveals the world in a different light and changes the way you see it...Extraordinary' Sunday Times bestseller Miranda Dickinson `Startlingly, outstandingly good' Benjamin Ludwig, author of Ginny Moon

Win a copy of Happiness for Beginners and a Hamper!

Win a copy of Happiness for Beginners and a Hamper!

Closing date: 30/06/2019

"Happiness for Beginners is entertaining, heart-warming and ever so readable, I raced through in one sitting and enjoyed every second." Liz Robinson, Expert Reviewer We a copy of Happiness for Beginners by Carole Matthews and a hamper to give away to one lucky winner. We also have 5 copies of the book to give away to the runners up. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 30th June 2019. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

Enter Now

The Rules of Seeing Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

Nova sees for the first time, Kate sees life in a new way. A thought provoking book that will have you looking at the world in a whole new way. Full review

Paul Garland

A gripping novel with an original theme and complex relationships leading to an unlooked-for climax Full review

Linde Merrick

Well written and excellent characterisation. To state an old cliche - will make u see the world in a different way ...... !! Full review

Bev Taylor

I read it in one sitting. An intriguing story which you have to keep reading to find out the ending! Full review

Kathy Martin

A captivating tale of complicated love and overcoming personal challenges, whether that be physical or mental. Can love hold us together no matter what life throws at us? Full review

Catherine Hogwood

A tale of learning to love, forgiving and escape from abusive relationships. They show that nothing is as simple as it seems and we all have to work at the rules. Full review

Alfred Nobile

This book is a truly original love story with a subtle psychological element to it too, which creeps alongside the main story. Primarily though it’s about learning to see the World in whole new way and being happy in that World. Full review

Lynne Packer

An epic tale of change, independence, loss, learning and love Full review


The Rules of Seeing will make you look at your world anew - both the things you can see and the things you can't. Full review

Lucy Bunce

The Rules of Seeing Press Reviews

`Truly kept me guessing until the nail-biting end. A stunning and memorable page-turner' Sarah J. Harris, author of The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder

`Is it a love-story? Is it a thriller? It's both. With tender love scenes that made me catch my breath and a menacing story thread that had me holding it, I loved it, loved it, loved it' Irish Times best-seller Fionnuala Kearney

`Extraordinary - a compelling, enlightening story with dark shadows and hope at its heart. It's a book that reveals the world in a different light and changes the way you see it. So fresh, so original and so vivid, I loved it!' Sunday Times bestseller, Miranda Dickinson

If you loved this, you might like these...

The Museum of Broken Promises
How to Build a Boyfriend from Scratch
Mom's Perfect Boyfriend
Mom's Perfect Boyfriend

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008293154
Publication date: 09/08/2018
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008293154
Publication date: 9th August 2018
Author: Joe Heap
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 416 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Debuts of the Month, Relationship Stories, Sagas and Romance,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Thriller / suspense,

About Joe Heap

Joe Heap was born in 1986 and grew up in Bradford, the son of two teachers. In 2004, he won the Foyle Young Poets award, and he is a published poet. He studied for a BA in English Literature at Stirling University and a Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. Joe lives in London with his long-suffering girlfriend, short-suffering baby, and much-aggrieved cat. The Rules of Seeing is his first novel.

More About Joe Heap

Share this book