It is just after midnight on the first of January 2000 when two families in the same hospital welcome baby girls into the world. The opening chapter was so emotionally engaging and compelling that I was hooked from thereon in. Basically from the first chapters the rest of my day was cancelled as I simply could not put the book down. In those first pages as I got to know both families, there were tears (mine), characters I wanted to hug and at least one I wanted to slap!
Anna is a long suffering politician’s wife, married to Julius. He’s such an entitled annoying character, much more concerned with the appearance of a perfect family than actually contributing to making his family perfect. Their baby is long awaited and longed for. Then there’s Hope and Quiet Isaac. She’s a hospital cleaner while he is an overseas student from Sierra Leone. Theirs is an unplanned, unexpected but nonetheless welcome baby. Between them is a quiet but deeply felt love.
Although Dawn French is well known as a comedian, this is not a humorous book, although there is a touch of humour provided by one of the characters who continually uses wrong words. Instead this is a book of big emotional themes: motherhood, grief, loss and above all love. It’s a poignant, heartfelt story of mothers and daughters and the bonds between them, so beautifully and insightfully written.
Because Of You is a superb book with such a perfect last line, full of hope. One of Dawn French’s previous books was called A Tiny Bit Marvellous. Well, this one is a huge, warm, moving, glorious piece of marvellous-ness. Is that even a word? Well I’m not sure and I don’t even care. This book is simply wonderful.
My thanks to the publishers Michael Joseph for my review copy from Netgalley. Because of You was published yesterday in hardback, audiobook and ebook formats. You can order a copy from various retailers on the Penguin website here: Because of You
From the back of the book
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock . . . midnight.
The old millennium turns into the new.
In the same hospital, two very different women give birth to two very similar daughters.
Hope leaves with a beautiful baby girl.
Anna leaves with empty arms.
Seventeen years later, the gods who keep watch over broken-hearted mothers wreak mighty revenge, and the truth starts rolling, terrible and deep, toward them all.
The power of mother-love will be tested to its limits.
Perhaps beyond . . .
About the Author
Dawn French has been making people laugh for thirty years. On purpose.
As a writer, comedian and actor, she has appeared in some of the UK’s most long running, cherished and celebrated shows, including French and Saunders, The Comic Strip Presents …, Murder Most Horrid, The Vicar of Dibley, Jam and Jerusalem, Lark Rise to Candleford, and more recently, Roger and Val Have Just Got In.