Friday 20 November 2020

Because Of You by Dawn French @Dawn_French #BecauseOfYou @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks @FMcMAssociates

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 . . .

Because Of You by Dawn French was published in hardback on 15 October 2020 by Michael Joseph / Penguin Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

This review originally appeared in the Daily Express

It’s the morning of January 1 2000, the birth of a new millennium. Two very different women give birth in the same hospital.

Anna, married to self-absorbed MP Jules, has longed for this baby for years. Hope is a seventeen-year-old cleaner whose boyfriend is still a student. But she is determined that her baby will be loved and cherished.

However, Hope leaves hospital with a baby girl while Anna and Jules go home with empty arms and an empty car seat.

Anna and Jules have suffered a grave injustice. And the consequences of what happened in that maternity ward will reverberate for the rest of their lives. 

Seventeen years later, that small baby, known as Minnie, finds her life turned upside down, while Hope and Anna are forced to face up to the ways their lives have been shaped, shattered and realigned over the years. 

Because of You is a wonderfully written, tender story of motherhood with a devastating theme of heartbreak running though it, though it’s punctuated with moments of humour too. Dawn French’s cast of characters are sensitively drawn, their tangled and intricately messed-up lives vividly portrayed.

She skilfully captures family ties and the love and tolerance the characters show for one another, with the exception of the obnoxious Jules who is brilliantly awful.

The final scenes are so perfectly executed that they almost broke my heart. Because Of You is a story to cherish, perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Jenny Éclair. 

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.

Twitter @Dawn_French


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