2020 Book Reviews · Favourite Books

Because You Of You by Dawn French

Because of You by [Dawn French]

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 . . .

Okay guys, I have SO MUCH TO SAY, yet also I am utterly speechless, I am somehow supposed to put into words how I feel about this… MASTERPIECE. It really does feel like an impossible task!

I am a huge fan of Dawn French’s novels, her storytelling is wonderful and the fact I have had to wait FIVE WHOLE YEARS for a new one is not something I want to experience ever again. It is simply too long. So when I got a hold of her new book I planned to take my time, to cherish every word and every page. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN my friends, because as I stated above… Dawn knows how to write really, REALLY well. So well it is actually impossible to read slowly and savour every moment, instead you find yourself glued to the pages frantically reading and crying (more on that later) and desperately trying to finish it in one glorious go. In fact, I DID NOT put the bloody book down and at 1am finished it in a sobbing heap of snot and swollen eyes!

No seriously, I cried so much, it wasn’t the pretty crying of models, it was the ugly crying of trolls. The sort of crying where you think your heart may stay broken forever, shattered beyond repair. This happened before I hit 30 pages too! So you can only imagine the state I was in once it was over!

But anyway, enough about me, let us talk about the book!

It is New Years Eve 1999, two very different women are giving birth in the same hospital. One is married to an MP, who is a total self obsessed wanker. He is only concerned with himself and being liked, even when his wife is literally giving birth he tries to make the entire event about himself. He wants the press informed immediately, he is very unbothered about their families finding out first. As Anne lies there giving birth, she finds herself quite disgusted with him but tries to put that to the back of her mind and focuses on the birth of her daughter. In another room Hope is giving birth to a little girl also, with her beautiful, kind and caring Isaac. They are both very young, but so very in love and ready to be the best parents that they can possibly be.

But for one of the couples disaster strikes, Hope and Isaac lose their newborn daughter, Minnie. There was absolutely nothing that could be done, it was just one of those unexplained things. Hope and Isaac are broken, devastated, they went into hospital expecting to leave with their daughter but instead will leave with an empty car seat and a lifetime of grief. As for Anna and Julius, they have just welcomed baby Florence. A beautiful baby girl who is instantly loved and cherished.

Each couple is left to recover and rest. Julius instantly falls asleep as though he was the one who did all hard work! Anna slowly drifts off too, leaving her baby daughter asleep and safe in the cot beside her. Hope wants to get home as soon as possible and so Isaac takes the carseat to the car, leaving Hope to make her way down to the car when she is ready.

But as Hope leaves she is drawn to a room and the sound of a baby making noises, baby Florence is awake whilst her parents sleep. Hope is drawn to how perfect and calm little Florence is and in a moment of utter madness she picks up Florence and places her in her bag. Hope then leaves the hospital with a stolen baby and goes home with Isaac.

The story continues in 1999 and also we find ourselves eighteen years into the future with each character…

I WANT TO TELL YOU SO MUCH MORE but it really would be awful of me to do so. This is a book that absolutely must be told in the authors words, not second hand by me.

Everything about this book was perfect, PERFECT. As much as you feel Hope should be hated, your heart is too broken over what she went through and so you literally cannot help but pity her. As well as this you see just what a shit Julius is and it makes you seriously wonder whether actually Hope gave her a home she wouldn’t have had, if she been with her true parents. Even though you know what she did was wrong and Anna’s suffering is unbearable, it is every parents worst nightmare times a million. But still your heart lies with them both!

The story is that of what makes you who you are, it asks a million questions. Had the baby been brought up in a home with an unhappy marriage would she have turned out differently to how she was brought up. Do your genes determine how you will be as a person, or is it entirely how you are brought up and with who brings you up?

Dawn writes books with a serious subject and injects warmth and humor throughout. It is entirely impossible to put one of her books down once you have started. Her other books have been fantastic but Because of You is quite honestly in an entirely different league. If this is where her writing is headed I am very excited to see what is next.

Because Of You is powerful, heart wrenching and heartwarmingly good. A compelling read from start to finish and a story that will stay with you forever. Quite possibly one of the best books I have ever read and one I will most certainly pick up time and time again. Heart-stoppingly good! (don’t care if I made that word up, embrace it and believe it)

Because Of You is available in all good bookshops and online in those good bookshops too.

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