Monday, 3 May 2021

#BlogTour Because of You by Dawn French


It's an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Because of You by Dawn French to celebrate the Paperback Publication.

'An instant bestseller, Dawn French’s game changing fourth novel received an overwhelming response from readers and critics who fell in love with this wise and heart-breaking book. This year Because of You, was selected by a standout jury for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 longlist, and joins the illustrious list of authors recognised by the prize for their outstanding contribution to women’s literature.'

About the Author
As a writer, comedian and actor, Dawn French has appeared in some if this country's most loved and cherished shows, including French and Saunders, The Vicar of Dibley, Jam and Jerusalem, Roger and Val Have Just Got In, and more recently, Delicious and The Trouble with Maggie Cole.

Dawn's first three novels, A Tiny Bit Marvellous, Oh Dear Silvia and According to Yes are all Sunday Times bestsellers. Her number one bestselling memoir, Dear Fatty, was published to critical acclaim in 2008, and Me. You. A Diary, a further number one Sunday Times bestseller in 2018. 

Follow @Dawn_French on Twitter or on Instagram


About the book
At the heart of Because of You, are two very different families, whose lives are suddenly entwined when a baby goes missing. Seventeen years later, the truths begin to roll, and the power of mother-love will be tested to its limits. It is a novel about mothers and daughters, live and loss, mistakes and regrets, identity, and the family bonds that make us who we are. Because of You is a contemporary story, whose cleverly drawn characters are challenged by themselves, each other and the surprising twists and turns of fate.


Review
It's probably something most women think of if they intend to give birth in a hospital. The what if element, the irrational fear that comes with the maternal hormones. What if something happens to the baby - it gets switched, stolen or something happens during the birth? Nightmares.

For one of the characters the nightmare becomes a reality when her newborn disappears. The loss, the grief and the guilt make her question herself and her relationship with her husband. The story becomes one about relationships between mothers and daughters, nature vs nurture and identity.

A little bit of a Grey's Anatomy episode vibe going on there - top marks for the drama. It was a little over the top at times, and perhaps veered into certain stereotypes on occasion. Saying that, it does pull on the heartstrings and delve deeply into motherhood, in particular on whether biology and genetics are the most important factors when it comes to being a parent or caring for a child. 

Is it better to be the product of a caring single parent environment or a two parent toxic environment. Does the result justify the means? Is the result an equal opportunity and cast iron predictor of said results? Does Hope empower Minnie by taking away her right to make choices or actually become the accidental oppressor in her grief? 

I think the food for thought element of the read is what makes it a good one. As a reader you question, wonder and perhaps even justify at times. The victim becomes almost irrelevant because the reader is lulled into forgiveness by the nature of her relationship with her other mother.

I have to admit it was a mixed bag for me. It lacked a certain finesse, and I wonder if that was intentional, and the fact the author could have brought it to the table - if she had wanted to do so and yet perhaps chose not to. It is certainly a book I shall be recommending.

Buy Because of You at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publication Date 29th April 2021 - Paperback | £8.99 | Penguin Michael Joseph. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Waterstones.

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