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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The eagerly awaited, life-affirming and moving new novel from number one best-selling Author 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....

Because Of You is Dawn French's stunning new novel, told with her signature humour, warmth and so much love.

©2020 Dawn French (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Because of You

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelly
  • 19-03-21

a moving, emotional story of motherhood

Women's Prize Longlist 2021

As an American I am not really familiar with Dawn French as an actress, nor at all as an author. I went into this one completely blind, listening to the audiobook (the only edition available in USA) after its inclusion on the longlist.

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Because of You packed an emotional punch. As the book opens it is the January 1, 2000 and two women, Hope and Anna, are giving birth to their daughters on the same hallway. Both had long difficult labors, and unfortunately Hope's baby is stillborn. This moment wrecked me. In the late 1990s I lost three babies during the second trimester and remember the devastation well. I felt every moment of this mom's shock and grief. Anna's daughter is perfect. But when Hope is leaving the hospital she slips into Anna's room to glimpse the baby, who lifts her hand and Hope makes the choice to steal the child. She slips the girl into her baby, and carries her to the car where her partner is waiting for her.

When the book flashes forward almost 18 years we find that this girl -- now called Minnie -- has had a quiet, happy life with her "mom." It is obvious that Hope kept this secret and never came under much scrutiny. Minnie is now pregnant, and Hope has determined to set things right so she tells her daughter about where she came from. From there, the book brings together the two women and the daughter they shared.

It was a moving, surprising, beautiful book that touched on themes of love, loss, grief, anger, regret, forgiveness and resilience. I did wish for a bit more exploration of the years in between. I wanted to know how Anna survived, and how Hope kept the secret for so long. I wanted to know what it was that allowed both women to cope when the entire lie fell apart. It isn't a perfect book, but I found it emotionally impactful, and even hopeful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-01-21

Dawn French is just wonderful

Was unsure of the story at first...but I LOVED IT! What an awesome book and Dawn's reading of it.is just beautiful!

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  • penny agnew
  • 06-01-21

Beautiful

Oh my goodness what a great book I so enjoyed listening on audible especially with Dawn French getting into character with each line. I can thoroughly recommend this

1 person found this helpful

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  • A. Simons
  • 03-01-21

A beautiful story

This book really filled my heart. Although Hope and Isaac did an unspeakable thing, the author is so empathetic and insightful about why, the reader really can accept it. The pain of Anna is also empathetically portrayed. This book really breathes and lets all of its characters tell their stories fully, even the odious Julius. I cried at the end, from both the story and because the book was over. I would love to know what happens to all of these characters. Dawn French’s narration is wonderful, too. I loved this book.

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  • Amanda Brown
  • 05-05-21

Amazingly emotional!

Wonderful story that will make you feel all the emotions you can feel! Loved it!

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  • Rachael Pilling
  • 27-03-21

Literally made me gasp...

I love Dawn French in anything and have been a fan of all her books. This is such a moving story- funny in places and has a real twist at the end that I did not see coming. So sad the story is over- maybe she will do a sequel!

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  • EmmaZ
  • 18-03-21

Hm...

What a depressing story with a lot of very contrived elements. Just too much for me.

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  • Danielle
  • 12-03-21

Fabulous

A wonderful story, made even better by the wonderful narration of the gorgeous author, Dawn French.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-02-21

Loved this book!

From start to finish this book had me hooked! It’s a very easy listen and an emotional journey through a young woman’s life. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  • Paul
  • 27-01-21

Psychologically insulting

The characters were either good or bad with no room for ambiguity. it might have worked as an exploration of what motherhood means if the child had been adopted. But using abduction as the main story line was difficult in so many ways. It seemed to justify the snatching of a baby, minimise the pain of still birth and make big moral judgements about divorce and abortion. I found it psychologically weak with little understanding of issues like developmental trauma (that a child snatched would likely suffer from) and a childish description of narcissism.

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  • Anne Douglas
  • 30-10-20

Wonderful

Such a beautifully written story and so wonderfully read by The author herself, Dawn French. She put such feeling into every word. I felt as if I knew all the characters as if I were living their lives myself. Feeling very emotional as I write this as I have just finished listening. At last, a real, proper ending to a book. Thank you Dawn x

18 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-10-20

A well deserved 5 stars!

I was instantly drawn into this audible from the first chapter... I couldn’t wait to put my ear phones in and lose my self for a while each time I listened! I laughed, I cried and I sobbed... 100% recommend

10 people found this helpful

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  • Emma Donovan
  • 15-11-20

Fantastic!

But please next time, give me some warning that the end will make me sob like a baby, whilst out walking the dog, making everyone stare at me! Beautifully written and read. Thank you very much Dawn.

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  • Mrs Downes
  • 19-10-20

Pure French

A sentimental story of family love, brilliantly read by Dawn herself. Made me shed a few tears.

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  • Lily3
  • 28-12-20

Dawn french is good narrator, but story requires some better editing

Pro; I enjoyed dawn french reading this story. Con; lots of the character were charactures of themselves; for example julius as a character had only one facet, his narcissism; got bit boring. Could have discovered the grey in it, but didn’t, v black and white. Again, the character Anna, hollow and just not real or believable. The fact that Minnie had died just lost to all also.... Not mourned. The way the two mothers came together so easily; just not believable. I didn’t laugh or cry at this book; or was just ok. That’s an honest review.

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  • trudy51
  • 01-12-20

Brilliant Story

l have never rated a book before but this story is so good I listened too it within two days it will make you cry in places but I can't recommend it enough

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  • N G Marsh
  • 14-11-20

Wonderful and Beautiful

I could listen to Dawn French all day and to hear her read this story too me as I do my mundane jobs around the house and trudge backwards and forwards to school, has made this week much more pleasant. Thank you Dawn! I love how Dawn writes a family, (who from the outside could be so judged for their makeup), with such love and affection. Made me think about what truly is a full life, made me feel even more comfortable about my own pot noodle family. Beautifully written x

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-11-20

Clap trap

I love Dawn French, but this book is utter nonsense. I found Dawn French's upbeat singsong voice and the exceptionally light touch to the narrative to be totally at odds with the underlying subject matter. Ignore the plot it's ridiculous, just listen to this book using Dawn's voice as some kind of comforting ear massage.

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  • K. J. Robinson
  • 06-11-20

Celebrities, Leave Writing to Proper Authors!

Reads like something I’d have written for GCSE with a few big words thrown in. Predictable, boring and an endurance to get through. Please celebrities, leave writing to authors with genuine talent and stick with the day job.

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  • bernadette oneal
  • 30-01-21

Disappointing

I had high hopes for this book but was disappointed by the story lacking any real drama or twists. It was very predictable but what I found most annoying was the way there was far too much understanding and sympathy for the mother who stole a baby and no real compassion for the mother who had her baby stolen. The obnoxious nature of the husband seemed to be an excuse for the reader to not have any sympathy for him. It is an horrific crime and and I was annoyed that Hope didn’t seem to get that!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ash
  • 01-02-21

Absolutely amazing!

A fantastic wholesome story, beautifully written and read. It's will make you giggle and cry.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-01-21

Very entertaining.

This book book could only have been written by a female author.
As a man listening to it, I could not help feel emotional.
well done Dawn.

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  • R Sumner
  • 12-04-21

Wow, what a book

Loved every moment, the tearful heart strings, fear, happiness, laughter, pain and joy.
Utterly brilliant!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-03-21

A heartbreakingly beautiful story

A heartbreakingly beautiful story. A story full of love and what it is to truely love. A story I will never forget.

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  • Christine Curtis
  • 25-02-21

Enchanting !!

Loved loved loved it !! Such a heart warming story of the definity of love !!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-02-21

Easy read

nice story with a surprise ending. Enjoyed the audio read by the author Dawn French

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-02-21

A beautiful book!!

One of the best books I’ve ever read, so moving!! It includes warmth, true love of mother and daughter, loss and hope. Dawn French is an amazing author. Loved it!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-02-21

Beautifully written and beautifully read

This is the second book written and read by Dawn French that I have have enjoyed on Audible. Both are 5 star despite having completely different story lines. Dawn writes and narrates so creatively and articulately. Thank you so very much Dawn.

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  • Samantha
  • 11-02-21

LOVE

What a beautiful show of love, acceptance and forgiveness. A light, warming read, highly recommended.

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  • Bernadette Sweeney
  • 24-01-21

An entertaining story with a disappointing end.

I enjoyed the story, with the telling of different perspectives from different times. Most of the time you could believe in what was happening, which made the ending disappointing for me, it was a bit too much of a coincidence. Dawn French reads well but personally I find her voice too familiar and it took me out of the story sometimes.