Review of 'Because of You'

Because of You by Dawn French

because_of_you.jpg This is a story of two sets of parents: One who give birth on New Years Day 2020 to a healthy daughter while the other is hit by tragedy when their daughter is still-born. In a blind fit of grief the bereft mother, Hope, takes the surviving daughter from it's sleeping parents and gives her the name of the daughter she lost: Minnie. Hope's mate, wracked with guilt returns to his birthplace in Africa leaving Hope to raise Minnie and keep the secret on her own. With the other couple, Anna and slimy politician Julius, Anna is hit hard by the loss of her daughter while Julius looks to see how he can spin the loss to further his ambition. After many years Anna and Julius are now divorced with Anna avoiding any contact with her mate. In a very different world, Minnie, having been brought up in a loving home is now pregnant but experiences heart problems causing the doctor's, who Hope has long avoided, to question Minnie's genetic heritage. It is only a matter of time before the secret Hope has kept buried is revealed…

Quite a departure for Dawn French surprises as she delivers a touching and mature story very different than her other much lighter earlier novels. She has admitted she had little experience with how parents deal with the loss of child during birth but really manages to convince with the story here. Dawn manages to convey what must be a terribly traumatic event and here it is very easy to understand and sympathise with Hope, who, despite her horrific crime is sympathetic to the reader though this is somewhat helped by our witnessing the obviously dysfunctional family that Minnie would have been brought up in with Anna and Julius.

French is at pains to also show the huge toll the events would eventually take on each and everyone involved. In the story it is interesting that Hope never apologises for her actions but, at the same time, never fails to acknowledge the impact she has had on everyone and accepting the consequences of her actions. It is obvious even after the first few pages, largely, how the story will unfold but, wait for it, there is a surprising, dramatic conclusion yet in store…

A moving tale of deep love, loss and tragedy in the midst of an unthinkable, horrific, personal crime.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2021-04-18

Genre: General Fiction

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 2020

ISBN: 9780718159313

Other reviewed books by Dawn French: