• Because of You

  • By: Dawn French
  • Narrated by: Dawn French
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (164 ratings)

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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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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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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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

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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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Beautiful

The story is beautiful. Some big twists that I didn’t see coming. The narration was wonderful, I can’t wait to read more from Dawn French.

I don’t want to give away the story, but you will laugh, and cry, and yell, and hold on for the next part.

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The Vicar at her best!

Great story read by the author. I so loved that I could hear Ms French's smart humor. Laugh out loud mementos coupled with heartfelt tears, lovely book!

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Absolutely breathless while reading A+++++

I was so shocked while I read this at how well it read how smooth and seamless the characters were built and just completely falling in love with them. It was so shocking that something that was so awful such as stealing the baby turned into such a beautiful story of love,acceptance, and kindness! Dawn French, you are one of my favorite actresses, but now I can say you are also one of my new favorite authors! Thank you for this wonderful book! I wish you could write a sequel so we could follow Minnie’s story! :) Mary Massey

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Wow

This book checked all the boxes for me. As a bereaved mom, Dawn accurately caught all the emotions of child death. She also hit all the hard things and glorious things about being a mom. I cannot recommend this book enough. Thank you Dawn. My heart needed this.

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Must Read

Dawn French is an excellent writer & narrator, who would have known. Love this story with a heart gripping ending. Thank you Dawn French, please write more!

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Stunning

I cant remember the last time a book made me laugh, cry, and read with such sensitivity. well done, Dawn. kiss kiss

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  • Anne Douglas
  • 10-30-20

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

23 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-29-20

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

14 people found this helpful

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  • bernadette oneal
  • 01-30-21

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!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-09-20

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • K. J. Robinson
  • 11-06-20

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.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Lily3
  • 12-28-20

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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  • Emma Donovan
  • 11-15-20

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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  • N G Marsh
  • 11-14-20

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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  • Mrs Downes
  • 10-19-20

Pure French

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

5 people found this helpful

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  • trudy51
  • 12-01-20

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

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ash
  • 02-01-21

Absolutely amazing!

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-29-21

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-06-22

I would listen to Dawn French read the dictionary

Lovely, interesting, real characters. At times hilarious, always compelling, with moments of true sorrow, this book had more substance and nuance than expected. I bought this because I just love Dawn French as an actor and comedian, and now I also love her as a novelist. ☆☆☆☆☆

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-11-22

Frustrating

Dawn French narrating may not have helped. The 3 female lead characters diction was the same as the vicar of Dibley.
Sorry, but it became irritating.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-01-22

Love Dawn French

A strange one to review. I loved it and listened to it (I had an audio copy) with anticipation to the end. But the plothole's were a bit too many to give it the full five stars.

It begins with some very heavy (and well written) subject matters - stillbirth and then abduction. My emotions were given a good going through. Then moved on to the current day of the baby now 17yrs old. And what a big year this one turns out to be. There is a lot for this young woman to deal with but she has grown into a strong person thanks to her mum. The ending became quite unrealistic but I enjoyed it anyway.

Yeah there's plothole's and eyeroll moments but there's a lot to love about this book especially when you hear it read by Dawn French. I love her accents and you can hear the emotion of how she has written it. There's plenty of Dawn's wit and humour scattered throughout too. Overall, I really enjoyed it.

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  • J
  • 08-15-21

listen to this

Dawn French.... hats off to you. Such brilliant writing and narration. Where's the tissues?

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  • Gemma Tracey
  • 08-13-21

Brilliant

Absolutely brilliant takes you on a powerful and emotional journey laughing one minutes and whimpering then next. Very well done

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steph
  • 08-01-21

Great story. Loved it.

A touching story. Beautifully written. Rears and laughter. Unexpected twist. Wonderfully read by the Author.

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  • BECCY
  • 07-20-21

AMAZING!

loved every single minute of this story! Dawn French is made me laugh out loud and cry!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-29-21

Absolutely beautiful story of love

I loved this book. It is beautifully written and presented. The level of a mother’s love has no boundaries and this book demonstrates that so well. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.