Posted 20 hours ago

Because of You: The beautifully uplifting Richard & Judy bestseller

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The exploration of loss felt no more than a lip service as it seemed like the author wanted to generate warm feelings for Hope in the readers' minds, so she conveniently chose to sideline the grief of Anna. Florence isn’t noticed as missing for some time with her parents asleep and the midwives leaving them to rest.

The story is written in a no-nonsense concise manner and includes social and political commentary throughout. She did accents and inflections so well, it was so easy to tell which character she was voicing and she even managed to convey the frustration and eye rolling of some characters! If this story wasn't written by a major celebrity, it would be found in a copy of a women's' own magazine rather than languishing in the top ten best seller lists. The humour fell flat for me and the characters and their behaviour didn't feel real, no depth at all, they just bounced from one random thing to another, with a bit of light heroin addiction and alcoholism thrown in for good measure.The story then focusses mainly on the mother-daughter relationship as baby Minnie grows into womanhood and finds herself pregnant at 17. I probably wouldn't be so harsh criticising this novel if I weren't reading it in the context of a book prize because I think it's mostly enjoyable, but I don't think it's as impactful as the other books listed for this award. I’m rather an audio book novice – I have this terrible habit of falling asleep whilst listening to books – its not boredom – especially not in this case, but rather a voice in my ear soothing me to sleep!

He hopes to be the first PM of colour (sorry, Rishi, if you (ever) had your eye on that position), he is clearly in part modelled on a specific someone in our government and is, frankly loathsome and crass, at times consigned to being a buffoon (clue!After taking the time to really look at the emotional impact of events in the first half, the pace ramps up to such an extent that certain key moments felt rushed, with characters accepting huge revelations in their stride.

Fundamentally I found the plot uncomfortable and whilst it’s not a bad book, I’m not sure why it’s being so highly praised. A mother's true love for their child, the ultimate gift and a decision as monumental and dramatic as the one which started the whole story. Little Florence lifts her hand to Hope and at that moment she loses all sense of what is right and wrong and puts the baby in her night bag and carries her out to the car where her other half is waiting. At its core, the novel is very much a look at grief, what it means to be a parent, and the bond between mother and child. If Hope was such a good person, how did she keep the baby after her hormones settled, without eventually feeling guilt for the natural mother?Julian is portrayed as a narcissistic man, so we never get to experience his grief over the loss of his baby.

One is there with her supportive partner whilst the other is with her husband who is a complete jerk. A couple of the characters in this book in particular (Julius and even more so a police officer playing a side role) seem lifted straight from a sit-com – the first simply lacking any depth in his pantomime villainess and the other with a rather unbelievable line in metaphor malapropisms. Hope and Minnie, a happy, bright and joyful girl, have an unbreakable bond, with their own secret codes and Wawa.

There is an absence of any complexity , ensuring that the reader is not unnecessarily taxed by thinking.

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