November Read – According to Yes by Dawn French

November 29, 2015


This is Dawns’ third fictional book she has written and I reckon the best so far.  The location for the book is one of my favourites, New York, and the level of detail describing the city makes you feel like you are there.  The main character, Rosie Kitto, is a 38 year old running away from her life in Wales, a broken relationship and inability to get pregnant.  Reinventing herself as a nanny to the rather stiff and stifling Wilder-Bingham family we start on this journey of implosion and discovery!

Currently going through a parental separation twins Red and Three, who Rosie looks after, are young inquisitive boys who’s innocence is perfectly captured as the story unfolds.  The patriarch of the family is Glenn, who now in her late seventies has ruled her family of boys with an iron fist.  All of this is disrupted by Rosie who dares to open windows bringing light and life into the New York townhouse.  My favourite character is the all seeing, Polish housekeeper, Iva who doesn’t miss a trick and longs to see her daughter who she has left behind to fund a better life.  Unexpectedly Dawn writes some well versed sex scenes throughout that aren’t cliché or playboyesque!  I did however get a bit fed up with Rosie sleeping with yet another man and without giving too much away I think you will understand what I mean when you read the book!

The male head of family is Thomas who has slowly watched his wife retreat from life and become a shell of the vibrant, independent woman he married fifty years ago.  Thomas has seen his friends pass away more often in the past years and has decided to take on life through portrait painting, wearing board shorts to his companies meetings (he is CEO!) and learning the guitar.  Kemble, his only child, is a confused, seemingly weak character who desperate for his mothers approval and subsequently has lost his inner self.  He is masking his pain through alcohol and being cruel to others which Rosie is determined to change.  Of Kemble’s three sons, Teddy is the eldest on the verge of adulthood and realising his fathers failing as an adult is starting to dismiss his father from his life.

Dawn’s story takes us through a year in the life of Rosie living with the Wilder-Bingham family in New York and the families ups and downs.  My favourite scene was the description of the Whispering Gallery in Grand Central Station which I have visited with my sister when we lived in New York for two weeks!  This book is currently available in hard cover just in time for Christmas but I believe the paperback in new in the new year if you want to wait.

Have you read Dawn’s other books?  Or are you more a fan of the Vicar of Dibley?!

PF xo

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