It’s finally here! Dawn French’s new novel is due to be released this month and we have the first two chapters ready for you to read here, on Woman & Home.
And if the prospect has got you excited – you’ll love this even more: woman&home are inviting YOU to join us in a very special evening with Dawn herself. You’ll even have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the woman herself. Find out more here, the read on for an extract from her much-anticipated new book…
According To Yes will follow the life of an eccentric 38-year-old Rosie Kitto, primary school teacher from England. It will take you on a journey of the trials and tribulations of her life after she is sent to ‘The Foreign Land of the Very Wealthy’ (Manhattan’s Upper East side) and to the Wilder-Bingham family. Rosie finds out there are strict rules and codes of behaviour that she must follow.
A PRH spokesperson said: “But as Rosie bounces into their lives with a secret sorrow and a heart as big as the city, nobody realises that she hasn’t read the rule book. For the Wilder-Bingham family, whose lives begin to unravel thread by thread, the consequences are explosive. Because after a lifetime of saying no, what happens when everyone decides to say yes?”
Here are the first two chapters of the highly-anticipated According To Yes:
Fifty-seven Fifty-eight Fifty-nine . . . Fuck. Yet again, Rosie Kitto’s belly was empty. No baby. Why did they bother to wait the full three minutes? As much as she knew anything, she knew there was no chance, but his darling desperate face persuaded her to see it through. Along with that second thin blue line on the pregnancy test, all trace of hope for a future with him failed to show up.
Funny how a moment so anticipated can be so fleeting and mundane in its failure. There was no mighty crash when the hope toppled, only a quiet whimper. That hope deserved a bigger send off. Once, it had been giant.
As if tightly choreographed by Pina Bausch, every puffy face in every serried row on the British Airways 747 is obediently upturned, staring at the seatbelt sign overhead. An elastic moment where a random group of strangers are united, some don’t even breathe so suspended are they. Bing bong.The familiar cue releases them from their airline aspic, and all at once the plane bursts into a chaotic scuffle of bod- ies racing to grab their belongings, rushing to be first to stand still in a queue to get off. Everyone is frazzled, perhaps it’s the lack of fresh air that makes people so grumpy. They all seem to have somewhere very very important to be. Some- where that just can’t wait. So, come on, hurry up. Me first. Shuffle. Push. Jostle. In 26A, Rosie is the only person who remains seated. She gazes calmly out of the window with her forehead tilted onto the glass. She has been sitting just like this for the best part of the journey, lost in thought. No, not lost. Found in thought.
Thinking such a lot, working out how she feels about flying away from everything and everyone that she knows and start- ing an impetuous new adventure like this. She feels strangely calm, accepting. She has surely surrendered to her future, whatever it might bring. So why is she the only one still sit- ting, whilst the others have filed off the plane in an impatient orderly line, exiting past the very polite, well-rehearsed air stewardesses,
‘Thank you for flying British Airways.’ ‘Thank you.’ ‘Thank you for flying with us today.’ ‘Thank you.’
‘Have a lovely day.’ ‘Thank you.’ ‘Goodbye.’ ‘You’re welcome.’ ‘Thank you for flying British Airways.’ ‘Cheerio.’ ‘Thank you.’ ‘Thank you.’ ‘Yes, thank you, yes, get off, yes, go away, sod off, goodbye.’
Why isn’t she moving? You know that tiny fragment of time, just exactly before the point of no return? The golden moment where you might . . . could . . . just maybe COULD change your mind, and reverse it all? Take it all back, say no, don’t jump, be safe, go home. That moment? That’s where Rosie is. Part of her wants to remain on the plane and let it bounce her back home on its return journey with all the new crew that will come aboard, fresh faced, fresh make up, fresh hairdo, fresh smell. Spit spot. Bound for home. For home. For lovely familiar drizzly comfy old England. Where, even if she knows it’s wrong, at least she knows how to be. That’s where Rosie Kitto, thirty-eight, primary school teacher, is assuredly grown up, reliable and emotionally tuned in.
This new Rosie Kitto seems to be running away like a seriously immature selfish twit. Very ungrown up. Who is she? Well, she is the person who, a couple of weeks ago, said no to all the even keel, and yes to grabbing life by the throat, yes to jumping off the edge, yes to what the hell’s it going to be like?, yes to being afraid.YES,YES,YES PLEASE! That’s right.
So, get out of your seat, Rosie, this is New York . . . here goes . . . COME ON!! ‘Thank you for flying British Airways today, goodbye.”
This will be French’s third novel and According to Yes is already getting incredible praise. Such as author Marian Keyes, who said ‘I adored According to Yes. It’s so different to anything I’ve read in forever, so charming, wise, brilliantly written. I loved it all.’
Enjoyed reading According To Yes? Dawn has released another chapter for your pleasure on her Facebook page – right here.