Dawn French’s Novels: Books by the British Actress


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Most of us who watch British TV will know actress and comedian Dawn French from her roles in shows like…

Like a lot of comedians, Dawn French has written autobiographies and comedy books. What you might not know, though, is that she's also written several novels and co-written a couple of knitting books. In this post, we'll take a look at her work – beginning with her novels.

Novels by Actress Dawn French

Dawn French's novels

French's fiction offers humorous, slice-of-British-life tales sure to appeal to those who enjoy stories about mid-life happenings, community, and family dynamics.

A Tiny Bit Marvellous (2010)

In French's first published novel, we take a look at the perfectly imperfect life of the Battles family. Mum Mo is nearly 50 with two hormonal teenagers and a husband who's off in his own little world.

On the verge of a crisis, Mo decides to take drastic action for her own mental health. Will the family survive it?

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

Oh Dear Sylvia (2012)

After a fall from a balcony, Silvia lays in a coma while family and friends stream in and out of her hospital room. Each of her visitors knows a different part of her life, and as she listens to her visitors, she finds out the dark and terrible secret she's been hiding…is no longer a secret.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

According to Yes (2015)

In Manhattan's Upper East Side, there are certain things one does and does not do. Though there's no written guide, deviation from the rules is simply not acceptable.

Enter Rosie Kitto, an eccentric 38-year-old primary school teacher from England. She's new in town and most definitely NOT aware of or concerned with the local customs.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

Because of You (2020)

As the millennium approaches, two women give birth to similar daughters. One leaves the hospital with a baby girl, the other leaves with empty arms.

Seventeen years later, the truth of that night is bubbling towards the surface. A reckoning is coming, and their lives will collide in unexpected and heartbreaking ways.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

Non-Fiction Books by Dawn French

Big Knits

In the early 90s, French also co-authored two books offering knitting designs suited to bigger women. Though out of print, you can still pick up used copies.

Dear Fatty

French has also written a couple of more personal works. The first, an autobiography called Dear Fatty, was published in 2008. She earned a massive £1.5 million advance for the book, making it one of the more lucrative book deals for a British actor at the time.

It's also worth noting that the audiobook version of her autobiography is narrated by Liza Tarbuck – an actress who appeared alongside French in French & Saunders, but who's also well-known in her own right for roles in Watching, Upstart Crow, Mount Pleasant, and Extras (among many others).

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audible | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

Me. You. Not a Diary

This guided journal offers seasonal insights from French, along with places to record your own thoughts as you progress through the year. It's more personal than many of her other works, and that makes it all the  more fun for those who appreciate her humour and outlook on life.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audible | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

Will Dawn French Write Any More Books?

It's hard to say – but we wouldn't be surprised if she did. We've yet to see any firm announcements about an upcoming book, but she was recently named a patron at Morrab Library in Cornwall, so that seems like a sign of her commitment to books and literacy. We'll certainly be on the lookout for future releases!

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