You Get That From Me – Charlotte Butterfield

Published By: Hodder and Stoughton
Pages: 368
Released On: 09/03/2023

You can’t choose your family… 

Stella thought she knew how her life would turn out. A stellar career, the perfect husband (not like her own good-for-nothing dad), two gorgeous children, a dog to take on muddy countryside walks. But here she is: forty, single, living with her mum and grandmother, and trying to choose the ideal sperm donor out of a catalogue. 

Bonnie might be an expert in genetics, but she knows there are some things you shouldn’t hand down to your children – like the secret of what really happened in her marriage forty years ago. 

Florence has raised two generations of wonderful women in this house – but her life, and the story of her blissful marriage, are more complicated than she’s ever admitted. 

When all three women start writing down their stories for Stella’s unborn child, the secrets and memories woven into the house begin to resurface. You can’t choose your family – but maybe you can choose what you make of it…


Thanks to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

Let’s get one thing straight. I absolutely loved this book.

The idea of sperm donation and single parenthood is still a bit of a taboo subject, so I loved how everyday it was in this book. She showed that it isn’t something to be hidden. It’s also a great look at different forms of motherhood in different time periods. The unwed teenager, the unhappy marriage, the single woman. It really shows that family doesn’t necessarily have to be blood related. It doesn’t have to be man and woman and 2.4 children. A family is what you make of it. Whilst our blood family may make up our genetics, they don’t make us who we are, and that was refreshing to see.

I liked the idea of the different generations of women writing their life story down for the baby. For someone who has no grandparents left and only one parent alive, I wish I’d got more people to write down their stories.

The notebooks Stella gifts her mother and grandmother to write their stories in was a great way to have flashbacks. It explains their history to us in less of a formulaic “I did this and then I did this and then I went over there and said this” kind of way. It felt more natural to the book. It seamlessly moved between the past and present without it feeling bumpy.

Stella is a great main character, she really is. And she’s joined by two other spectacular characters. I loved her mum Bonnie. She’s caring and awkward and everything mums can be. She sometimes puts her foot in it, but she loves her daughter. And the same is said for Bonnie’s mum Florence. She is kooky and secretive and loving and strong. Such a great trio.

For me, this was a love story. But not necessarily a simple one. It’s the love of a grandmother to her grandchild, mother to child, for an old flame, and for oneself.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself laughing and smiling, shouting and crying whilst reading the same page. It is all so beautifully written.

I will add that it does contain some potentially difficult topics: single parenthood, fertility treatment, affairs, breakups, domestic abuse, pregnancy, but it’s not negative. She’s handled it so well that it is such an uplifting story.

It is so gripping, I read it in less than a day as I just couldn’t leave these women without finishing their story. It’s all absorbing. Charlotte is definitely an author for my bookshelves. If this is anything to go by, her writing is gorgeous and emotive.

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