The Mother-in-Law

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Great read!  I enjoyed this mystery, though it was a little easy to guess (given the tiny cast of characters).  It did also make me think about my own mother-in-law, and the things she hasn't told me or doesn't know how to communicate to me.  It was a thought-provoking, bittersweet, and enjoyable read.

Two things that I didn't enjoy as much:  1)  All the miscommunication that could have been addressed by just TALKING to each other.  Even a 15 second explanation ("someone brought me a raw chicken and other groceries when I was pregnant and it meant everything to me" or "this is why that jewelry is important to me").  But things all fall apart due to all the lack of communication.  I understand that that's the MIL's character (incredibly reserved, a little cold and robotic), but I found it quite frustrating.  2)  Personally, I'm over the format of jumping back and forth in time from different characters' POVs.  I know it's really popular, but in this novel (more so than others I've read), I found the author ripping us away from a scene where I was dying to know the resolution, then she never went back and resolved that scene.  It was jarring and frustrating.   

Apart from that, I did enjoy the book.  I especially liked the way the book wrapped up.  The conclusion of the mystery was so sad, really tragic, but the final chapter was redeeming and a lovely way to finish.  

My thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I have decided that Sally Hepworth is my new favorite author!  What a fantastic book...I loved the twists and turns and how suspenseful it was!  I plan to go back and read her other books and have recommended this to all of my friends.  Thanks for the advanced copy!
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I liked The Mother-in-Law. I wanted to love it, but that didn't happen. Although the plot twist definitely made me raise my eyebrows, I just felt like there was something missing from the story. I just can't put my finger on it. All in all, it was enjoyable.
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Sally Hepworth has written an intriguing novel that grabs your attention and keeps the suspense going all the way until the end.

So many of us have a mother-in-law.  It is the age old joke about how hard it is to get along with your mother-in-law.  I remember my grandmother, my mother's mother never thought any of the spouses of her children were good enough for her son or daughter.   Now I have mothers-in-law and I have become for the first time a mother-in-law.  This book does capture some of the thoughts that go through your mind as both the mother and child that are the in-law.  How will we get along, not to step over and invisible boundaries, not to insult one another, not to offer unsolicited advice, not to meddle in the marriage or with the raising of the grandchildren, but yet to be apart of their lives

This book does invoke many of those feelings.  Lucy marries Oliver and is looking forward to a mother-daughter bonding relationship with her new mother-in-law, Diana.  Diana comes across as cold and reserved.  So the relationship seems strained.  Lucy and Oliver have three children in quick succession, but Oliver's sister Nettie and her husband are unable to conceive.

Oliver is having trouble with his business and finances are tight.  His father Tom has helped his children in the past but when he dies suddenly, Diana the mother has not been as generous.  She feels that you should work hard for what you want and things should not be handed to you.

Flipping back and forth between the past and the present and hearing the story mainly from Diana and Lucy's points of view we learn Diana has been found dead in her home and the police are investigating.  Learning about each character we learn that each has a secret that they have shared with the other family members.  As the secrets are revealed and the police all each character down to the station for interviews we unravel how a family can end up in such a precarious position.

A good plot that is not much of a thriller but does do the slow reveal of information that leads to satisfying conclusion.

Posted by Bite of the Bookworm
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Is there a relationship more fraught in books than the daughter-in-law, mother-in-law one? In this one things get ramped up when one is found dead of an apparent suicide.  I found the switching back and forth in time AND viewpoints slightly confusing because I picked the book up and down a few times and it took me a while to get back into it. I understand why they did that but I felt like they could have been a little more linear. If you like complex relationships and a bit of a thriller, this one is for you!
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Loved this book! Kept me hanging on to see how the plot unfolded. All is not what you think, and I believe this had the perfect ending.
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An intriguing mystery, realistic characters, ultimately heart-warming.  One of the best books I've read this year.
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Such a warm read. Really loved the beautiful writing style. The plot and narration was slow but the words were admirable. I liked my time reading it.
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I really enjoyed the Mother-in-Law.  While it was a mystery, I feel it was more of a family drama than a thriller.  Told in perspectives of multiple family members, what is being hidden and everything weaves together in the end.  I would recommend this one to those who enjoy a who-done-it/what happened mystery as well as family drama literature.
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Such a gripping story. A real twisty physiological thriller by a brilliant author. Loved the writing style and would definitely recommend.
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Huge thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my copy of The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth. I had really high hopes for this one and unfortunately it fell flat, although I'm not entirely sure that it's the book's fault. This is another one that I've shelved to hopefully come back to later because I just haven't been able to get into domestic thrillers as of lately. Hopefully the next time I read this I will enjoy it a little more, but for now this just didn't do it for me!
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The story is told from the perspective of the daughter in law and her mother in law. Misinterpretations abound  while their relationship grows. The mother in law dies and the mystery begins. Did she kill herself or was she murdered? Well crafted mystery that had me guessing until the end. Clever building of suspense and characters that you care about.
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this story hooked me from the very beginning.  i had no idea what the twist was going to be.  I was captivated and couldn't put it down!
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Diana, has been found dead with a suicide note saying she has been diagnosed with cancer and no longer wants to live. However, the autopsy shows no sign of suicide but there are traces of poison and suffocation. So who killed Diana? 

If you're looking for a plot twist filled, mind blowing thriller then The Mother-In-Law is not for you. However, if you're in the mood for a character driven, family drama mystery, then I think you'll like this book. It's very slow driven, told between past and present POVS of Diana and Lucy, wife of Diana's son Ollie. 

I'm torn between this book because I didn't exactly love it but I didn't dislike it. It was just ok. It was a relaxing suspense read, if that makes any sense. My heart wasn't racing. I wasn't freaking out about any crazy events happening. Even the reveal of Diana's killer didn't shock me in the slightest. I did enjoy the family dynamics. Just because the family is cookie cutter and rich doesn't exactly mean that they all get along and are happy go lucky. 

I've seen people say they didn't like Diana's character and how she wasn't relatable, but I disagree. She was a strong-willed woman who didn't let her kids get off easy because they had the funds. I thought she was kind of empowering but I'm obviously in the minorty here. 

Overall, I give The Mother-in-Law 3 stars. It was a good read.
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This book had so many twists and turns, the story was fantastic, it shows us so much about relationships, and different perspective. 
What makes this book stand out is how the different perspectives are put into play. It made me sit back and think about my own family, and we have had different views on things, and it has changed our relationships. 
The relationships in this book were so complex and so simple. I sat there wishing that my family could be that way. 
If you haven't yet, you need to pick up this book and give it a read. It is filled with drama, mystery, and complicated family.
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I really struggled with this one. At about the 25% mark, I contemplated giving up. I'm glad that I gave it a little longer, though, because the plot finally went somewhere that was more interesting to me.  It is possible that part of my frustration with the early part of the book stems from me having misunderstood the blurb. I really thought this was going to be much more of a thrillery mystery, when in actuality it's really a family drama with a mystery in the background.

Told in alternating perspectives, we follow Lucy (the daughter-in-law) and Diana (the mother-in-law) as they each tell their stories about how they perceive their roles in the family.  Neither of the two women are all that likeable, to be honest, and most of the relationship problems they have could be easily solved if one or the other simply opened their damn mouths and said what they really meant. (Or, heaven forbid, if one of the men in their lives stepped in to help clear up some misunderstandings!!)

Nevertheless, by about the 50% mark, I was fully invested in this story and it became difficult for me to put this one down. So I *do* recommend it for people who like more of a slow burn with lots of family drama. The slow start to this one definitely dings it a couple of stars for me, but the intrigue that finally came made it worth the wait. 3.5 stars rounded up.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with a DRC of this book.
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The Mother-In-Law kept me guessing all the way to the end. What a ride!

Through chapters that alternate between the past and the present. we learn about Lucy's highly charged relationship with her mother-in-law. Lucy's mother died while Lucy was still young, and she'd hoped that Diana would be like a second mother to her -- embracing, warm, someone to share love and secrets and confidences with. Diana is none of these things -- a stiff, proper, upper class woman who seems more focused on the refugee women she helps than on her own children. And every time Lucy thinks they've finally made a connection, Diana's coldness or insensitive comments push Lucy away one more time.

We also get chapters from Diana's perspective, showing us the other side of the story. Diana would be no one's definition of warm and cuddly, but by showing her background and her thoughts, we gain an understanding of why she behaves as she does, and how her internal thought processes run in very different lines that what's obvious from the outside.

As the story opens, Lucy and her husband Ollie get the news that Diana is dead. While it initially appears to be a suicide, there is enough contradictory evidence at the scene to cast doubt on that assumption. Was it murder? If so, who would have a reason to want Diana dead? And why was Diana keeping so many secrets -- about her health, and about her intentions for her fortune?

This book is completely absorbing and fascinating. Diana comes across as very unlikable at the start, but as we get to know her, we start to see how her core beliefs stem from the challenges and struggles she experienced as a young woman, and we see how her unwillingness to help her grown children comes not from being miserly, but from trying to get them to work for what they want. At the same time, I can easily imagine how painful it must have been for Lucy to constantly hope for a closeness that just wasn't available to her, and the hurt she experienced as she perceived herself as being rebuffed and belittled time and time again.

I've read several other books by this author, all just as compelling and full of complex characters. The Mother-In-Law is a terrific read -- highly recommended!
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I liked how the book showed different perspectives of the same even from each main character's point of view.  Great summer read!
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This author never disappoints! She always keeps me guessing. I think I have it all figured out and then she surprises me. Can't wait for her to write more!
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Sally Hepworth's The Mother in Law had me fully invested and turning the pages...until the Big Reveal. Then it was one eye roll after another unfortunately.
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