The Mother-in-Law

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

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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First, I would like to thank the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this exciting book!  The opinions expressed here are my own. 
Sally Hepworth is my favorite author. Having read all her previous books, I am always waiting for a new publication from her. And I can honestly say that the author didn't disappoint with The Mother-in-Law!
She portrayed the dynamics and emotions within families, particularly between wife and mother-in-law. Filled with the author' trademark twists and turn, you can't wait until you get to the end of the book!  Fabulous book!  I highly recommend to all readers, especially those who enjoy great psychological thrillers!!
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This was a quick read, and kept my interest.  It goes back and forth between the present and the past, and different points of view of the characters. It wasn't hard to follow, as I sometimes feel going back and forth between multiple characters will do. I thought I has the ending figured out (the obvious choice), but I was surprised. I will definitely be looking into reading more books by this author.
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This was just an average read for me.  There are definitely parts of the book (towards the end in particular) and parts of the characters that I enjoyed (Diana's backstory), but overall I didn't feel connected to the characters at all.  The big reveal of what caused Diana's death should/could have been shocking but by that point I didn't much care anymore.
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This has been advertised as a thriller but it is more like contemporary fiction  involving a mystery.

I throughly enjoyed the development of the relationship between Lucy and her mother in law.

Nothing was as it seemed and the author really leftvuou questioning who could have killed the mother in law? The story was intricatelyvwoven, all loose ends were resolved and it was very though provoking. 

Thank you Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
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Lucy and her mother in law Diana have never really gotten along all that well. Nothing too unusual or suspicious about that, until Diana is found dead with a suicide note. The note reveals she has cancer and doesn't want to live anymore....questions start to be raised about Lucy however once it is discovered that Diana didn't have cancer. Was it really suicide or a hastily covered up murder by Lucy? How far will people go when they don't get along well with their in laws?! An addictive read that had me spellbound until the very end. My first time reading a Sally Hepworth book and it won't be my last. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC on exchange for a fair and honest review. #themotherinlaw #sallyhepworth #goodreads #netgalley #bookstagram #tea_sipping_bookworm #kindle #amazon #forreadingaddicts #macmillanusa
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This is the first book I've read by Sally Hepworth and it definitely will not be the last.  I really enjoyed the depth of the characters, the intrigue, the relationships.  Even though the book went back and forth from one person to another and from past to present, it was easy enough to follow.  Each chapter has a header to let you know who is "speaking" and what time period is involved.

The author does a wonderful job of bringing you into the story from page one and then developing the background so you understand how things have evolved to the present point.  There is enough conflict among the characters to enhance the intrigue.

I really appreciate receiving an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.  I am looking forward to reading more books by this author!
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The premise of ” after x’s death ” is not a new one but the choice of the MIL – DIL relationship as the focal point for the narrative of the family’s dynamics is new . Both are very engaging  & often witty and their voices are done well .  Through Diana’s and Lucy’s narratives , we come to understand their relationship in a way which they never would , because we get an uncensored view into their mind workings . The host of secondary characters have also come out well .

I have a few things which did not sit well with me though….

For one thing , there were too many sub-texts / afterthoughts within the parentheses ,  which I felt , cramped the free flow of the narrative . Another thing which I thought was very unnecessary is the time-stamping throughout the book . . The voices of both Diana and Lucy are very distinct and the reader can easily get to know who is speaking and of which time-frame the narrator is speaking about . I think the readers today have been exposed quite well to alternating time-frame narrations and multiple POVs that they don’t require much help from the author by way of PAST and PRESENT time stamps along with the narrator’s name at the start of every chapter . Read the complete review at
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Wow!  This book was fantastic.  I read it in one sitting, around 2.5 hours; I simply could not put the book down!  Sally Hepworth is a phenomenal author and I have read a couple of her previous books.  I am hooked!
This story has a couple of different narrators: Lucy and Diana.  The time changes from past to present, which is clearly noted on each chapter.  The flashbacks to the past are interesting and provide a deeper look into this family.  Lucy is a young mother, who wants nothing more than approval from her mother-in-law Diana.  Diana is seemingly cold-hearted and not interested in any kind of relationship with Lucy.
One day, the police come to the home of Lucy and Oliver to announce Diana has passed of an apparent suicide.  However, it turns out it may not be as simple as that.  Throughout this story, you learn more and more about a seemingly perfect but far from it family.  A must-read for mystery lovers.  
Thank you to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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