The Mother-in-Law

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

This book was NOT what I expected, but it was a great reminder that we all have challenges we're facing and even those closest to us may not know what they are. I had figured out the whodunit part way through, but I just had to know how it all came to be. It also made me think about some of the challenging people in my life and what’s going on.

I enjoyed the book, but I didn't find the characters particularly compelling or engaging. They were likable enough, but the plot is what kept me reading past my bedtime.
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First of all, I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, St. Martin's Press for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book left me with mixed feelings though.... It was certainly an interesting read. Basically, it's about complex family relations and what lack of communication and empathy towards one another can lead to. I Personally, it took me a while to get into the story since it switches between past and present and chapters are alternatively being told through 2 of the main characters. The mother in law, Diana and her daughter in law Lucy. Having lost her own mother at just 13, Lucy is hoping she will have a close relationship with Diane. However, she soon learns that  Diane is a particularly strong willed, rigid lady.and very hard to warm up to.  I liked the fact that there are flashbacks to the past, explaining the life changing experience that has formed Diane. It changed my opinion of her. Nevertheless, I really craved for the family to come together, open up and have an honest conversation with each other. It frustrated me that all the  family members were so preoccupied with themselves that they didn't notice what was going on with everyone else.  All in all I think this book would make a great book club pick since there are lot's of topics to be discussed and everyone can relate to family issues. It's got a mystery at it's core, but don't expect edge of your seat tension,  it's more of a family drama.
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They always say you’re not just marrying your husband but his whole family.  So true! I loved the two points of view...the wife and the mother in law.  The book showed how people can show love so differently. How the mother in law can be trying to do what she thinks is right but still hurt her children in the process.  Great read. I highly recommend! Thanks to netgalley for the advanced reader copy!
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This was a quick read for me, but it didn't quite live up to the hype... I seemed to enjoy it a little less than other people I've seen review it. There wasn't really anything I didn't like specifically, I thought it was well-written, but I sort of guessed what was going to happen in the end so maybe that's why I just wasn't blown away. But a lot of people say they've liked it, so check it out if the synopsis sounds good to you!
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Thank you for the opportunity to read this book - it was a great story, it took a little while to get into but once the story took hold it was a great read. I enjoyed the dual aspect of the story telling, it was interesting to get both sides of the story.
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The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth was an intense read. It was truly a book I would have stayed up all night reading, if it weren't for that pesky job of mine! The pace of the book was great; it did not give too much information up front, and really built on itself. 

Lucy has always felt as though her mother-in-law didn't really care for her. Though her husband's family was generous and loving, Lucy had never felt accepted by Diana. When tragedy strikes, the family is thrown for a loop as an investigation begins!

I would highly recommend this book.
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All hail messed up families!!! There’s only so many times that I can read a perfect love story with these adorable, barely flawed characters. Or a family that’s doing evvverything right and solves their problems with “teamwork” 🤮. Enough! Give me relationship issues, parenting mistakes galore, and alllll of the family drama!!! The Mother-in-Law was a super fast read centrally focused on family drama...and it delivered! 

Diana is the mother-in-law that we are fear having. She’s terse, domineering and cold as ice. This is especially hard for her daughter-in-law Lucy who lost her mother at a young age and has craved that motherly bond. Diana and Lucy are NEVER on the same page and their push and pull relationship has grown tiresome. Until the moment that Lucy and her husband Ollie find out that Diana is dead. To make matters worse, the police suspect foul play. As the family tries to piece together the past and desperately tries to keep secrets buried, all family member turn on one another and realize that they don’t truly trust one another. As new information about the past and present is unearthed, they truly realize that no one really knew who the real Diana was. 

Ahhhh! What I loved about this book is that I bounced back and forth about whose side I was on, who I thought was a turd and who I thought was the Diana-slayer! The characters never stopped developing and the story never stopped building. It was both scandalous and it tugged at my heartstrings. This isn’t an insane, twisty, turny thriller- but a true study in some crazy family dynamics! The majority of our #notyomamasbookclub gang LOVED this book and it gave us a ton to banter about!!!
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I’m a sucker for “mother-in-law” family drama books, so when Sally Hepworth released her new novel I knew it was a must read!  I’ve enjoyed many of Hepworth’s previous novels, however The Mother-in-Law just might be my favorite novel of hers.   I was hooked from the very 1st page and found it completely entertaining that it was impossible to put down.   Sally Hepworth will continue to be a must-read author!

Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for an e-arc copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to Netgalley and MacMillian USA for my advance copy of this book.  I am so terribly sorry my reviewed has been delayed, but I'm here with it now!

I just want to note that my husband was reading a magazine where The Mother-In-Law is featured as a book to read this summer...he made sure to let me know about this book because I had to go out and get it to read it...I let him know I already read it and he was right, I did love it!

Lucy meets Ollie, falls in love, and hopes to gain a mother since her own mother died when she was young.  Lucy gets everything except a mother...from the get go Diana, Ollie's mother, does not like Lucy and makes no qualms about it.

They have a strained relationship.  When Lucy births her first child, Diana puts priority in helping a refugee instead of being there for her family...so you get the idea of the type of person Diana is.  Yes, I loved hating her as I read this book.

A weird thing happens though...toward the end of the book I absolutely love and respect the relationship that Diana and Lucy have.  Is it a good one?  No.  It is one that is oddly filled with trust and some respect.  Yes.

Overall this story tells a tale of a mother who has all the means in the world, but refuses to help her own children.  She has a charity where she works with refugees from other countries and that is where her passion and assistance lay.  This starts to cause a rut between her and her children and well...you just need to read it.

The ending.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for creating an ending where we see a little into the future with what happens with everyone.  I will tell you, you may think you know who killed who (yes, someone dies), but you will not have pegged who did it.  Or why they did it.  

This is a wonderful 4 star read.  It's a page turning mystery that you won't be able to put down until you know who did it.  Plus, the strained relationship is a train wreck you can't help but keep watching.  Pick this book up, you'll be glad you did!
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Lucy dreamed of having a close relationship with her mother-in-law, Diana, but she soon realized that this wouldn't be the case. This was devastating to Lucy, who lost her own mother and craved that motherly connection. Lucy hoped as time went on that Diana would warm up to her, but their relationship continued to be tumultuous (and at one point turned physical). When Diana is found dead of a supposed suicide, the family is shocked.... they're even more shocked when the police start asking questions as if they're performing a homicide investigation. 

The Mother-in-Law alternates mostly from Lucy and Diana's perspectives (past and present). As their stories unfold, you find that all is not what it seems with this family. Diana's son (Lucy's husband) is deep in the hole with a bad business venture. Diana's daughter, Nettie, is desperate for a child, but can't keep up with the costs associated with infertility treatments. Diana has always been tough on her children with money and wasn't one to give handouts. Did Diana truly kill herself? Did Lucy finally have enough? Did one of Diana's children kill her for an inheritance? This one will keep you guessing! I'm looking forward to checking out more of Sally Hepworth's works!
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I love a good thriller, and this was a great one! It was such a fun and exciting read, and I truly understand the hype.
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The Mother-in-Law was a bit unexpected for me, but in the best way. I expected a twisty thriller but what I got was a great family drama. This was a first Hepworth for me but she reminded me a lot of one of my other favorite Aussie authors, Liane Moriarty. It was more of a domestic suspense, with such well thought-out characters. I loved the read, and it made me think of all the things we don't know about our own Mother-in-laws or Father-in-laws. We are quick to judge but may not know the full story behind their actions!
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This story isn't what I thought it would be - in a good way! The book follows a family - told through the perspective of Lucy and her mother-in-law Diana, alternating between the two and also alternating between the past and present. The past follows Lucy's relationship with Diana's son Ollie and the present focuses on the investigation into the death of Diana as they try to determine if it was murder or suicide, and if it was murder - who did it?

I read this book in a day because I just had to figure out what happened and the story kept me hooked enough that I didn't want to put it down.
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I went in thinking this was going to be more of a suspense/thriller and it was not, however, I did enjoy the book overall. This was more of a contemporary fiction with some mystery. 

I feel like the character development made it easy to connect with them and I was hooked on the story line. The story is told between alternating characters and the past and present which keeps you turning the page to find out more. 

I chose to give the book 3 stars because I was expecting more of a thriller but still thoroughly enjoyed the book. 

Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for my copy!
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The Mother-in-Law was an engrossing look at family!  I enjoyed the way that the relationships were portrayed and the way that the scenes were presented.  Lucy is married to Ollie.  They have three young children.  While Lucy adores Ollie’s father Tom, she struggles constantly with his mother Diana.  Diana is just slightly past being friendly and loving.  So, their days and interactions are always interesting, especially with Lucy and Ollie’s young children around.  Add to the mix Ollie’s sister Nettie and her husband and their life, and everything really is interesting.  But then one day Diana is found dead and it appears to be a suicide, but then so much more will be revealed to shock everyone and leave the family hanging on more.  I really enjoyed the characters and their stories.  The inter-workings of this extended family and their interactions are wonderful as author Sally Hepworth delves into all of their relationships.
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth.

When Lucy and Oliver get married, Lucy is nothing but anxious to get into her mother-in-law Diana's good graces.  Fantasizing about having a strong bond, Lucy is quickly disappointed when Diana starts off their relationship keeping Lucy at a distance.  She is slightly cold and not near as eager to form a strong bond with Lucy as Lucy is.  Their relationship hardens quickly, and while Lucy and Diana are able to work together, there isn't much love.

But then the family is rocked when Diana turns up, mysteriously and unexpectedly dead.  While it looks like a suicide, evidence tells a different story.  Lucy, having a need to understand her elusive mother-in-law, begins to talk to others, and dig deep in an effort to learn the truth.  Did Diana actually kill herself, or was it something much more sinister?

I slurped this up like a milk shake on a hot summer day.  A great, easy read for the summer.  The writing was great, characters well developed, and it had me on the edge of my seat every step of the way.
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I did not think I would like the book once I started reading but the more I read more I wanted to know what was going to happen. All the characters had interesting stories and you’d never guess the ending. Thank you for such an entertaining read.
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When I first learned that Sally Hepworth's latest novel was going to be a thriller, I honestly wasn't sure how I felt. If you've been following my reviews here at AAR for any length of time, I'm sure you've figured out that twisty thrillers are some of my very favorite things to read, but even so, I was hesitant to pick up a copy of The Mother-In-Law. There’s something so special about Sally Hepworth’s women’s fiction titles, and it took me quite some time to wrap my head around the fact she was writing something a little different. Fortunately for me, as soon as I started reading, I was instantly hooked, and upon finishing, I can assure you that Ms. Hepworth's thriller is as fabulous as everything else she's written to date.

Lucy and Oliver have been married for ten years. Lucy is a stay-at-home wife and mother to their three children, while Ollie is the co-owner of a struggling recruitment firm. Their finances are a little tight these days, but it's nothing too catastrophic, and Lucy is content with the life she's living. It's nothing glamorous, but that's just fine by her.

We first meet Lucy as she's folding laundry - and two police officers show up at her door. From the moment she sees them, Lucy knows something is terribly wrong, but she can't imagine what it might be. Then she learns that her mother-in-law has been found dead, the victim of an apparent suicide. Lucy and Diana were never close, but Lucy is badly shaken by the news just the same. Diana was always been a strong, forceful woman, and Lucy can't imagine her taking her own life.

It seems the police also have questions about Diana's suicide. The presence of a suicide note as well as an empty medicine bottle all corroborate the idea that Diana was the one to end her life, but something isn't sitting right with the detectives in charge of the case and so, they continue to ask questions. When the autopsy results reveal signs of suffocation, the investigation is handed over to the homicide squad.

Diana was the kind of woman everyone seemed to adore. She devoted her life to helping refugees lead successful lives in Australia, and the charity she ran is known and loved throughout the country. So who would want her dead? Everyone close to Diana has been keeping secrets, and as the murder investigation heats up, Lucy becomes convinced that a member of her own family is responsible for Diana's death.

The story moves back and forth in time between the present-day murder investigation and the early days of Lucy's marriage, painting a picture of a complex family on the verge of implosion. At first, everyone seems happy and successful, but as the story progresses, the reader learns some disturbing truths about those closest to Diana.

Lucy is our main narrator, but we're also able to get to know Diana quite well through a series of flashbacks from her point of view. I don't always love stories that jump around in time since it can be hard to keep the sequence of events straight in my mind, but Ms. Hepworth managed to lay things out in a way that made total sense. By allowing me to see certain events through Diana's eyes, she enabled me to care about her as a person in her own right rather than simply as the victim of a terrible crime, and I'm not sure this would have been possible had the story been told in a more linear fashion.

In much of today's fiction, we're introduced to families who have everything they could ever want, but still can't claim to be happy. The Mother-In-Law tells a similar story, but Ms. Hepworth manages to tell this familiar tale in a way that feels completely fresh. Each family member is dealing with unique challenges, some of which we don't fully understand until closer to the end of the novel, and it is these challenges and frailties that made this book come alive for me. The characters feel like people I might actually encounter on the street, and I loved that feeling of authenticity.

The Mother-In-Law is more than just another novel of domestic suspense. It's the portrait of a family in crisis, a group of people who don't always have the necessary tools to deal with their problems in a healthy way. It proves that Sally Hepworth is an author capable of writing in multiple genres while still holding on to the compassion and wisdom I have come to expect from her. It's a book I won't soon forget, and one I'm happy to recommend to both established fans of the author as well as to those who are discovering her work for the first time.

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A family drama that will leave you guessing until the very end! I loved the book. The characters were well developed with flaws. If you are into twisty psychological thrillers, than this book is for you! Highly recommend it!
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4.5 stars...rounded up!

I could have written more, but in the end, there's really only two pieces of wisdom worth leaving behind. I worked hard for everything I ever cared about. And nothing I ever cared about cost a single cent.


Lucy is married to Ollie and Lucy has the typical mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship that you hear about...or maybe she has it worse? Diana is constantly taking jabs at Lucy and making comments about her parenting and home making skills. This drives Lucy nuts and she cannot figure out how in the world to please Diana. Luckily, she's not the only child-in-law, her brother-in-law feels the same way. But what family doesn't have their issues?

One day Ollie gets a phone call that Diana is dead and they found a suicide note in her desk drawer. Why in the world would Diana want to kill herself? She had plenty of money, a nice place to live and wonderful kids/grandchildren. The police think that someone has set her up and all of the kids are now wondering which one of them did it. What was the motive? Inheritance? Guilt? Anger? The only person who knows is the one that did it....

This story was very relatable to me (not the suicide/death part) but the mother-in-law part. To get real personal - I do not have a relationship with my MIL and at this point neither does my husband (so more extreme then Lucy and Ollie). Lucy tries so hard with her MIL and tries to get her to like her but its nothing but criticism from Diana. She can't dress right, she can't talk right, etc. I can definitely relate to this sadly. Imagine one of the people you are hoping will accept you for the last ten years just criticize you to your core. Think the worst things you already think about yourself and imagine your MIL calling you 2 days before Christmas and telling you that's how she thinks of you. That happened to me. As bad as Diana was at times to her kids/spouses at least there were some times when she cared.

This story was told from two perspectives - the past and the present. I think the author did a great job linking the two together and making the story work. I wouldn't say this is a blow your socks off who-dun-it, but there definitely was a suspense aspect to this book. I almost felt like I was a distant relative watching the family go through everything and let me tell you they go through A LOT in this book. I also loved how satisfied I felt at the end. I really felt like Hepworth made the story come full circle in the 340 pages. I like that better than making my own extension of what happened or trying to imagine it once I close the book.

I really enjoyed Sally's THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR last year and I enjoyed this one as well! This came out about a month ago so go pick it up - it is definitely a good summer read!!

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for my finished copy of this book!
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