Happy Tuesday, all! Today I am super excited to share my review of another book I group read, and we unanimously endorsed, The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth, available today from St. Martin’s Press!
The opening scene is where a family, specifically a son and his wife, are being told that their mother (mother-in-law) was found dead. The story proceeds in dual narration. We hear from Lucy, the son’s wife/the daughter-in-law, and Diana, the mother-in-law who was found deceased.
Through that narration, we quickly learn that Lucy and Diana have a flawed and challenging relationship as many mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law do. Lucy feels like she does not measure up to Diana’s expectations of who she should be.
Diana is a big deal. She’s well-loved in the community, helps refugees with adjusting to Australia, and is a blissfully married wife to the charming, Tom. For five years, Lucy and Diana have not been able to find common ground.
And in the present, Diana has passed away with a suicide note next to her body. In the note, she wrote she had cancer, but the autopsy shows no cancer. Who could have hurt Diana and why?
The Mother-in-Law becomes more complex with the turn of every page, just as Lucy and Diana’s relationship continues to intensify. Where you might expect a dramatic story to have an evil, mustache-twirling character, you don’t find one here…At least initially. What you will find is two extraordinarily complex women trying desperately to connect but continuing to miss signals. The dynamic is refreshing for this type of storyline and utterly relatable if you ever been in the same shoes trying arduously to meet someone in the middle.
The Mother-in-Law is emotional, original, well-written, thought-provoking, dramatic, intense, and in the end, a surprising and shocking read that left me with much to think about.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder…
From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.
That was five years ago.
Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer.
But the autopsy finds no cancer.
The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation.
Who could possibly want Diana dead?
Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses?
With Lucy’s secrets getting deeper and her relationship with her mother-in-law growing more complex as the pages turn, this new novel from Sally Hepworth is sure to add to her growing legion of fans.
Have you read The Mother-in-Law, or is it on your TBR? Do you have any favorite fall reads? Happy Reading! ~ Jenni THR