The Mother-in-Law

The Mother-in-Law

Someone once told me that you have two families in your life - the one you are born into and the one you choose. Yes, you may get to choose your partner, but you don't choose your mother-in-law. The cackling mercenaries of fate determine it all.From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm's length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying Oli...

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Title:The Mother-in-Law
Author:Sally Hepworth
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Mother-in-Law Reviews

  • Crumb

    What is it about in-laws that makes them so abhorred? Is it their constant meddling? Perhaps their subtle, but persistent disapproval of every little thing. For Lucy, she just wants her Mother-in-law, Diana, to love her. Accept her. But

    is never going to happen. At least not as long as Diana walks the earth . . .

    For originality, this one deserves five stars. In addition, this was Hepworth's first attempt at the thriller genre, and I think she nailed

    What is it about in-laws that makes them so abhorred? Is it their constant meddling? Perhaps their subtle, but persistent disapproval of every little thing. For Lucy, she just wants her Mother-in-law, Diana, to love her. Accept her. But

    is never going to happen. At least not as long as Diana walks the earth . . .

    For originality, this one deserves five stars. In addition, this was Hepworth's first attempt at the thriller genre, and I think she nailed it. I've always loved her work, but I was a little apprehensive about whether or not she could pull off a suspense novel. I'm here to tell you... she rocked it!

    I don't want to share too much about the plot or characters, because I feel you should know as little as possible going into this one. There is a huge twist, that was very well-executed. Not only was this a supreme psychological thriller, but it was a meditation on the dysfunction between families. I always love me some good drama!

    There is a storm brewing in the East coast and in my opinion, you should put on something cozy, and get this book. It's a delight to behold!

  • Deanna

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    I am a huge fan of this author. “

    ” was my first Sally Hepworth novel and is one of my favorite books.

    The first line in the description of this novel grabbed my attention…

    I couldn’t wait to start reading!

    The story begins with a police car pulling up to the home of Lucy and her husband, Ollie.

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    I am a huge fan of this author. “

    ” was my first Sally Hepworth novel and is one of my favorite books.

    The first line in the description of this novel grabbed my attention…

    I couldn’t wait to start reading!

    The story begins with a police car pulling up to the home of Lucy and her husband, Ollie. Although the car doesn’t have its lights or siren on, she knows immediately that something isn’t right. “

    The police ask if they are relatives of Diana Goodwin and right away Lucy knows what they are going to say next…

    The story then jumps back ten years to Lucy’s first visit to the Goodwin home. Ollie’s father is friendly and seems happy to meet Lucy as does Ollie’s sister, Nettie. But Ollie’s mother’s greeting is lukewarm. She’s not rude to Lucy, she is very polite…she just seems sort of cold and standoffish.

    When Diana meets Lucy, her first thoughts are that Lucy was probably adored by everyone in her life and things probably came very easily to her.

    Lucy just wants Diana to like her. However, it seems the harder she tries the more strained their relationship becomes.

    And now…Diana is dead.

    As they learn more about Diana’s death and more things are brought to light, Lucy finds herself questioning everything...some things just aren’t adding up.

    I thought this was an excellent story filled with engaging characters and an entertaining plot. We are given insight into the complicated relationships within the family. I liked how it alternated between Diana and Lucy’s point of view in both the past and present. It was interesting seeing how they each read or misread the same situations.

    As I mentioned in a previous review of “

    ”, Sally Hepworth does a wonderful job of bringing her characters and their individual stories to life. She creates characters that readers can relate to and empathize with.

    This was definitely a thought-provoking read. I’ve read other novels that deal with the relationships between men and women and their in-laws, but I found this to be quite a unique story. I was really surprised by a few things and extremely satisfied with how everything came together in the end.

    In my opinion, this was another winning story from Sally Hepworth.

    I'd like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel.

  • Susanne  Strong

    Sometimes they’re scarier than others and sometimes you hit the jackpot. Perhaps it’s because of the competition factor, mothers not being able to let go of their sons, or wives

    Sometimes they’re scarier than others and sometimes you hit the jackpot. Perhaps it’s because of the competition factor, mothers not being able to let go of their sons, or wives simply not feeling like they measure up. Whatever it is, Lucy, (one of the main characters in Sally Hepworth’s “The Mother-in-Law”) knows exactly what I’m talking about. Here, she desperately tries to make a good impression on her Mother-in-Law, Diana, and she fails miserably. Silly, Lucy.. Mommie Dearest always knows best!

    Diana however, isn’t so lucky after all. In a crazy turn of events, her body is found in what initially looks like death by suicide. Nothing about Diana’s death adds up and once the investigation begins, everyone in the family is scared stiff. The only motive the cops can find? Money. It always comes down to money, doesn’t it? If only things were that simple.

    A buddy read with Kaceey! This was my favorite by far Kaceey!

    Thank you to Jordan Hanley at St. Martin’s Press and to Sally Hepworth for a galley of this novel in exchange for an honest review. It was my pleasure.

    Published on Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram.

    *Will be published on Amazon in April of 2019.

  • Katie B

    I try not to give out 5 stars too often but this one was special and deserving in terms of how much I enjoyed it and took away from it. I went into this thinking it would just be a typical mother in law story but there was so much more to it than that. It explored not just the mother and daughter in law relationship but also the dynamics between child/parent, husband/wife, and siblings. It was one of those reading experiences in which you seriously start reflecting on your own life and how you d

    I try not to give out 5 stars too often but this one was special and deserving in terms of how much I enjoyed it and took away from it. I went into this thinking it would just be a typical mother in law story but there was so much more to it than that. It explored not just the mother and daughter in law relationship but also the dynamics between child/parent, husband/wife, and siblings. It was one of those reading experiences in which you seriously start reflecting on your own life and how you deal with family members.

    Ever since they first met Lucy has had a polite, but distant relationship with her mother-in-law, Diana. It's like no matter what she does, Diana just won't warm up to her. The story jumps back and forth between Diana's perspective of things that happened in the past and the present day in which Lucy and her family have just learned Diana is dead. Her death will have lasting consequences for the entire family.

    What I thought the author did brilliantly was the dual perspectives as it prevented Diana from being this one-dimensional character. There were so many layers to Diana and Lucy's relationship and it was interesting to see what they each thought about certain events. There were moments in the story that were so relatable, like when you come across the exact opposite of how you intended or when you regret leaving something unsaid. And while relationships were certainly an important part of the book, the mystery of what happened to Diana was intriguing as well. Overall, such a fantastic book and I can't wait to check out Sally Hepworth's other novels as she definitely has a knack for getting you to feel for her characters on an emotional level.

    Thank you to St. Martin's Press for sending me an advance copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.

    * Edited on 4/23/19 This was my first Sally Hepworth novel and after reading this advance copy, I was excited to check out her other books. I am now caught up and while I liked her other novels, this one remains my favorite.

  • Kaceey

    This book is headed straight to my favorites’ shelf!!

    Oh that poor mother-in-law! Boy, she’s been getting a bad rap lately. This is the third book I’ve read recently regarding a so called

    This time...it’s just a bit different.

    Told from 2 points of view of Lucy the daughter-in-law and Diana. Yup, you guessed it...Diana “the mother in law.”

    This book is headed straight to my favorites’ shelf!!

    Oh that poor mother-in-law! Boy, she’s been getting a bad rap lately. This is the third book I’ve read recently regarding a so called

    This time...it’s just a bit different.

    Told from 2 points of view of Lucy the daughter-in-law and Diana. Yup, you guessed it...Diana “the mother in law.”

    Lucy is over the moon about marrying Ollie and becoming part of his family. She’d also like nothing more than to befriend Diana and develop that special bond between mother and daughter-in-law. If only it were that simple… or easy.

    When Diana is found dead in her home no one knows if it was a suicide, or if someone with an axe to grind may have wanted her dead. After all, it’s not a stretch to say she may not have been the kindest person to those closest to her.

    I absolutely could not put this book down! This was such a different take on the typical mother-in-law story! I just loved it! I ran the full gamut of emotions reading this book. It will make you smile, shock you at times...it may even bring a tear to your eye. It did for me.

    Sally Hepworth does such a fantastic job creating a character that you can love and hate at the same time! This is my second book from her and while I loved

    , this one just blew me away! I was so ready for something original! Needed a different take on a subject that has been repeatedly done.

    Fantastic job Ms. Hepworth! I am now anxiously waiting for your next release!

    A buddy read with Susanne(Thank you Susanne!)

    Thank you to Jordan Hanley at St Martin’s Press for an advanced copy to read and review.

  • (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Diana was a complicated woman. Her outward appearance depicts a wealthy, strong and even altruistic woman. Yet we instantly come to see that her family had a vastly different view of her and it wasn't all positive. Thus, when the story opens and we find Diana dead we are easily enveloped by the questions - was her death a case of suicide or murder?

    The story is told from multiple view points as well as alternating timelines, filling i

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Diana was a complicated woman. Her outward appearance depicts a wealthy, strong and even altruistic woman. Yet we instantly come to see that her family had a vastly different view of her and it wasn't all positive. Thus, when the story opens and we find Diana dead we are easily enveloped by the questions - was her death a case of suicide or murder?

    The story is told from multiple view points as well as alternating timelines, filling in the blanks of Diana's life and leading us to the circumstances surrounding her death. I was expecting more of a thriller but the story ended up having more of a domestic mystery vibe. It definitely worked within the plot and allowed us to get a feel for the family dynamics between the characters.

    There has been quite a lot of commentary about Diana and her actions in other reviews. I personally felt that Hepworth did an amazing job of explaining why she was who she was and ultimately acted the way she did. She was a very guarded person, rarely letting all her walls down. Tom, her husband, was by far one of the only people that truly knew her. They were definitely a yin and yang relationship, each providing the other with what they needed most. Their relationship, as well as the parts told from her point-of-view helped me warm to her character and have empathy for her.

    Things are not as cut and dry as they seem. Her writing evoked many different emotions in me as I read through the story and came to know and understand each character.

    So much of what takes place between the family ultimately involves miscommunication and misunderstanding. You can't help but feel for where they ended up and wonder how different things could have been, if they had just taken the time to honestly communicate with each other and connect about the things that were important to them versus suffering through them alone.

  • Debra

    Families - there is the one you are born into, the one you marry into and the one you choose.

    When Lucy marries Ollie, she desperately wants to be accepted into his family, especially by his Mother Diana, as Lucy lost her mother at an early age. But from day one, Diana appears reserved and distant. The rest of Ollie's family embraces Lucy but Lucy feels that she just can't do anything right in Diana's eyes. Lucy is a lively woman who chooses to stay home with her children and is doing the best sh

    Families - there is the one you are born into, the one you marry into and the one you choose.

    When Lucy marries Ollie, she desperately wants to be accepted into his family, especially by his Mother Diana, as Lucy lost her mother at an early age. But from day one, Diana appears reserved and distant. The rest of Ollie's family embraces Lucy but Lucy feels that she just can't do anything right in Diana's eyes. Lucy is a lively woman who chooses to stay home with her children and is doing the best she can to be a good mother, wife and daughter in law.

    Diana was basically disowned by her parents during her later teenage years for choices she made and was taken in by her Aunt. She eventually meets her husband Tom and her life changes for the better. With Tom, Diana raised two children: Ollie and Nettie. Diana often must play the bad cop in her family yet has a generous and giving nature with the refugees she helps.

    I don't want to say any more about the plot and encourage fellow readers to go in knowing as little as you can about the plot. This book pleasantly surprised me. I have been a fan of Hepworth since reading her first book and this book lived up to my expectations of her writing. I loved how she gave us the inner thoughts of each of the two main women - Lucy and Diana. I also appreciated how she showed each's intentions and how often intentions can be misread, or someone might have difficulty fully articulating his/her motives/thoughts/emotions to another person effectively, thus causing others to make inaccurate assumptions about that individual. It's what you say, how you say it and sometimes the things you don't get the chance to say, choose not to say or don't say. Relationships are tricky things. In fact, relationships can be messy. Worry about overstepping, worry about not being liked, worry about not teaching your children the skills to live, worry about being over bearing, worry about not being involved...ah...all the worries.

    Diana and Lucy are not the only characters with relationship issues in this book. There are quite a few things going on in the relationships of others in this book as well. These subplots with are a part of the larger plot are just as important and show issues which can occur in marriages, with co-workers and with people we interact with in our personal lives.

    I found this book to be a fast read which did not disappoint. I enjoyed how the Mother in law/daughter in law complicated relationship unfolded. How each tired with the other in her own way. It was refreshing to read both of their POV sections to see how they interpreted situations and often misinterpret each other intentions.

    But this book is also not all about relationships, it is also about what happened to Diana. There is a mystery here. Was her death a suicide? Was she murdered? Who knows? One must read to find out!

    I found this book to be thought provoking and captivating. It was a fast read which did not disappoint this reader.

    Thank you to St. Martin's Press, Sally Hepworth and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Meredith

    The book begins with the reader learning of the death of Diana, mother to Ollie and mother-in-law to Lucy. The narrative is divided into both Lucy and Diana's perspectives over the course of ten years.

    Diana has been described as some as a hateful character.

    The book begins with the reader learning of the death of Diana, mother to Ollie and mother-in-law to Lucy. The narrative is divided into both Lucy and Diana's perspectives over the course of ten years.

    Diana has been described as some as a hateful character. While she is not necessarily likable, I found her chapters to be fascinating!

    I wanted to know more about Diana--especially her past and her relationship with Tom. There are allusions to what shaped her, but I wanted the whole picture!

    I am split between so many elements of this book: The characters, the narrative structure, the plot, etc. At times, I was completely enthralled, whereas during other times I was bored out of mind. I wanted more--I felt that the reader is only offered the surface of Diana and Lucy’s relationship. We dive in a little deeper towards the end, but it seems like in an effort to keep an element of surprise going throughout the novel, we lose what could have been a more complex reading of the relationship between these two women. I also thought that this book was trying to be too many things at once: Domestic drama, women’s fiction, psychological thriller all in one.

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press.

  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*

    I am just going to put my thoughts down and I am not going to get into the story but you can read the blurb for that.

    This is not a thriller. It is a contemporary fiction and a slow burning mystery. I want thriller fans to know this because I really struggled with This book. I am the wrong audience for it. I am not a big fan of contemporary fiction or a slow burning mystery. I did like it close to the ending but I didn't love it. I did love the premise of the book and I was intrigued enough to fi

    I am just going to put my thoughts down and I am not going to get into the story but you can read the blurb for that.

    This is not a thriller. It is a contemporary fiction and a slow burning mystery. I want thriller fans to know this because I really struggled with This book. I am the wrong audience for it. I am not a big fan of contemporary fiction or a slow burning mystery. I did like it close to the ending but I didn't love it. I did love the premise of the book and I was intrigued enough to find out what happened to Diana. This one seemed to drag a lot. I think of it was shorter, it would be a lot better. It just had too much random imformation that was not needed.

    In the last 70% of the novel it did a complete u-turn and I really enjoyed it, but it was a little too late for that. My connection with the characters grew and I was happy that I finally grasped the connection to the characters. I was shocked when I found out what happened to Diana. I never guessed what happened to her and found this to be an unpredictable read. I also thought that it was pausible.

    I think the author did great with the characterization of Diana. Close to the end I felt like I really understood her. She suffered through depression. My favorite characters were Diana and Lucy and I loved the bonding that they shared close to the end. Lucy really needed this. My most unlikable character was Lettie. Diana was wealthy and she asked for an enormous amount of money and I can understand why Diana said, no because I thought she was unstable and couldn't handle the responsibility. I thought she was a selfish spoiled brat. Diana did help out her family when they needed it. She did help out Ollie.

    She just wanted her children to be able to stand on their two feet and work hard. I do think she could of done more for them though. I also thought it was very well written.

    I just love that bookcover.

    This was a Traveling Sister read and it really made a good discussion because we all felt differently about the characters and things that happened in the book.

    I would strongly recommend this book to contemporary fiction and slow burning mystery fans. I think that audience will love this book.

    I want to thank Netgalley, St. Martin's Press and the author for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Emily May

    I've read a number of thrillers lately, ranging from the quiet character drama of

    and

    , to Coben's high-octane

    . And this book just sits blandly somewhere between the two.

    I had to think about my rating here. I almost upped it to 3 stars because it’s not that BAD. But then it’s not much of anything really. I found it a

    that lacks either the urgency or depth of characterization needed to make it compelling.

    The bl

    I've read a number of thrillers lately, ranging from the quiet character drama of

    and

    , to Coben's high-octane

    . And this book just sits blandly somewhere between the two.

    I had to think about my rating here. I almost upped it to 3 stars because it’s not that BAD. But then it’s not much of anything really. I found it a

    that lacks either the urgency or depth of characterization needed to make it compelling.

    The blurb and the beginning of the book set it up as if we're supposed to believe there's some drama between Lucy and her mother-in-law, Diana, and that the former may have possibly murdered the latter. I think the conflict between Lucy and Diana was supposed to drive the narrative, but it was almost annoying how big of a deal was made out of absolutely nothing. Lucy overhears a conversation between her husband and his mother in which Diana says she (Lucy) is "fine". OH NO. It just... is this really supposed to be a nightmare MIL scenario? Lucy should watch Jane Fonda in

    .

    The author would also make a big deal out of innocuous moments like Diana telling Lucy she wanted the necklace back that she lent her for her “something borrowed” during the wedding. It’s so not a threatening or dramatic moment. Many moments seem played up unrealistically. Like the police coming in with their suspicions because - dramatic breath - they could only find one of Diana's sofa cushions.

    It's all just very unexciting. And I could totally get behind a slow book that is more about character interactions and relationships than it is about action, but this is not quite that either. Lucy is dull and one-dimensional and Diana, though slightly more interesting, is almost robotic in her adherence to a morality that is very basic, unexplored, and comes from a place of extreme privilege.

    Also, the pool of suspects is tiny, so I predicted the conclusion in the first few chapters.

    CW:

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