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Using the thesaurus. Close What are red words? Close Thesaurus. Close singular mother-in-law plural mothers-in-law. Other entries for this word. Related words. Family members by marriage: brother-in-law , co-brother , co-sister Explore Thesaurus. STEAM science, technology, engineering, art and maths: an educational approach that integrates art and design with the sciences and technical subjects BuzzWord Article. Open Dictionary the Hawthorne effect an effect observed in science, where study participants alter their behaviour because they know they are being observed add a word.

More submissions pastoralist iGAS malachite hybridization speciation cryosphere oliviculture virtual water water-scarce view entries. We know the mother-in-law dies at the very beginning. The setting also takes place in Milbourne, Australia The title of this novel is very incidental IMO.. There are lies - secrets - judgements- resentments - told in present and past time alternating narration between Diana and Lucy.

Diana is the mother-in-law. Tom the father in-law. Ollie is their son. Lucy is the new daughter in-law in the family. A few more characters - friends of Diana Cynthia and a few other women. Diana runs a charity business - she brings maternity clothes and prams to pregnant women. One woman in particular she has gotten close with: Gheala and her two young children Aarash and his little sister Aziza.

I promised no spoilers - easy to do. Truthfully I found the writing - the dialogue to be very ordinary. The writing is very safe With so many stories about each character - I felt the book lacked a strong focus. There was wasted chatter of each child: from watching TV, eating snacks, tossing balls, climbing trees, playing with Tupperware lids, etc.

Read other reviews. Sally Hepworth fans who enjoy easy reading quick page turning books should love this novel. I needed something meatier to wrap my brain around. Thank You Netgalley, St. View all 23 comments. This book has perfect timing. With the whole college scandal going on, the whole concept of what parents owe their children or how much help they should provide is especially apt. Yes, some of the things she did we This book has perfect timing. Yes, some of the things she did were wrong, but overall, I appreciated her.

Hepworth does a wonderful job of pointing out how different families have different standards regarding money. In fact, not just families, but spouses. I also loved how she points out, again and again, the way we let moments get away from us. The chance to say thank you Hepworth takes her time setting up the scenario.

I liked this approach and found it a relaxing break after so many roller coaster ride mysteries. The book alternates between the past and the present, between Diana and Lucy. And I also have to give Hepworth credit for a thought provoking book. I did a lot of highlighting with this book, something I hardly ever do with a mystery. And i must have changed my mind ten times over the course of the book as to the who in the whodunit.

As it was, I never did figure it out before the big reveal. My thanks to netgalley and St. View all 32 comments. Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets. Standing at the door of those secrets is the sentinel of our choosing who presents the face of the moment. We don the mask we find appropriate and carry it forward while protecting the truism of self. Sally Hepworth presents an absolutely dynamic story that weaves its way into a family unit that has locked down their deceptions with bolt and key.

She is a wizard at revealing just enough backstory on her varied characters to more than wet your whistle. Cha Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets. Chapters shift from the perspective of Lucy, the daughter-in-law to Diana, the mother-in-law. Hepworth adds the element of present and past events as well. It's a boiling pot of family situations that gets stirred about Our story is set in Melbourne, Australia. Lucy and Ollie seem to be a young couple battling the challenges of everyday life with three young children.

We have a spicy stew of the In-Laws and the Out-Laws building up and tearing down typical interactions from year to year Lucy and Diana's relationship is in the spotlight. Each is in a defensive mode and each presents themselves as territorial. When lines begin to cross, tension is elevated to high degrees. As readers, we experience the layers being peeled back and there's some rotten fruit on both sides of these encounters. That's why this novel would be an excellent read for book clubs. Then Hepworth throws in a lightning bolt.

Diana is found dead on the floor of her home. A suicide note has been kept in a drawer of her desk The police are hesitant to call this a full-out suicide quite yet. Family members are called in for questioning. And now the feathers begin to fly. Who is responsible for all this? Diana, herself, or a family member, or one of the individuals that Diana has been helping through her charities?

The Mother-in-Law is a honey of a read. If you enjoy very creative storylines, then this one has your name all over it. A very, very satisfying read. I received a copy of this book through Giveaways on Goodreads. My thanks to St. Martin's Press and to the talented Sally Hepworth for the opportunity. View all 24 comments. So lately there seems to be many "mother-in-law" books that have overtaken the psychological thriller genre. Some more successful than others.

However, Sally Hepworth does something different here. Most definitely it wasn't what I was expecting. This is NOT a psychological thriller but there is a mystery to solve. Lucie and Ollie meet and fall in love. Ollie decides it's time for Lucie to meet his parents and Lucie wants nothing more than to impress them. Having lost her own mother at a young ag So lately there seems to be many "mother-in-law" books that have overtaken the psychological thriller genre. Having lost her own mother at a young age she is eager to have a mother-in-law to turn to for advice and friendship.

Once she meets Diana she finds out that their relationship is going to be anything but friendly when she receives Diana's frosty, at best, reception. Lucie is at a loss as to how to win this woman over. Fast forward 5 years and the unthinkable happens.

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Diana has been found dead by apparent suicide but was it really suicide? You'll have to read it to find out. I enjoyed the heck out of this book and had trouble putting it down. It was just so compulsively readable. Why this book differs from those other mother-in-law books is that both of these women are likable people and only want whats best for those they love. I especially adored Diana.

This book was a perfect example of miscommunication between people. That sometimes the things we don't say actually say more than we think. A reminder as to why we should tell the people we love how we feel about them more often. Let people know that you appreciate them. I'm going to try to do that more in my own life because, let's face it, we are only here a brief time and we really do need to make the best of it. And nothing that I have ever cared about cost a single cent. Martin's Press for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. View all 55 comments.

I received a widget for this all the way back in October from St. Otherwise, I would have never requested an arc of this book. I'm not sure what prompted me to accept the widget, because I've kind of dreaded the thought of reading this book, and here am finally cracking the pages a week prior to its publication. Maybe it was PTSD from my experience with my own mother-in-law that inspired a feeling of dread. However, quite unexpe I received a widget for this all the way back in October from St. However, quite unexpectedly, I felt a visceral connection with I also admired the character of the daughter-in-law, Lucy.

In fact, if you melded together the personalities of Diana and Lucy, it became a composite of my mother, who I feel extremely honored and blessed to have had. For that reason, I understood Diana and was often touched by her musings throughout the book. When Diana married Tom, she married into money. Even so, Diana is content with simplicity, but indulges Tom who wants the big audacious house. The bottom line is, Diana loves her husband just for being him, and he's the only one who can crack that rather hard and remote facade to her softness below the surface.

Diana has a challenging early history that informed the person she is today. She is passionate about her charity where she helps immigrants with baby clothes and trying to help them find jobs with the skills and certifications they've earned in their birth country. To her own children and their spouses, Diana is a hard nut to crack when they ask her for money. The usual response is a measured lecture about trying to make it on their own, and how they will become stronger people because of it. Then the kids try to get it from their father, who will sometimes comply.

Diana and Tom's eldest child Ollie married Lucy. Lucy lost her own mother when she was thirteen. Therefore, when she marries Ollie Lucy's hoping Diana can become a mother-like presence in her life. However, Lucy soon learns it will be a dicey relationship to navigate. Like the incident on Lucy's wedding day when Diana produces a celtic knot necklace signifying strength. She gives it to Lucy for "something borrowed", but makes it abundantly clear that something borrowed means she wants it back after the wedding. Lucy is a stay at home mom to her three kids, a very dedicated wife to Ollie, and a wonderful daughter-in-law to Diana.

Even though Diana can be a bit harsh and cold at times, Lucy always does the right thing and her loving nature shines through. Theirs was actually a beautiful relationship to watch grow. Diana also has a daughter Nettie who struggles with infertility issues and has a cheating husband. But, the fact that Diana is found dead at the beginning of the book is the predicate that this story builds upon. The chapters are narrated in dueling fashion by Diana and Lucy, weaving the past and present to the story's conclusion. There is a question as to whether Diana committed suicide, or if it was murder.

This was a wonderfully written book about a sometimes difficult but strong, sensible, hard-working woman and her family, with a murder mystery lurking in the background. At one point when her father was very sick and couldn't work there was no disability payment system back then , she handed in her weekly paycheck to carry the family, and felt proud to do it.

These experiences probably informed her values of personal responsibility which she imparted to my brother and I. We never got an allowance and had to get jobs as soon as we were old enough. When I was sixteen she arranged a part-time job via a neighbor in a local 5 and dime store. I also had to buy my own clothes and anything else I wanted from then on.

I remember being totally surprised upon hearing my supervisor at work talk about buying her daughter's wedding dress. I never even knew that that was a common practice, as I purchased everything myself. My brother got a paper route as a youth when he wanted to purchase an electric guitar and amplifier. It's not like today with my own son who only works a summer job so he can be fully invested in his school work.

Once I worked that part-time job in the variety store, I worked it continuously for 7 years throughout high school and college until I got my full-time job. I've always felt confident in the quality of my work and the satisfaction of making it on my own. I look around and see what I have and my husband and I know that we did it together without help. We also travelled the lonely and expensive road of infertility problems and no one in the family helped us financially, even though there were several that had the money to do so.

So, I can relate to a lot of issues in this book, and it may seem like tough love, but I do agree a lot with Diana because I know from experience that self-sufficiency builds a stronger person.

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

Martin's Press who provided an advance reader copy via NetGalley. View all 53 comments. Sally Hepworth completely sucked me in with this compulsive engaging addictive story! This book took a hold of me and did not let go until the last page was turned! This was an intense twisty story full of complex characters and complicated relationships. I absolutely love books that dig deeply into the psychology of the characters, and oh boy did this book do that!

Perhaps there is no relationship more tenuous than that of mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. My own mother in law unfortunately pa Sally Hepworth completely sucked me in with this compulsive engaging addictive story! My own mother in law unfortunately passed away a year ago, and I will be forever grateful that she really stayed out of our business, LOL!

Although I am imagining it will be a tricky relationship I am up for the challenge!


I felt this was a extremely impactful way to tell the story, you could really see how much misunderstanding there was between these two women. They both truly sought the approval of the other, and neither really knew how to go about it. Most interesting indeed! The book starts out with the apparent suicide of Diana.

As the book progresses we get a look at events leading up to the tragedy. As well as the present day investigation. As things begin to unfold and secrets begin to be revealed we really find out how truly complicated it all was. As the past is revealed Diana becomes a more and more sympathetic character. I liked Lucy from the very beginning and I enjoyed delving deep into her immediate family dynamics. Her relationship with Oliver and the kids was so relatable.

Always much easier to be good cop then bad cop! I just think there is something so alluring about a domestic thriller, it just is always so intriguing to read a story about family dynamics.. What is so brilliant about this story, is this family could be any of ours! It is so familiar and there is something comforting about that, making the story just that much more! Strongly recommended to anybody who enjoys a story with complicated characters, complex relationships, twists, turns, and a well structured compelling plot!

View all 10 comments. Relationships can be complicated, especially when it involves the "Mother-in-law". The first chapter was intense and sets the stage for a compelling read. Their relationship is complicated and Lucy has many insecurities when it comes to Diana. The autho Relationships can be complicated, especially when it involves the "Mother-in-law". The author explores the roles of all the family members into the mix that led to much pondering on my part.

Who is at fault here? It had me to retracing the previous events to see more clearly how it had led to utter devastation and murder. I had almost all the characters as suspects at some point. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book and all the suspense it created, the rest of the story was more about the family dynamics. You should keep in mind that this is a women'ts fiction with some suspense, but more family drama. A twisty, addictive, suspense-filled family drama! Lucy yearns to connect with her mother-in-law Diana.

Having lost her own mother, she craves a maternal connection. Diana was a wealthy and well-respected community figure who lived alone, having lost her loving husband years prior. The police come back to question Lucy and Ollie. Everything Lucy thought she knew about her husband and his family is challenged. Did someone want Diana dead? I loved the pace and flow of this novel. It is narrated by several characters, all of which held an intricate perspective to the story. It was an engrossing, truly addictive journey that I hungrily devoured, my mind flip flopping between possibilities of scenarios of what actually happened.

This book kept me on my toes, my suspicions thrown all over the place, flipping those pages as fast as possible. This was a Traveling Sister read that we all enjoyed. Expected Date of Publication: April 23, View all 26 comments. She has a loving and doting father, but having lost her mother when she was young she has long yearned for the mother-daughter relatio 3, I was expecting a thriller but this is definitely more contemporary fiction with a mystery but I still enjoyed it stars!!

She has a loving and doting father, but having lost her mother when she was young she has long yearned for the mother-daughter relationship she was denied. As they navigate their new relationship together, the space between them only grows until things go from bad to worse and Lucy wants nothing to do with Diana. We laugh and I find myself impressed with the speed in which Ollie came around.

He knows that at some point a huge amount of money will be coming our way, more money than we could possibly know how to spend. And to access it, all we need to do is wait for someone to die. Police to come to your door with good news. But her kids are safe, her husband is safe — what could they possibly have to tell her?

As the police break the news to Lucy and Ollie that Diana has passed under circumstances that point to her ending her own life questions begin mounting one on top of the other. Who puts their suicide note in a closed drawer before ending their life? So full disclosure up front, this read was a bit middle of the road for me. I loved the way each character was developed and I felt like, while at times slow, the forward progression was consistent and made sense.

Diana was the strongest character and by far my favorite of this read. By giving us her point of view, she becomes less a villain and more a misunderstood and flawed human — which anyone can find connection to. I think anticipating this to be faster paced left me a little let down. If you follow my reviews than you already know that family dramas are not generally my favorite, so while I knew this was about a family I expected more thrill and less drama but got the opposite. I worked hard for everything I ever cared about. And nothing I ever cared about cost a single cent.

I also would be remiss to mention that I absolutely, whole heartily adore my own mother-in-law so not all in-law relationships are fraught!

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Traveling Sisters read View all 8 comments. This is a thought-provoking novel of domestic suspense. I hate to compare it to other authors, though there are a few I see, because Hepworth to me has a truly unique voice and a story that needs to be told. View all 13 comments. I had a lukewarm response to a book I read from this author before, but this one really defied expectations. I couldn't get through it fast enough, but then I had that sad, empty feeling when it was over that we're all familiar with. Not because it wasn't great, but that it was over. Lucy lost her own mother some time ago, and she was determined to have an amazing relationship with her mother-in-law.

After all, she loves her son and will provide what she's sure is much longed for grandbabies. Th I had a lukewarm response to a book I read from this author before, but this one really defied expectations. That has to be enough to endear her to the matriarch of the family, right? Not so much. Diana is standoffish and almost cold. She's often rude and doesn't seem to even realize it. She is not an affectionate person, or even a very kind one. Which seems odd, because she does a lot of charity work and seems to genuinely care about the people she helps who don't have much.

Ten years later, Diana is dead. She's left a note that points to suicide, but the police aren't buying it. They are hovering around the family, asking a whole lot of questions. Diana and Lucy never had the relationship Lucy dreamed of, but she certainly wouldn't have hurt her And if not her, who would? The whole family has an interesting dynamic, and it's so fascinating to take a look at the same situations from different points of view so we can understand what went right and what went wrong: how a small slight or misunderstanding can create such a chasm when not resolved.

Genuinely surprising and engrossing, I was a big fan of this read. The character of Diana was really unique, and such fun to read. I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and St. Thank you! This in no way affects my opinion. View all 5 comments. I read one of Sally Hepworth's earlier novels last year and immediately connected with her writing style and storytelling approach. I was lucky enough to be approved for an ARC earlier this week and began reading it right away.

What an emotional and angst-ridden tale about the relationship between several family members who can feel all too real and all too fake at the exact same time. I truly enjoyed this I read one of Sally Hepworth's earlier novels last year and immediately connected with her writing style and storytelling approach. I truly enjoyed this book and give it 4. Let's get into some specifics Lucy lost her mother when she was young.

Although her father was wonderful, she never felt that connection with an older female who could guide her through becoming a mother, caring for a family, or securing your own position in the world as a strong, intelligent woman. When she meets Ollie, and he wants to introduce her to his family, Lucy is nervous but hopeful it fills a hole that's been growing for far too long. Unfortunately, when Lucy meets his mother, Diana, it becomes quite clear that won't happen. Diana had a difficult childhood and was essentially almost forced to give Ollie up as a baby.

When she was kicked out, Diana learned how to build something from nothing and to care for her family when she didn't even have a place to live. She used that savvy experience to become a major player in an organization that helps young women trying to escape from difficult circumstances in their own country and move to America for a better life. Diana also developed a thick skin and an attitude that no one should be given a handout without working for it in return. Although the story alternates chapters from Lucy's and Diana's viewpoints throughout the decade they know one another, there are other characters who help show what each woman is truly made of.

Diana's husband, Tom, is the complete opposite of her; he's a lovable, genuine, and thoughtful husband and father who gets sick. Ollie's sister and her husband are desperate for a baby and go to the extremes to make it happen with or without their family's support and money.

Ollie's best friend becomes his business partner and wreaks havoc on a complex family relationship. Then there's the 3 young children Ollie and Lucy have during that first decade. Throw in Diana's untimely death, mysterious circumstances that make it look like a suicide but also a murder This book explores that fine line of how you say things without coming across as insensitive or rude, how you determine when to let a mistake happen so a new parent learns on her own how to care for the child, and how you deal with making a decision when you and your spouse are on opposite sides of how to best support your children.

At times, Diana was truly a horrific witch of a human being. You come to realize she kinda knows the way she's behaving is wrong, but it's been ingrained in her. When she softens, you want to root for her. You want to believe she will turn that corner and do the right thing. Then she goes in the opposite direction, unlike Lucy, who is nearly consistent almost the entire time. She sucks it up when Diana is rude or distant.

She does all the things she doesn't want to do just so she doesn't look like she's being difficult. Until something bad happens, then Lucy blows up. And it works in many circumstances; however, there comes a time when you let someone try to help themselves for only so long before it becomes too late. If you have an excess of money, and your children need it, don't hold on to it forever if they have put years into helping themselves only to fail for reasons out of their control. Eventually, Diana begins to see the light, but it's too late.

Too much has been set in action, and her death is imminent. Was she murdered by one of these people who felt she went too far? Did she commit suicide because she felt guilty? Was it a freak and unexpected accident? You'll have to read the book to find out, but I believe it's worth it.

I couldn't put the novel down. If I did, within 15 minutes, I kept telling myself 'just one more chapter. It's down-to-earth, regular actions and words that remind you of your own world not the drama necessarily, but the way people relate to one another feel comfortable yet push you just enough to question how you think about a situation. I adored this book and would love to give it a full 5-stars, but there were a few items I thought could have been a bit more tidy to be absolutely perfect.

The ending is 'ten years' in the future which is great, but I would love to have seen some of the immediate drama after Diana's death. We get a lot, but once the true reason she died is discovered, there's a bit of a windy wrap-up without a clear enough focus on everyone's reactions to the truth. I don't want to spoil this surprise, but ultimately, if you're gonna throw a curveball at us, give us a few reactions from the rest of the people involved so we sense a complete and thorough emotional see-saw when learning what happened to your family member.

That said, it's a high recommendation from me View all 4 comments. May 22, Meredith B. I could have written more, but in the end, there's really only two pieces of wisdom worth leaving behind. Diana is constantly taking jabs at Lucy and making comments about her parenting and home making skills. This drives Lucy nuts an 4. 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?

Mother In Law _ مازن أوطه باشي

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? 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? The only person who knows is the one that did it 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. However, I do think it was therapeutic, for me personally, to read this and realize maybe i'm not the only one that goes through this, even though it feels like it.

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 pages.

I like that better than making my own extension of what happened or trying to imagine it once I close the book. This came out about a month ago so go pick it up - it is definitely a good summer read!! Martin's Press for my finished copy of this book! View all 16 comments. Martin's Press for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.

Although I am a single lady, it doesn't mean that I haven't heard my share of "mother in law" stories. Some women just cannot cut the cord even after their precious sons get married. For the heck of it I decided to do an internet search on mother in laws. My sweet baby Jesus! Bring your popcorn because if you're anything like me, you'll head down a very dark hole on Saturday night. The story begins with two police officers arriving at Lucy's home to inform her husband, Ollie, that his mother is dead, an apparent suicide that might be more.

As the story moves from the present into Lucy and Diana's tense past, it seems clear that more than one person would be happy to have Diana dead. I read this novel in one sitting, but would certainly put forward that the book could be called "Mother" as Diana in my opinion had an even more aggressive relationship with Ollie and his sister, Antoinette. The more that I read about the highs and lows of Diana's past, I begin to wonder how reliable Lucy's narrative really was as the secrets start to unravel.

Although I had an inkling of what the big reveal was going to be, I was still hooked enough to keep the pages turning. The Mother-in-Law was my first Sally Hepworth read, but it surely will not be my last. This book was nothing like I imagined it to be….. Loved it!! The story was so darn entertaining and absolutely un-put-down-able!!!!

The storyline was brilliantly plotted, flowed seamlessly and the characterizations were absolutely spot-on. The dynamics between these characters totally fascinated and entertained me. And it was so interesting to hear from both sides as each of them had their own interpretations of what they actually meant or how they felt or thought about certain scenarios. The mystery itself here was done so well and not rushed at all. It was another one of those books where the fantastic storytelling guides and entertains you without any shocking unrealistic scenes.

The storyline is full of twists and turns and so subtlety interspersed that totally snuck up on me in the end. I love it when an author is so talented to shock you with her writing style alone which just makes that pivotal moment much more shocking in its own right.

Title: Simple, impactful and fabulous! Plot: Engrossing, clever, unique, thought-provoking, believable, interesting, heartfelt, fast-paced, and entertaining. Ending: Whoa! Absolutely loved it and totally took me by surprise! Overall: This was an all around fabulous book with such a creative and refreshing storyline that was definitely very satisfying and well worth reading!

Would highly recommend! Thank you so much to NetGalley, St. View all 20 comments. With two Mother-in-Laws under my belt, which honestly was two too many, and being one myself, I felt I was ready to tackle Sally Hepworth's latest novel, The Mother-in-Law. I was, after all, an experienced pro. I was not, however, at all prepared for the multi-layered, character driven drama that unfolded before me - not even close!

When Lucy first met her Mother-in-Law, Diana, she immediately knew she was not going to be the wife that Diana had hoped for her son. If she didn't love you - well, therein was the issue. But Lucy tried and she tried hard. When Diana is discovered dead, Lucy is perhaps the one most shocked, especially when it is indicated that Diana was already dying from cancer.

You see, Lucy knows better. Lucy knows a lot of secrets about Diana and this family. As the investigation continues and the secrets are revealed, the layers that covered this perfect family begin to crack and we see that not was not as perfectly pretty as it appeared - but are they ever? I absolutely adore Hepworth and her dramas. I don't always like each and every book, some are not always five star hits for me, but each of her books leave me emotionally charged and the characters that she builds stay with me forever.

The Mother-in-Law is definitely a winner! There are so many twists and turns and layers to this story that just when you think you have it all figured out - and you probably will figure the "whodunnit - a new discovery is revealed and you find yourself back at square one. While there is the underlying mystery of Diana's death in the novel, The Mother-in-Law truly is a family drama at its core. It's about relationships that grow, alter, are amended and die. It's about family - those that work and those that are dysfunctional.

Mother's relationships with their children are complicated; when they become adults it is even more so. When they marry And yet, The Mother-in-Law does scratch that surface and what it reveals will leave you stunned. I have asked myself this question a few times in the past. What is it that makes me dislike a book while so many others have voiced their acclaim and praise for this book? Was it the setting, the writing, or the characters, or could it be a combination of all three?

In the book, The Mother In Law, I am going to say it was most definitely the characters, particularly that of Diana, the erstwhile mother in law of the story. She was to me a vile woman so intent on making sure her children were not s I have asked myself this question a few times in the past. She was to me a vile woman so intent on making sure her children were not spoiled by both her husband and herself, that she literally abandons her children when they hit upon hard times and desperation. You see this couple had plenty of money. However, both her time, her effort, and her money went to outsiders.

Diana was definitely opposed to the old adage of charity begins at home. I surely can understand wanting one's children to grow up with a strong sense of independence, but when her own flesh and blood begs for money for her fertility treatments and is refused, my heart broke. At this point she took away all her daughter's hope. How despicable is that? At any rate, when Diana mysteriously dies, leaving a suicide note saying she couldn't deal with her cancer, which incidentally she never had , the mystery is on to discover the why of her death and her daughter in law, who Diana has also treated deplorably, comes to the forefront as being sympathetic and eventually wanting to know what happened.

Why this young woman, Lucy would ever want to help this woman who treated her with little respect was not understandable to me.? The rest of the children, especially her grandchildren really could have cared less. I was definitely with them here. Diana had a loving husband who had the backbone of a jellyfish.

He allows her shallow treatment of her children to proceed never seeming to take a stance in defense of his own progeny.

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I think the author was trying to create in the reader's mind a feeling of empathy for Diana coming from nothing and achieving the status of being a pillar of the community. Too bad that pillar could not or would not support those who should have been close to her. In this, at least to me, she failed miserably. Do I dislike all vile characters I asked myself? So, I have to say perhaps it was a combination of the characters and the writing which made this story a total turn off for me.

Maybe it also has something to do with me being a mother of four, who would do anything possible to secure my children's happiness. Is that not what parents do? Aren't they the ones who want only the best for their offspring?