Review :: The Mother-in-Law :: Sally Hepworth

February 09, 2019

The Mother-in-Law, the brand new novel be Melbourne writer Sally Hepworth, was near top of my list of most anticipated books for 2019. I was delighted to find a copy waiting for me when I arrived home from our holiday, and when I finally sat down to read it this week I devoured it in two short sittings.

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 was exquisitely polite, but Lucy knew, even after marrying Oliver, that they'd never have the closeness she'd been hoping for.
But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something...

In this compelling family drama Hepworth's use of alternating points of view works perfectly to examine the way people make assumptions about what others are doing and saying (or not saying), how this can lead to two people walking away with completely different views of a situation,
and the way these misunderstandings can shape our relationships.

I really felt like I got to know both Lucy and Diana so well throughout the book, and my heart was breaking over the parts of their stories that they couldn't or didn't share. Seeing both their stories from 'the inside' meant that I as the reader was privy to things the other other characters weren't and there were times when I just wished I could step in as the peace maker between them! I definitely needed a few tissues by the end.

I adored this book, and I know it will be one I'll be recommending a lot this year! I gave it 4 stars, and I think it would be perfect for fans of Australian family drama like Liane Moriarty.

xo Bron

I received a free copy of The Mother-in-Law from Pan Macmillan Australia. All views are my own.

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