where family and money collide

Lucy loves Ollie and is looking forward to spending the rest of her life with him. She loves him, he loves her, her father agrees, and his father agrees. But his mother . . . well, that’s another story.

Lucy lost her own mother when she was young, so she was looking forward to forging a strong relationship with her mother-in-law, but Diana does not make that easy. Although Diana’s husband Tom is thrilled about his son’s choice of a wife, and Ollie’s sister and her husband all love Lucy, Lucy still wants the approval of her future mother-in-law, despite her coldness.

Lucy and Ollie do get married and go on to have three great kids. And while Diana may not be much of a mother to Lucy, she is a devoted grandmother, and Lucy does appreciate her for that. But when police show up at the door of Lucy and Ollie’s house to tell them that Diana has died, there are far more questions than answers.

Sally Hepworth’s The Mother-in-Law is a story told through layers and layers of family relationships. With alternating chapters of the present and the past, of Lucy’s and then Diana’s point of view, this moving novel of family, wealth, love, devotion, and honor will take you on a most surprising and rewarding journey. The Mother-in-Law is a beautifully written story about the choices that women make, the consequences that those choices have, and the character that is formed through those choices.

I love a well-written book, and this certainly fits that bill. But this novel turned out to be so much more. This was a really powerful look at our perceptions of others and how they can be wrong. These women’s stories are all our stories. Their struggles are our struggles. And reading stories like these make us better as friends, better as daughters, and better as women. Thank you, Sally Hepworth, for your honesty, intelligence, and warmth as you tell our stories as daughters and mothers.

Galleys for The Mother-in-Law were provided by St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley, with many thanks.