Monday, May 20, 2019

Review - The Mother-in-Law

Title:   The Mother-in-Law
Author:  Sally Hepworth
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers; Women Fiction
Publisher:   St. Martin's Press
Format:  Kingle ARC
No. of Pages:  340
Date of Publication:  April 23, 2019
My Rating:  4 Stars

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 Oliver, that they'll 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...

From the bestselling author of The Family Next Door comes a new page-turner about that trickiest of relationships. 


Lucy was just like every other bride when she first got married. She envisioned a happy life with her new husband Oliver. However, his mother Diana treated Lucy with such contempt that it soon became apparent that things would not always be rosy with Lucy's marriage to Oliver. Diana was all but an icon, and Lucy would do anything to please her. In fact, she actually would like to be just like her. However, she was never afforded that opportunity.

Ten years pass, and Lucy's difficult relationship with Diana never got any better. Shockingly, Diana has been found dead and there was a suicide note. As soon as the autopsy is done, however, it is clear that Diana was suffocated. So, what happened? Who killed her?

This intriguing story is delivered in dual points of view. We get that of Lucy, and then also, Diana. What was interesting is how Diana's view was played throughout the pages of this book. This read was full of twists and turns as secrets were revealed, layer by layer, and this allowed the reader to slowly discover who the killer was.

However, I still managed to be surprised at the outcome. I love convoluted stories that can manage to shock me and that deliver a powerful conclusion. I enjoyed this book by Sally Hepworth and look forward to reading her previous titles, as well as whatever she has in store for the future.

An interesting fact about this book is the genres that it falls in. It is listed as a mystery/thriller but also a women's fiction. No doubt that is due to the dynamics explored with this family. I think it was done rather well.

Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.


Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives (2015), The Things We Keep (2016) and The Mother's Promise (2017), and The Family Next Door (Feb 2018). Sally's books have been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.

Sally's novels are available worldwide in English and have been translated into 15 languages.

Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.

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