The book club continues and our most recent read was ‘The Mother-in-Law’ by Sally Hepworth. This was my pick for the month and it turned out to be even better than I had expected. As you may know by now, I’m all about the murder-mystery but this story is so much more than that and is a true page turner. The character development in this book is portrayed so vividly that it immerses you into wanting to know more.
Lucy and Diana are the main characters but there are plenty of other characters to keep track of as well. Diana is Lucy’s mother-in-law and they’ve never truly seen eye to eye. Diana is more of the tough-love kind of Mother who believes that her children should work hard for what they get. Her family is very well off financially and she pours all of her time into her loving husband Tom, and helping the community and female refugees. She is classy, poised, and a Woman of few words. So the real mystery is when Diana is found dead with a suicide note and pills by her body.
Lucy on the other hand is a stay at home Mom and yearns to gain the affection of her mother-in-law. Her real Mother died when she was just thirteen so she craves that female bonding but is never able to find it in Diana’s iciness. Ollie, her husband, has his own business with a less than trusting business partner. They later find themselves in their own financial troubles. Lucy and Ollie seem to have the perfect little family, on the outside.
Ollie’s sister Nettie, is successful and married to Patrick who isn’t as well off financially as his wife’s family is. They are constantly trying to conceive and it begins to consume Nettie’s life, causing turmoil in their own relationship. So as you can see, with the characters laid out, it really could be anyone who killed Diana. Or, was it actually suicide?
Diana had told her family that she had breast cancer. However, when the autopsy reveals that she never had breast cancer, that’s the first of the surprises. Diana also changed her will at the last minute which raises eyebrows all around.
Sally Hepworth takes you on a journey through Diana and Lucy’s perspectives throughout the book. She also goes back and forth from modern day to the past which ties it altogether. She does such a well done job at diving into who they are that you start to understand and truly like each of these ladies for their own very different reasons. As you’re reading, every chapter will keep you guessing who it could be and a new jaw dropper is just around the corner.
By the end of this book, you’ll have your own characters that you like more than others. I personally grew a liking to Diana which I didn’t think would be possible but you just have to keep reading and what you find will be surprising.