• Mel Leslie

The Mother-in-Law

Updated: Mar 30


The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth is a domestic suspense novel that reminded me of Liane Moriarty's style of writing. Both authors are heavy on character development and always seem to have a leading lady protagonist who is involved in some type of suspenseful drama. If you are a fan of Liane Moriarty, I guarantee you'll enjoy Sally Hepworth.


Lucy has always had a complicated relationship with her mother-in-law, Diana, but as complicated as it was, Lucy is still dumbfounded when she finds out that Diana is dead by an apparent suicide. Diana was always stoic, prim, and proper, raising a son and daughter in a wealthy household, but teaching them that money is something to be earned and not given. Diana kept everyone at arm's length, which compelled Lucy to win her over. Lucy did all that she could to garner Diana's approval, but always felt like she was falling short. Diana ran a charity that assisted immigrant women and their families, something that was always front and center on Diana's priority list. Diana tells her one day that she is diagnosed with cancer and that seems to be the obvious reason why she committed suicide. But did Diana really commit suicide? Or was this a murder with greed driven motive?


Each chapter of The Mother-In-Law, slowly unravels the story of Diana and her family. She has a wonderful marriage to her doting husband, Tom, and has a son, Ollie, and daughter, Nettie, who are both successful in their own right. Tom is wealthy, therefore both Ollie and Nettie stand to inherit a comfortable trust fund when Diana passes. Could this be motivation for murder? Or did Diana reach her breaking point when she received her cancer diagnosis, wanting to go out on her own terms? Each chapter switches between Lucy and Diana's perspectives, and also alternates timelines, flashing back and forth between the past and present. The chapters are structured in a way that keep the book flowing quickly and end with the reader wanting to learn more.


I thoroughly enjoyed this suspenseful domestic drama. For some reason, I was under the impression that this book was a thriller. It does not fit into that category, but is suspenseful in nature and focuses more on complex family dynamics. It also focuses on the secrets family members keep from each other and what can be said in those moments of silence. I am sure almost everyone can relate to having a sibling, parent, in law, or relative of some sort who they do not get along with or are constantly struggling to win them over. I loved the complex relationships in The Mother-In-Law and how each story unraveled to ultimately uncovering the truth to Diana's death.


I highly recommend this one if you enjoy domestic suspense and if you are a fan of Liane Moriarty. The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth falls into that category and it was a solid ★★★★ read. I loved the ending and the resolution it brought to the story. I highly recommend this one! It was a fun read and a perfect suspense novel to keep me intrigued.

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