Friday, September 9, 2011


Daughters-in-Law, Joanna Trollope

I have heard of Joanna Trollope for years, but never read any of her books. This one was a good one to start with (I think it may be her most recent). Trollope has relayed very well the challenges of relating as adults in an extended family.

Daughters-in-Law tells of Rachel & Anthony, empty nesters with 3 adult sons, all married. Rachel has been a very involved mother, and is finding the reality of her sons' attentions and primary affections focused elsewhere hard to manage. While at times she behaves quite badly, you have sympathy for her and also for her sons and daughters-in-law as they navigate adult relationships with their parents.

I have known some very intense mothers-in-law over the years who have really struggled to 'hand over' their sons (not mine - she's lovely!) and it seems to be a common feature that many women really do not believe any daughter-in-law can truly be good enough for their son. This book portrays that tension very well, yet also lets us see how hard it can be for a mother (especially a full-time stay at home mum) to really let go and move into a different, more 'hands-off' stage of life.

Even though it's fiction, it might be helpful reading for some who find this mother-in-law / child-in-law relationship a little tricky - and, let's be serious - who doesn't sometimes?!

I ended getting some more Joanna Trollope books out of the library, I'll let you know what they are like too, and I am definitely planning to get The Rector's Wife!

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