23 Feb The Daughter-in-law by Fanny Blake
They love the same man – and have secrets that could destroy him!
Just in time for Mothering Sunday comes this family story from Fanny Blake- exploring a family bond than can be all too tricky!
Hope has her life sorted, it seems.
A successful caterer and cookery instructor with a good circle of friends, she lives a nice life alone in London.
Sadly, her marriage has failed but she has seen her son Paul successfully settled into a happy marriage with wife Edie and their two little daughters, Betty and Hazel.
But it soon becomes apparent that all is not well between Hope and Edie.
Apart from their shared love of Paul and the little girls, the two women have little in common.
A successful barrister and main breadwinner of the family, Edie chafes against the constraints of marriage and the constant demands of her family, leaving Paul to pick up the slack.
Hope would be happy to help more, but Edie generally freezes her out, complaining that Hope is interfering, too quick to show her disapproval, too quick to offer advice on how she, Edie, should bring up her family.
Is that all there is to it? Or is she perhaps afraid that Hope will discover the secrets she is keeping …? Secrets that could break Paul’s heart.
And what about Hope? What happened to destroy her marriage? Is she, too, keeping secrets from her son?
The two women circle warily around each other – but things will have to come to a head. And when it does, the fallout will be immense, for everyone.
One looks back on past mistakes, the other continues to make them …
Oh, mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws – don’t we all just love to hate them? Fanny Blake has picked a great subject in this exploration of the trickiest of family bonds.
And she has done it so skilfully, not choosing sides but by alternating the viewpoints of both Hope and Edie, allowing the reader to get to know each woman well.
You can’t help but empathise and sympathise with their challenges as one looks back on the mistakes she makes, while the other continues to make them.
It would have been so easy with this plot to make Hope the hero and Edie the villain, but Fanny Blake is far too canny a writer for that. All her previous books demonstrate that she understands that family relationships are never black and white.
In The Daughter-In-law, she takes this to a new level, giving us a breath-takingly good story that has every element you could wish for.
Wisdom and selflessness
The plot is intricate and suspenseful as we follow both Hope and Edie’s stories, while descriptive prose delivers an authentic picture of their lives not just as busy mothers and grandmothers, but as women in their own right.
Neither are saints or sinners, just women with their own wants and needs. But as the older woman, Hope delivers more wisdom and selflessness.
Will Edie ever recognise that she could learn so much from her mother-in-law?
Delivered with warmth, wit and wisdom, The Daughter-in-law is Fanny Blake at her best.
About the Author
Thanks to Sarah-Jade Virtue of Books and the City for inviting me on this blogtour and to publishers Simon & Schuster for the copy of the book.
Catch up with the rest of the blogtour at the links on the poster
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