The Daughter-in-Law by Fanny Blake | #bookreview | @SimonschusterUK @TeamBATC @FannyBlake1

I do enjoy Fanny Blake’s books, they are always so engaging and relatable. I heard her talking about this one at the Team BATC showcase back in November. As a daughter-in-law myself, I was really looking forward to reading this!

About the book

When Hope’s only son Paul met and married Edie, Hope was delighted that he had found love and was settling down to make his own family. Hope has loved bringing up her own child, and is happy to step in and help out now and again – but is always worried about overstepping the line between grandmother and mother.
Edie was hoping that having children with Paul would fulfil her as much as her busy job as a barrister has. But the reality is far from her dream. And with her mother-in-law Hope constantly poking her nose in where it’s not wanted, she finds herself frustrated and alone.
Both women could be each other’s greatest ally, but both have secrets that could ruin their relationship. Secrets neither wants Paul to uncover…

My Thoughts

Well, this is certainly a book which is full of secrets and dilemmas! You can’t help wondering what you would do if you were in the same positions as the various characters.

After just the first few pages I was firmly on Hope’s side. Edie, her daughter-in-law, and Paul, her son, just seemed to take advantage of her and assume she’d help out with her grandchildren whenever they wanted, even though she was a busy and successful business owner herself. It was really interesting reading this as someone without grandchildren but probably not that far off Hope’s age. I expect if I’d read it when I was a young mother, I might have sided more with Edie and felt that Hope was far too interfering!

We soon find out about a secret Edie is keeping and that made me dislike her even more! Through her though, we do see the demands of motherhood and how women can be expected to be able to do it all. I did have some sympathy with Edie around the hard work and tiredness that comes with looking after two little ones, trying to keep them busy and happy while also trying to keep a house tidy and combining this with a high-flying career. “What was the point? Another half hour and they’d be all over the floor again.”

Edie isn’t the only one with secrets though but I most definitely had more sympathy for the secrets which Hope was keeping. I could entirely understand why she had kept those secrets and how she still wasn’t sure what the right thing to do was or the effect it would have on her life and that of her family. I really felt for Paul actually, oblivious for most of the book as to the secrets both the most important women in his life were keeping from him.

The Daughter-in-Law is a compelling family drama which will certainly have you questioning the rights and wrongs of each situation. The often complex relationships between grown-up children and their parents and in-laws are fascinating to read about. Plenty of secrets, quandaries and emotions make for a very satisfying read.

My thanks to Sara-Jade at Simon & Schuster for the invitation to take part in the blog tour and for providing a copy of the book. The Daughter-in-Law is available now from all good bookshops and you’ll find it in several supermarkets too.

About the Author

Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written various non-fiction titles, acted as ghost writer for a number of celebrities, and is a former books editor of Woman & Home magazine. She has been a judge of a number of literary prizes, including the Costa First Novel award, the Desmond Elliott Award, the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year award and the British Book Awards. She is also the commissioning editor for Quick Reads and a book reviewer. She has written seven novels, including Our Summer Together and An Italian Summer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.