Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wife-in-Law” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  426 ratings  ·  54 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Hat Club comes a story about two unlikely friends who would never have imagined they'd end up married to the same man

Neighbors Betsy Callison and Kat Ellis were oil and water when they met thirty-five years ago. Betsy was a prim, neat freak, Republican wife, and Kat was a wild, irreverent, hippie Democrat. But they so
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wife-in-Law, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Wife-in-Law

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 723)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Wife In Law
Author Haywood Smith
Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Would you want to live next door to a Hippie? Would you invite a stranger to have dinner and sleep under your roof knowing them for a day? Would you invite them into your home and not worry about whether they might steal from you or not? Betsy Callison and Kat Ellis met thirty-five years ago and became life long friends. Betsy very staunch in her ways, prim and proper and always worried about taking care of her husband’s needs and wants and Ka
I will say that the story I got wasn't exactly the story I was expecting. I get the idea of mismatched best friends, but this was a pretty extreme case. Throughout the years of friendship, I found Kat to be very selfish. Betsy seemed to be far more emotionally invested in the friendship and it showed her actions from the very beginning. Overall, I did like the book due to Smith's wonderful writing style. I enjoyed Betsy throughout the book...but found many of the other characters to be one-dimen ...more
Anita Johnson
Betsy and Greg Callison were newlyweds back in the '70's and the first homeowners in their new Atlanta subdivision. Betsy is the head of her Young Republic Women's group, maintains the perfect house and is the epitome of a Stepford wife. She can't wait to meet the new neighbors moving in across the street but is shocked and disappointed when they turn out to be two unmarried hippies, Kat and Zach. Despite their political and cultural differences, Kat and Betsy become best friends, sharing more o ...more
I love the Haywood Smith novels. She writes such good character studies. Wife-in-law is about a friendship between two totally different women, an uptight Stepford wife republican and a hippie free spirited Democrat over a 20+ year span. Betsy and her husband Greg get divorced and several years later Kat who is a widow marries Greg. Hence Betsy is the wife-in-law. Greg drives a wedge into their friendship, but due to circumstances beyond both their controls, the friendship is sustained. It's a g ...more
I found this book to be very uneven. The idea of two good friends who become estranged when one marries the other's ex seems like it could have potential, but I didn't feel this story was executed very well. Haywood spent a lot of time on their past friendship, rushed through their falling out, and tacked on two (2!) sudden deaths, for good measure. I like the idea of a strong friendship between women that weathers life's ups and downs, but this one didn't convince me.
I really liked this novel by an author that I have not read before but plan on reading in the future. Betsy Callison and Kat Ellis, two young housewives, move across the street from each other in a new southern subdivision. These two couldn't be more different; Betsy, trying to overcome being raised by a reclusive hoarder, has turned herself into a super-efficient housekeeper, cook, volunteer, and wife to a successful CPA. Kat, on the other hand, is a hippie at heart, complete with free-spirit i ...more
Lee Ann
Haywood Smith can always make me smile a little, tear up a little and then make me glad I read her book. Maybe I relate better as the women are more mature (older), closer to my age and have lived lives that are a little flawed by full. Her southern charm comes through as you see the characters in all their true colors. This was a fun read, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
In suburban Atlanta, two completely opposite young women meet as neighbors, and despite the odds, become best friends. It was the 1970s when they first met, so imagine Betsy Callison's surprise to discover that beneath the surface, she and the young "hippie" Kat Ellis would have something in common. They would bond and sustain that bond for many years.

Betsy and Greg are young Republicans, diametrically opposed politically to Kat and her partner Zach. But over time, the differences mattered less
Don O'goodreader
Betsy Calliston grew up taking care of her mother, a hoarder who never left the house. Her father left when Betsy was eight, but the divorce judge awarded custody her mother. Thus began Betsy's Candide-like adventures where her polite tea party is picketed and she is arrested for assaulting the protesters, her best friend's husband get shot and later fatally sick, and her cheating husband leaves and marries her best friend (thus the title: Wife-in-Law).

This latest "bad things happen to good peop
I think Haywood Smith has a lot of great ideas for stories, but not great execution. Wife-in-Law is approximately 300 pages of exposition, 10 pages of action, and 60 pages of denouement. The conclusion feels like an epilogue that was tacked on, but what happened there is more interesting than the whole rest of the book and could have been its own story. Quite honestly, it didn't really fit in with this story. Also, what one reading the jacket might assume is the meat of the story happens outside ...more
I enjoyed the storyline right up until the end. I liked the characterizations and the details of everyday life for two women who are very different and yet best friends.

Sadly the whole premise of the story - one woman marrying the ex of the other - isn't really described in action. It happened without the two women ever discussing it. And they discuss everything throughout the rest of the book.


I also had a problem with the reasoning behind Betsy being the one to tell Kat the lousy ex is c
Nancy Evans
An easy read and pretty entertaining just like all her books. Will have to say I did not enjoy this one as much as the ones she wrote about the red hat ladies. Still, as I said, it was entertaining and kept me reading. A perfect "beach" read.
Allison Armstrong
I actually liked this one. I thought it would be too fluffy,it wasn't. It had some depth and substance.
Anju Gattani
I enjoyed the read completely and kept wondering, right from the beginning, how the protagonist got herself in the mess in the first place. That was answered, much later... but Haywood Smith's skill in keeping you on your toes, guessing, waiting and turning the pages to find out 'what happens next' is once again the charm! And, of course the author's ability to write rolls of humorous scenes and then, in one sentence, make you stop and think... and rethink the essence of the whole story and then ...more
Saccharine. The main character was a goody-two-shoes, the heavy drama introduced was completely unbelievable and not fleshed out on the least, the resolutions came all too quick, the conversations were boring, and the ending was ridiculous.. Most eggregious of all, I didn't find it the least bit funny. I can't believe I bothered to finish it at all.
Was it just me or did the final few chapters feel like they were written in about ten minutes under deadline and tacked on to the end? The book was tolerable through the first 3 quarters, but the last part ruined the book and made it ridiculous.

I have to advise you not to waste your time reading this!
I was excited to read this book, but it was not as good as I'd hoped. Somewhat amusing, but I was annoyed by small details, such as timelines not matching up. The women's kids' ages did not match up with what they should have been. The ending was unrealistic and pat. I was disappointed.
Given the opportunity I'd give this one a 3.5, but have rounded up since that isn't an option. I love Haywood Smith's 'writing voice'. She is so gifted in blending human shortcomings with forgiveness and humor. Ah, her humor......I love it!
Haywood Smith's writing style came in and out of focus for me. I found Kat's voice most erratic: sometimes sounding more rural, but other times speaking in a clean dialect. However, the story was interesting and unpredictable.
Funny, serious & wonderful book about family, friends, betrayal & making amends. Just love Haywood Smith's southern way, since I'm a southern gal myself. ;) Try'll like it. ;)
Bonnie Ferrante
a funny story about a saintly ex-wife who must cope with her best friend marrying her ex. Questionable plot but a sweet ride. A good book to read when you're feeling down.
Melissa Kayden
Cute characters and I really liked the dynamic between the two women. And how they cMe together to overcome all they did reminds me of why I love my girlfriends.
This was better than I thought. Great beach read. I really liked Elizabeth callison... Well written character. At times i thought I was actually reading a true story.
Heather Mays
My first book to read in the new year. Too bad it wasn't as good as her others. It was so-so, with some entertaining scenes. However, overall, it was just boring.
It was good, light reading. Interesting story about two women and how their friendship grows through many years. It may be too light for some people, but I enjoyed it.
I know this author is responsible for the Red Hat ladies but you can not hold that against her. It was a a nice fluff read but got stupid at the end.
Traci Blaize
I enjoyed this book and even laughed out loud a few times. The author really established the characters, perhaps spending more time on it then necessary.
The problem I had with the book is that it spent so much time in the past which is a pattern with the author and then the end felt rushed.
This was a great read. Very humorous but not slap-stick, side-splitting. Serious at times but not a boring so sad tome. It was a just right balance.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 24 25 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Hearts on a String
  • Ready to Fall
  • American Thighs: The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Preserving Your Assets
  • Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble (Miss Julia #14)
  • Sixty Feet, Six Inches: A Hall of Fame Pitcher & a Hall of Fame Hitter Talk About How the Game Is Played
  • Louisa and the Missing Heiress (A Louisa May Alcott Mystery, #1)
  • Me & D*ck: It's Not What You Know, It's Who You...
  • Before They're Gone: A Family's Year-Long Quest to Explore America's Most Endangered National Parks
  • The Shooting Salvationist: J. Frank Norris and the Murder Trial that Captivated America
  • Bittersweet Junction
  • The Tiara Club
  • Before I Say Good-Bye
  • I Gave My Heart to Know This
  • The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek: A Novel
  • 150 Pounds: A Novel of Waists and Measures
  • The Adultery Diet
  • Tangled Webs: How False Statements are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff
  • The Definitive Book of Pick-Up Lines
The Red Hat Club Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch The Red Hat Club Rides Again Ladies of the Lake Waking Up in Dixie

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“more precious than ever. And Mama and Claude acted like randy” 0 likes
More quotes…