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3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  1,700 ratings  ·  307 reviews

As Anthony and Rachel Brinkley welcome their third daughter-in-law to the family, they don’t quite realize the profound shift that is about to take place. For different reasons, the Brinkleys’ two previous daughters-in-law hadn’t been able to resist Rachel’s maternal control and Anthony’s gentle charm and had settled into their husbands’ family without rocking the boat. Bu
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Touchstone (first published January 1st 2011)
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Aug 10, 2013 K rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: chicklit
The premise sounded great -- exploring the dynamics of a family with a well-intentioned but intrusive and domineering mother-in-law, the two daughters-in-law who have always pretty much accommodated her, and the new third daughter-in-law who has a different reaction to her mother-in-law which then ripples out into the greater family. And who better to write this book than Joanna Trollope, with her sensitive eye toward the subtle nuances that color family relationships?

Alas, the execution was sor
Bronwyn Rykiert
This would have to be one of the best stories we have had at book club, it was a good choice. I really enjoyed it. Hopefully we should be able to have a good discussion on it this month.

Rachel Brinkley has always put her sons first and they have been her life and she has enjoyed being in the centre of their lives, even after the oldest 2 were married. The eldest, Edward married Sigrid, who is Swedish and they live in London but Sigrid's parents live in Sweden so she does not see them regularly.
From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Beachtime:
As a spirited new daughter-in-law joins the Brinkley clan, simmering tensions threaten family harmony. Read by Jane Whittenshaw

This is not my cup of tea.
I have been saving this book for when I needed it and I needed it this week. My current university paper is compulsory, if I am to continue with my choices for my masters I must complete this particular paper. I am struggling with the requirements. I feel as if they are beyond my limited capabilities - my brain hurts. Reading Joanna's latest offering does not hurt my brain. In fact it feels as if her words soothe away the ache bought on by statistical jargon. I found my self rationing out the pl ...more
Joanna Trollope's newest novel, "daughters in law," is a gem, a gift! i would say i LOVED it. I devoured it. it was lush with British charm, great character driven prose, heartfelt family situations & woes and fun descriptions of modern life in London, in the countryside and by the sea. There are 3 grown brothers, raised by wonderful upper middle class parents who, themselves, are now married and starting to raise their own families. They marry good women, though all with quirks and their o ...more
Steve lovell
My daughter has just completed a house swap with her mother, and a city swap as well. Having my first visit with said author daughter since this event bought me face to face with a blast from the past - from another life. I was confronted with a bookcase full of novels by Andrea Newman, Margaret Drabble and Elizabeth Jane Howard - the aga-saga-ists of my early adult decades. For some reason I loved their books - not manly though when my mates were into the tough stuff of Ludlum and King. I didn' ...more
Dona Matthews
I very much enjoyed this novel. It's a story of a mother of 3 boys, a woman named Rachel, whose identity and meaning in life centered on creating and maintaining a vibrant, creative, positive family environment for herself, her sons, and her husband, who is a well-known artist. Everyone enjoys dinners and weekends at their country home; it's a place of rich sociability and generous tasteful hospitality. It all works splendidly well, until Rachel's sons are all grown up and married, and the daugh ...more
I'm between a 3 and a 4 on this novel by Joanna Trollope. Looking at others' reviews, I see that many readers had a response similar to mine. Trollope, in describing the lives of four families, pushes the reader to consider her own life and the lives of those she knows well. Her topic, that of the different family cultures which clash when a young couple marries, is universal but less often addressed than infidelity, boredom, 'growing apart,' and the other pitfalls of marriage. Certainly I spent ...more
Bree T
Rachel and Anthony have raised three sons and Rachel has devoted herself to her boys entirely. When her youngest son gets married, the last to do so, Rachel at first thinks that things will remain the same. Luke and his new wife Charlotte will come from London to Suffolk to see Rachel and Anthony just as the other boys, Edward and his wife Sigrid and their daughter Mariette do. Middle son Ralph, his wife Petra and their two boys live nearby and Rachel and Anthony see them often.

But Charlotte has
Daughters in Law turned out to be less melodramatic and more insightful than I could have guessed from the summary. There's not much swerving with a story about a mother who considers all women on this world unworthy of her precious boys. It's either the mother or the daughter in law that's being obnoxious. In Joanna Trollope's book, no one is guilty and no one is totally innocent either. I loved how she accomplished to provide different perspectives on some issues by switching perspectives. I g ...more
Eileen Granfors
I can't believe the number of passages I highlighted in this insightful book about families and marriage. Trollope introduces us quickly to an extended family, three sons, their wives, some of the other in-laws, but I was soon clear on who was who. I loved the setting, along the seaside, inland, and in London. Anthony thinks of his little artist's shed, "a place of evolution and a promise."

The focus begins with the son's parents,Anthony and Rachel, as their son, Luke marries. It's always fun to
Carolyn Hill
Joanna Trollope is a wonderful writer whose metier is family relationships. Her characters and situations always seem very true to life - and very British - and though there are no fast paced plots, there is plenty of tension to drive the story. As the mother of two sons, one married and one about to be, I found this story centered around the relationship of the mother of three grown sons with her daughters-in-law to be highly relatable. The story is told from multiple points of view, so the rea ...more
Catty O'Connor
This book was so strange. I still am not sure how I feel about it.

On one hand the characters were so well written, that I have very clear images and attitudes for them in my head. I am able to draw comparisons between them and people I know ,a high acomplishment. I also felt a deep connection with them during plot lines and relationship twists.

On the other hand, looking back on the book I am struggling to make clear to myself, what happened.
I read books to escape normal life and become engross
Lynne Perednia

Joanna Trollope's books have been derided for years by those who dismiss the homely tales as "Aga sagas", as if tales of heart, hearth and home were beneath readers and writers.

But the crazier the world gets, the more there are times when quiet compassion for the vagaries of the human condition is balm for the reader. This time, like every other, that is exactly what Trollope delivers.

Rachel and Anthony raised three sons. She's a vigorous, involved mother whose kitchen is the natural hub of the
Della Wilson
I received a copy of this book from Goodreads' Giveaway. This was an advance copy from Touchstone Books. This was an excellent book on family dynamics. It was not a simple black and white view of in-laws. Each person was given a true well-rounded life with quirks and misunderstandings. I would like to imagine a follow-up book to see what 5 years later looks like for this family. As a mother of two adult sons, I can see a lot of similarity with this mother. I don't know how I will interact with ...more
Dale Harcombe
I like Joanna Trollope's writing so pounced on this book when I saw it in the library. I expected to like it. I didnt. I LOVED it. I started it at the hairdressers in the afternoon and I was hooked. After I came home I couldn't wait to get back to the Brinkleys. It is a great picture of family dynamics with Rachel and Anthony and their three sons and their respective wives. I read it in one gulp. Stayed up till the wee hours of the morning to finish it.It should be required reading for anyone wh ...more
I have enjoyed most of Joanna Trollope's novels and this one is no exception. She has an excellent writing style and is always entertaining. She is at her best describing the dynamics of family relationships and excels in defining each character clearly and laying bear the niggling tensions between family members.

In this novel the parents of three sons, each married to a very different woman, try to play too large a role in their sons' lives, as well as in the lives of their families. The plot
Lori Bamber
Hi, I'm Lori, and I'm a Joanna Trollope addict.

I always feel a bit guilty reading her books, because they are suspiciously easy to read and hard to put down; there is not a single word to look up in the dictionary. The phrase chick lit comes to mind, even though I hate it.

But there is not a writer alive, I think, that is as deft with the hard, real complexities of human relationships. Reading any of her books is therapy: an opportunity to experience the difficulties of love, emotion and connect
Sam Colloff
not as light and fluffy as I expected. saw some home truths in this one, maybe I understand some family dynamics that I only knew about before without truly seeing another's perspective.
Susan Becraft
The dissection of a family

Few writers can analyze the workings of a family like Joanna Trollope. With the precision of a surgeon, she wields her scalpel, carefully cutting through layers until she reaches her objective. This story is not an unusual one, but to me, that is Ms. Trollope's talent. She can make the ordinary interesting by the clever way she creates her characters.

Rachel and Anthony are the parents of three adult sons. Anthony is a part-time teacher, with a full-time hobby of drawing
This is my first Joanna Trollope and I am glad to have picked it up. Trollope's novels as I understand now revolve around families and relationships and in daughters-in-law as the title obviously suggests it is about the son's wives and their roles in the family. Trollope does a very good job of painting excellent characters. All her characters are well rounded and speak for themselves.

They are very well explained, the subtle shift in the relationship between parents and the son after the wife
Ms Trollope is one of the very best of this genre - amazingly insightful description of various relationships and how they impact on each other. The characters develop and change throughout the novel, they are so real. Having said that, I am a bit disappointed with the way she wraps it all up, as the reader does not get an insight really into how they got to that point, the ending is a bit sudden. But I liked it very much.
I didn't love this book. It was a bit too soft for my liking, with strange, unlikable characters making strange, unrelatable life decisions. My friend thought it depicted the mother/adult son/daughter-in-law relationship perfectly - maybe she's right but I couldn't warm to the mother-in-law and therefore couldn't forgive her the mistakes she made. If I am going to read a saga, I prefer an early Maeve Binchy.
Fiona Robson
I have to admit .... Joanna Trollope is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. And I don't know why! Nothing particularly exciting happens in these books. My Aunty June once said, knowingly ... "People Happen!" and I think that must be it. This was very well written with carefully crafted characters. The main character of Petra did my head in a bit, but it was a good read, nontheless.
Joanna Trollope's latest book is a study of a family with particular attention to the daughters-in-law. The book opens with the youngest son marrying a young attractive girl who the mother feels is not suitable for her son. This is a tightly knit family with the mother controlling her three sons, with some opposition felt by the daughters-in-law. Well worth reading!
A very satisfying read. From overbearing and interfering mothers-in-law to spoiled and self obsessed daughters-in-law and everything in between. A must-read for all upcoming mothers-in-law.
Joanna Trollope has once again managed to create very believable characters. We may not like or understand all of them but these are real people we meet every day.
Novel of manners about artsy British family as three sons are marrying, launching families, and long-familiar family relationships are reconfiguring. No character particularly likable or deeply wrought, but moments where one feels compassion for each. Gives you an opportunity to think about "in-law" relationships and parent/adult child relationships.
This is like watching a really good episode of a family drama on TV: really entertaining but characters could be more developed, and story was good , but could be richer. The book wasn't long though, so more pages would have to be involved in a richer plot. That all being said, I wanted a light, entertaining read, and I got one.
I have enjoyed all of Joanna Trollope's books. Her characters are real and I am always drawn in. I never fail to learn something from her books. Sometimes I think her books have become a little formulatic but not enough to not look forward to the next one.
As a daughter-in-law and (hopefully!) a future mother-in-law, this book had some resonance. When is caring overbearing? When is respect acquiescence? When is it time to cut those apron strings? A quick easy read but gives some pause for thought.
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Joanna Trollope Potter Curteis (aka Caroline Harvey)

Joanna Trollope was born on 9 December 1943 in her grandfather's rectory in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, England, daughter of Rosemary Hodson and Arthur George Cecil Trollope. She is the eldest of three siblings. She is a fifth-generation niece of the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope and is a cousin of the writer and broadcaster James Trol
More about Joanna Trollope...
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