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

The Mother-in-Law

by
4.03  ·  Rating details ·  20,256 ratings  ·  2,840 reviews
A twisty, compelling novel about one woman's complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder...

From the moment Lucy met her husband's mother, Diana, she was kept at arm's length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advo
...more
Kindle Edition, 347 pages
Published by St. Martin's Press (first published April 23rd 2019)
More Details... edit details
Featured Notes & Highlights

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Mother-in-Law, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Tannis Laidlaw Tom, her husband, was offered a partnership when he came up with an interesting idea to his employers way back when. It took off and thus Tom and…moreTom, her husband, was offered a partnership when he came up with an interesting idea to his employers way back when. It took off and thus Tom and Diana ended up with quite a lot of money. I loved this book, btw. I'm recommending it to all my friends and rellies who like good women's fiction!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,256 ratings  ·  2,840 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Deanna
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

I am a huge fan of this author. “The Mother’s Promise” was my first Sally Hepworth novel and is one of my favorite books.

The first line in the description of this novel grabbed my attention…

A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder…

I couldn’t wait to start reading!

The story begins with a police car pulling up to the home of Lucy and her husband, Ollie.
...more
Kaceey
All I can say is, Magnificent!! This book is headed straight to my favorites’ shelf!!

Oh that poor mother-in-law! Boy, she’s been getting a bad rap lately. This is the third book I’ve read recently regarding a so called “evil mother in law.” This time...it’s just a bit different.

There are two sides to every story. Maybe it’s time we all heard the mother in law’s side of the story....

Told from 2 points of view of Lucy the daughter-in-law and Diana. Yup, you guessed it...Diana “the mother in law.”
...more
Susanne  Strong
5 Simply Irresistible Stars.

Sally Hepworth is the Master of Domestic Suspense! This is a heart pounding mystery that I was racing to finish! It’s complexities and craziness had me wild-eyed right up until its shocking end. A favorite read for this the year!

Mother-in-Laws, as well all know, are not to be trifled with.
Sometimes they’re scarier than others and sometimes you hit the jackpot. Perhaps it’s because of the competition factor, mothers not being able to let go of their sons, or wives
...more
Emily May
I've read a number of thrillers lately, ranging from the quiet character drama of Miracle Creek and Disappearing Earth, to Coben's high-octane Run Away. And this book just sits blandly somewhere between the two.

I had to think about my rating here. I almost upped it to 3 stars because it’s not that BAD. But then it’s not much of anything really. I found it a very tame lukewarm domestic mystery/thriller that lacks either the urgency or depth of characterization needed to make it compelling.

The bl
...more
Meredith
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Mixed Feelings: One fascinating character coupled with one who was lacking turned this into just an ok read for me.

The Mother-in-Law is a family drama that tracks the tumultuous relationship between a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law.


The book begins with the reader learning of the death of Diana, mother to Ollie and mother-in-law to Lucy. The narrative is divided into both Lucy and Diana's perspectives over the course of ten years.

Diana has been described as some as a hateful character.
...more
Katie B
I try not to give out 5 stars too often but this one was special and deserving in terms of how much I enjoyed it and took away from it. I went into this thinking it would just be a typical mother in law story but there was so much more to it than that. It explored not just the mother and daughter in law relationship but also the dynamics between child/parent, husband/wife, and siblings. It was one of those reading experiences in which you seriously start reflecting on your own life and how you d ...more
Debra
Families - there is the one you are born into, the one you marry into and the one you choose.

When Lucy marries Ollie, she desperately wants to be accepted into his family, especially by his Mother Diana, as Lucy lost her mother at an early age. But from day one, Diana appears reserved and distant. The rest of Ollie's family embraces Lucy but Lucy feels that she just can't do anything right in Diana's eyes. Lucy is a lively woman who chooses to stay home with her children and is doing the best sh
...more
(Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
4 This was NOT what I was expecting BUT I LOVED it stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Diana was a complicated woman. Her outward appearance depicts a wealthy, strong and even altruistic woman. Yet we instantly come to see that her family had a vastly different view of her and it wasn't all positive. Thus, when the story opens and we find Diana dead we are easily enveloped by the questions - was her death a case of suicide or murder?

The story is told from multiple view points as well as alternating timelines, filling i
...more
Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
I am just going to put my thoughts down and I am not going to get into the story but you can read the blurb for that.

This is not a thriller. It is a contemporary fiction and a slow burning mystery. I want thriller fans to know this because I really struggled with This book. I am the wrong audience for it. I am not a big fan of contemporary fiction or a slow burning mystery. I did like it close to the ending but I didn't love it. I did love the premise of the book and I was intrigued enough to fi
...more
Crumb
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intensely Readable and Immensely Dishy!

What is it about in-laws that makes them so abhorred? Is it their constant meddling? Perhaps their subtle, but persistent disapproval of every little thing. For Lucy, she just wants her Mother-in-law, Diana, to love her. Accept her. But that is never going to happen. At least not as long as Diana walks the earth . . .

For originality, this one deserves five stars. In addition, this was Hepworth's first attempt at the thriller genre, and I think she nailed
...more
JanB
1.5 stars

Let me be clear that I think an author can choose to write her characters any way she wants, and I can choose to read it or not. But this was an issue book with characters vs a book with characters who have issues. I prefer the latter. If the author is going to write an issue(s) book then I’m going to comment on what I disliked about her stance on those issues. It is not the characters so much as the fact the author seems to be pushing an agenda.

We are told from the start that Diana, th
...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 stars! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

(Updated with full review for pub day today!)

The opening scene is where a family, specifically a son and his wife, are being told that their mother (mother-in-law) was found dead. The story proceeds in dual narration. We hear from Lucy, the son’s wife/the daughter-in-law, and Diana, the mother-in-law who was found deceased.

Through that narration, we quickly learn that Lucy and Diana have a flawed and challenging relationship as many mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law do. Luc
...more
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
Once again I find myself in the minority regarding reviews for this book, it is well loved by many.

Truthfully I was hoping for a really good mystery but this is really more contemporary women’s fiction. Knowing that the main character is dead at the beginning definitely takes away some of the suspense in the novel.

Here’s what we know:
Lucy is the new daughter in law who has married Ollie, son of Diane and Tom Goodwin. Lucy had no idea that the family was wealthy until she entered their mansion of
...more
Elyse Walters
When Jordan at St. Martin’s Publishing presented this book to me to read and review- I definitely ‘paused’’, thinking this could be an interesting topic, yet I definitely had reservations of concern. I didn’t want to create problems - add more to my already - sometimes challenging relationship with my mother in-law.
However - this book is so far off from anything in my life - I didn’t relate to any of it.

NOTES OF INTEREST.....about in-laws’ ......It’s a hot topic in the news today. Review of t
...more
Liz
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley

This book has perfect timing. With the whole college scandal going on, the whole concept of what parents owe their children or how much help they should provide is especially apt.

Losing her mother to cancer when she’s a teenager, Lucy envisions becoming bosom buddies with her mother-in-law. That’s before she meets Diana, who has a frosty nature and is not the buddy sort.

I know many will see Diana as the cold, uncaring MIL, but I actually sympathized with her. Yes, some of the things she did we
...more
Linda
Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.

Standing at the door of those secrets is the sentinel of our choosing who presents the face of the moment. We don the mask we find appropriate and carry it forward while protecting the truism of self.

Sally Hepworth presents an absolutely dynamic story that weaves its way into a family unit that has locked down their deceptions with bolt and key. She is a wizard at revealing just enough backstory on her varied characters to more than wet your whistle. Cha
...more
Michelle
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
So lately there seems to be many "mother-in-law" books that have overtaken the psychological thriller genre. Some more successful than others. However, Sally Hepworth does something different here. Most definitely it wasn't what I was expecting. This is NOT a psychological thriller but there is a mystery to solve.

Lucie and Ollie meet and fall in love. Ollie decides it's time for Lucie to meet his parents and Lucie wants nothing more than to impress them. Having lost her own mother at a young ag
...more
*TUDOR^QUEEN*
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a widget for this all the way back in October from St. Martin's Press. Otherwise, I would have never requested an arc of this book. I'm not sure what prompted me to accept the widget, because I've kind of dreaded the thought of reading this book, and here am finally cracking the pages a week prior to its publication. The irony of this is that I really LOVED this book! Maybe it was PTSD from my experience with my own mother-in-law that inspired a feeling of dread. However, quite unexpe ...more
Berit☀️✨
Sally Hepworth completely sucked me in with this compulsive engaging addictive story! This book took a hold of me and did not let go until the last page was turned!

This was an intense twisty story full of complex characters and complicated relationships. I absolutely love books that dig deeply into the psychology of the characters, and oh boy did this book do that! Perhaps there is no relationship more tenuous than that of mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. My own mother in law unfortunately pa
...more
Holly  B
Relationships can be complicated, especially when it involves the "Mother-in-law". 

A  twisted family situation and a hidden motive lead to murder. The MIL is Diana and my opinion of  her changed so many times throughout the book and she certainly surprised me in the end.

The first chapter was intense and sets the stage for a compelling read. We get the POV of Diana and Lucy (the daughter in law).  Their relationship is complicated and Lucy has many insecurities when it comes to Diana. The autho
...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
4+ stars! A twisty, addictive, suspense-filled family drama!

Lucy yearns to connect with her mother-in-law Diana. Having lost her own mother, she craves a maternal connection. However, Diana has always kept Lucy an arm’s length away - always being kind and available, but never quite embracing her with warmth and welcome into the family.

The police knock on Lucy’s door one evening to inform her and her husband, Ollie, that Diana was found dead in her home, a suicide note tucked into her desk drawe
...more
Christina - Traveling Sister
3, I was expecting a thriller but this is definitely more contemporary fiction with a mystery but I still enjoyed it stars!!

Full review along with a recipe for a lightened up chicken parm featured on my blog Recipe & a Read!

When Lucy meets the love of her life Oliver “Ollie” she doesn’t just see a future with him, she sees one with the family she’s never had. She has a loving and doting father, but having lost her mother when she was young she has long yearned for the mother-daughter relatio
...more
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Gripping and haunting — there’s a poetry to the story told in The Mother-in Law that is so captivating and suspenseful, you will think about it for days after reading it.

Over 24-hours after finishing Sally Hepworth’s The Mother-In-Law, there are still so many nuances I’m left turning over in my mind and unpacking. This is a thought-provoking novel of domestic suspense. I hate to compare it to other authors, though there are a few I see, because Hepworth to me has a truly unique voice and a story
...more
Sarah Joint
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a lukewarm response to a book I read from this author before, but this one really defied expectations. I couldn't get through it fast enough, but then I had that sad, empty feeling when it was over that we're all familiar with. Not because it wasn't great, but that it was over.

Lucy lost her own mother some time ago, and she was determined to have an amazing relationship with her mother-in-law. After all, she loves her son and will provide what she's sure is much longed for grandbabies. Th
...more
James
I read one of Sally Hepworth's earlier novels last year and immediately connected with her writing style and storytelling approach. I marked the rest of her books as TBR, then saw The Mother-in-Law available via NetGalley. I was lucky enough to be approved for an ARC earlier this week and began reading it right away. What an emotional and angst-ridden tale about the relationship between several family members who can feel all too real and all too fake at the exact same time. I truly enjoyed this ...more
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
4.5 stars...rounded up!

I could have written more, but in the end, there's really only two pieces of wisdom worth leaving behind. I worked hard for everything I ever cared about. And nothing I ever cared about cost a single cent.


Lucy is married to Ollie and Lucy has the typical mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship that you hear about...or maybe she has it worse? Diana is constantly taking jabs at Lucy and making comments about her parenting and home making skills. This drives Lucy nuts an
...more
Erin
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
3.5 stars

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.
Although I am a single lady, it doesn't mean that I haven't heard my share of "mother in law" stories. Some women just cannot cut the cord even after their precious sons get married. For the heck of it I decided to do an internet search on mother in laws. My sweet baby Jesus! There are tons of mother in law stories not to mention a definitive list of the worst mother in laws in HISTORY. Br
...more
Norma * Traveling Sister
Clever, impactful & irresistible!

This book was nothing like I imagined it to be…..it was so much more than your typical “evil” mother-in-law tale!! Loved it!!

THE MOTHER-IN-LAW by SALLY HEPWORTH is a gripping, captivating, thought-provoking, and fabulous mystery/thriller that I was immediately drawn into and devoured quickly. The story was so darn entertaining and absolutely un-put-down-able!!!!

SALLY HEPWORTH delivers quite the unexpected, clever, engaging, complex and well-written story he
...more
Mackey
With two Mother-in-Laws under my belt, which honestly was two too many, and being one myself, I felt I was ready to tackle Sally Hepworth's latest novel, The Mother-in-Law. I was, after all, an experienced pro. I was not, however, at all prepared for the multi-layered, character driven drama that unfolded before me - not even close!

When Lucy first met her Mother-in-Law, Diana, she immediately knew she was not going to be the wife that Diana had hoped for her son. Diana was one of those mothers/
...more
Marialyce
Dec 24, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley, jan-mar
I have asked myself this question a few times in the past. What is it that makes me dislike a book while so many others have voiced their acclaim and praise for this book? Was it the setting, the writing, or the characters, or could it be a combination of all three?

In the book, The Mother In Law, I am going to say it was most definitely the characters, particularly that of Diana, the erstwhile mother in law of the story. She was to me a vile woman so intent on making sure her children were not s
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Turn of the Key
  • Mrs. Everything
  • Save Me from Dangerous Men (Nikki Griffin, #1)
  • Dear Wife
  • Someone Knows
  • Before She Was Found
  • The Hiding Place
  • The Night Before
  • Untitled
  • My Lovely Wife
  • Lock Every Door
  • Forget You Know Me
  • I Know Who You Are
  • The Better Sister
  • After the End
  • The Winter Sister
  • The Last House Guest
  • The First Mistake
See similar books…
2,159 followers
Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of five novels, most recently The Mother In Law (2019). Sally's books have been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.

Sally's novels are available worldwi
...more
“People underestimate the role fate plays in our lives.” 4 likes
“but I doubt there is a loss in the universe more profound than a daughter losing her mother.” 4 likes
More quotes…