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Daughters-in-Law    by Joanna Trollope order for
by Joanna Trollope
Order:  USA  Can
Touchstone, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Are you a mother-in-law? Maybe a daughter-in-law? I lost my mother-in-law many years ago but would have loved to have read Daughters-in-Law by Joanna Trollope then.

My husband's mother was a sweetheart to me but came with a lot of baggage. As a young mother of three children in as many years, I needed someone to point things out to me. My own mother, who had horrendous problems with my father's family, gave me a precious piece of advice that I've never forgotten, 'When dealing with your mother-in-law never forget that she is the person who raised the man you love.' That stood me in good stead.

Joanna Trollope has a lot more to say and has a wonderfully gentle way to say it in Daughters-in-Law. I was hooked from the first page to the last. What a wise person. As are her characters the sons and daughters-in-law who deal with a controlling matriarch.

Trollope is a masterful storyteller who could make even the phone book mesmerizing. The figures who people this book could be you or me or any number of other women. They are real and have the same emotions we all have. Their methods of resolving conflict are almost too pat to ring true, though. But, by gum, their methods work.

Charlotte, the newest member of the family, is having trouble knuckling down to the dictates of her new mother-in-law. Charlotte is the catalyst who stirs the pot to bring about change. Change that works here, but could also work in real life. This is a wonderful book for any woman who is a daughter-in-law, but also for the misunderstood mother-in-law. Trollope looks at this ongoing battle from both sides and applies great wisdom in presenting a workable truce.

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