Saturday, December 22, 2012


Daughters-in-LawDaughters-in-Law, by Joanna Trollope
I picked this book up at the library because I was stocking up on some lighter fiction to read after my brain/ear surgery. I've read a few Joanna Trollope books in the past (my mother-in-law likes her), but I hadn't read her for a number of years. I should have known better...I gave the last two books I read only two stars. This was definitely light, but it was not interesting. I wish I'd given up halfway in, but I finished it.

It's about a couple (Anthony and Rachel) who have three sons. Rachel struggles in her relationships with her daughter-in-laws. Her son Luke's wife Charlotte challenges her authority and their conflict spreads throughout the family. When Charlotte announces that she is pregnant, Rachel reacts in a rude, critical way. 

I asked my husband what he thinks about the British view of apologies. Luke calls his father Anthony to see if he will get his mother to apologize, and Anthony is horrified that Luke would suggest that, even though they all agree that Rachel was in the wrong. This seemed preposterous to me. 

The characters were shallow and unmemorable, and very little happens in the plot. Trollope is known for writing about relationships, but the relationships in this book are shallow and weak. The brothers cannot be distinguished from each other, and Rachel rarely interacts with her daughters-in-law in the book. 

Trollope said she wanted to write about the relationships between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law because she believes they are more difficult than relationships with sons-in-law. But this book missed the mark.

Some light reads are enjoyable or memorable, but this book is neither. It was a waste of time.

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