by Joanna Trollope (Doubleday ) ISBN: 978-0-385-61799-4


The story kicks off with a wedding. Luke, Rachel’s youngest son, is the last to marry. Rachel’s husband, Anthony, is admiring the bride’s butt. This is as far as the humour goes.


After Luke’s wedding, Rachel has to redefine her life. She is used to being a mother to her three boys so she cannot understand why her boys want to spend time with their wives.


Her daughter-in-laws are anything but sympathetic about her empty-nest plight. A battle of control ensues.


Mothers who become mothers-in-law will understand Rachel’s demise. The members of this family soon learn to examine their roles and loyalties after a crisis develops. This crisis brings out the worst and good in the family.


Joanna is an astute observer of human behaviour and she articulates this talent well in Daughters-in-Law. Unfortunately, this story has as much punch as its mundane title. The ending is unrealistic and many readers will feel frustrated.


Joanna Trollope fans will probably enjoy this book.  First time readers: don’t bother. She has written better.


Ulrike Hill


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