Daughters-in-Law

( 17 )

Overview

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.

But Charlotte—very young, very beautiful, and spoiled—has no intention of falling into step with the Brinkleys...

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Overview

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.

But Charlotte—very young, very beautiful, and spoiled—has no intention of falling into step with the Brinkleys and wants to establish her own household. Soon Rachel’s sons begin to think of their own houses as home and of their mother’s house as simply the place where their parents live—a necessary and inevitable shift of loyalties that threatens Rachel’s sense of herself, breaks Anthony’s heart, and causes unexpected consequences in all the marriages. Then a crisis brings these changes to the surface, and everyone has to learn what family love means all over again.

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Editorial Reviews

Jonathan Yardley
…[Trollope's] depictions of family life reach, at their keenest, genuine universality. Her eye may be kind and forgiving, but she cuts no one any slack, and the experiences her characters undergo often are painful and difficult, with repercussions that alter their lives, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. In other words, life treats them just the way it treats us, one of many reasons why it is so easy to identify and sympathize with them…[Daughters-in-Law is a] thoroughly engaging, intelligent, literate novel.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Short on plot but long on emotion, Trollope's latest (after The Other Family) is a straightforward take on the ways we shape and reshape our idea of family. Though her three sons are grown and married, Rachel is unwilling to let go of her role at the center of their lives, much to the dismay of her daughters-in-law. Responsible Edward, the eldest, feels the burden of being the good son, but his consuming roles as son and brother are jeopardizing his relationship with his own wife, Sigrid, who sacrificed her relationship with her family in Sweden to build a life with him. Rachel and her husband coddled their middle son, Ralph, even matchmaking him with fragile Petra, whose marriage is made uneasy by the large role Ralph's family has in their life. And willful Charlotte quickly finds herself at odds with Rachel after her marriage to youngest son Luke, when Charlotte challenges Rachel's hold on the family's habits. Though genuinely caring, the characters slight each other as they tumble toward individual crises. There's nothing groundbreaking, but it's a decent fix for family drama addicts. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
“Trollope is a quietly brilliant, mesmerizing storyteller. Her readers are fully engaged from the first paragraph of each book to its last sentence, captured by the finely rendered details of the characters' lives and caught up in their struggles.” —Washington Post*

“[Trollope] aims for the heart… and she hits it.”

The New Yorker

Joanna "
Joanna Trollope creates an impeccably observed world, exploring the vagaries of love and family ties with honest grace.”

—Connie May Fowler, author of How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly

“[A] thoroughly engaging, intelligent, literate novel.” –Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

Library Journal
Trollope's (The Other Family) latest novel is a thoroughly enjoyable read, dealing with the family dynamics of in-laws. When we are first introduced to Rachel and Anthony Brinkley, it is at their youngest son's wedding. Trollope then takes us through the newest wife's surprise pregnancy and Rachel's not-quite-nice response to it. Then Rachel meddles when her middle son's marriage breaks up. Rachel at first appears to be the stereotype of the overbearing mother, but as readers get a closer look at her thoughts and feelings, they become more sympathetic to her actions. Yet the reactions of the sons, their spouses, and even the parents of the daughters-in-law are also understandable and relatable. Life after the wedding vows is not always happily ever after, and Trollope does a good job of showing us what is involved in a real marriage. VERDICT While some of the characters are not fully fleshed out (this reviewer would have liked more backstory), Trollope fans and readers who enjoy domestic fiction will not be disappointed.—Marianne Fitzgerald, Annapolis, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594439660
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanna Trollope has been writing fiction for more than 30 years. Some of her best known works include Daughters-in-Law, The Other Family, The Rector's Wife, A Village Affair, Other People's Children, and Marrying the Mistress. She was awarded the OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honors List for services to literature. She lives in England.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 1, 2012

    Does anyone else think it is really unfair that the paperback ve

    Does anyone else think it is really unfair that the paperback version of this book is $2.99 and the NOOK version (which does not require printing, shipping, handling or a store to sell it in) is $11.99????

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2011

    A read for the beach for sure

    Loved the easy read. It made me cry and understand.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    Afvmdskddrs

    Gioesahn.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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