Happy Sunday! I hope you’re having a lovely weekend and able to curl up with a good book. I’m excited to be part of the tour for The Daughter-in-law by Fanny Blake. With secrets and potential family tensions, the blurb drew me in.
Scroll down to see if it met my expectations.
Book Review: The Daughter-in-law by Fanny Blake
Title: The Daughter-in-law
Author: Fanny Blake
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release date: 16th February 2023
Genre: Women’s fiction
‘A moving, relatable and heart-thumpingly good story about family secrets and the lengths we’ll go to protect our loved ones.’ CATHY BRAMLEY
When Hope’s only son Paul met and married Edie, Hope was delighted that he had found love and was settling down to make his own family. Hope has loved bringing up her own child, and is happy to step in and help out now and again – but is always worried about overstepping the line between grandmother and mother.
Edie was hoping that having children with Paul would fulfil her as much as her busy job as a barrister has. But the reality is far from her dream. And with her mother-in-law Hope constantly poking her nose in where it’s not wanted, she finds herself frustrated and alone.
Both women could be each other’s greatest ally, but both have secrets that could ruin their relationship. Secrets neither wants Paul to uncover…
I was thrown into the tense family dynamics from the start, with a sunny Greek holiday that promised relaxation if only Hope and Edie got along. Told from both sides it was clear why each struggled to overcome the ever-increasing barriers in their relationship, but as much as I wanted to be neutral in my feelings, my sympathy kept being drawn to Hope. The love for her grandchildren and son, Paul, was clear and with a softer side, she was easy to connect to. While she had strong opinions, she was prepared to adjust to the needs of the relationship.
Edie was more complex and her viewpoint showed a different side to motherhood than the usual I’ve read recently. She wants it all, her career, control and the perfect family, but despite her ambition is trapped by the guilt that brings. With clashes of personality, generational differences of the approach of parenthood and opinions, I kept me turning the page even before secrets were revealed and their consequences caused an earthquake in the family. Thanks to all the characters having depth, I became entangled in their lives so felt their emotional rollercoaster.
This is an emotional story of unexpected revelations, ramifications of decisions made with good intentions and family bonds. This was the first Fanny Blake book I’ve read but won’t be the last because of realistic characters, ability to describe the heart of the matter and emotionally connect to the reader. WIth a healthy back catalogue, my TBR pile has increased.
Have you read any of her books? Let me know your recommendations below.
Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written various non-fiction titles, acted as ghost writer for a number of celebrities, and is a former books editor of Woman & Home magazine. She has been a judge of a number of literary prizes, including the Costa First Novel award, the Desmond Elliott Award, the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year award and the British Book Awards. She is also the commissioning editor for Quick Reads and a book reviewer. She has written seven novels, including Our Summer Together and An Italian Summer.
Thank you Sara-Jade Virtue for the invite and advanced copy of this book to so I could give an honest and unbiased review.