First edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York, N. Y. : St. Martin's Press, 2019.
340 pages ; 25 cm
"A twisty, compelling new novel about one woman's complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in death... From the moment Lucy met her husband's mother, Diana, she was kept at arm's length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law. That was five years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer. But the autopsy finds no cancer. The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation. Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses? With Lucy's secrets getting deeper and her relationship with her mother-in-law growing more complex as the pages turn, this new novel from Sally Hepworth is sure to add to her growing legion of fans. Praise for Sally Hepworth: "With jaw-dropping discoveries, and realistic consequences, this novel is not to be missed. Perfect for lovers of Big Little Lies." --Library Journal, starred review "Hepworth deftly keeps the reader turning pages and looking for clues, all the while building multilayered characters and carefully doling out bits of their motivations" -- Provided by publisher.
9781250120922 (hardcover)
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F Hep
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Author Notes
<p> Sally Hepworth is a writer living in Australia. She started out working in Human Resources and event management. She started writing her first book, Love Like the French, while on maternity leave with her first child. The book tells the story of a British woman who goes to France after an accident leaves her husband in a coma. The character goes to France to see what the French could teach her about living. Her other titles include: The Secrets of Midwives, The Things We Keep, The Mother's Promise, The Family Next Door, and The Mother-in-Law. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Fine is not the verdict Lucy is hoping for when she overhears her future husband ask his mother, Diana, what she thinks of Lucy. Motherless herself, Lucy had been hoping for a warm relationship with Diana; her hopes are worse than dashed when she instead gains a mother-in-law who is cold and controlling. Known only to the reader is that Diana underwent a trauma that left her emotionally unable to function with others except in the most cautious way and frightened to help her children financially, even though she's rich, lest they become as vulnerable as she was. When Diana is found dead-perhaps by suicide but police mount a murder investigation anyway-the drama ramps up as family members and other characters take their turns under the microscope. Infertility issues play a large role in this Australian story and add to the tiptoeing around and agonizing that Hepworth (The Family Next Door) illustrates so well; the conversations among characters are another high point in the writing. VERDICT This absorbing, cleverly written tale is ideal for fans of Emily Elgar's If You Knew Her. [See Prepub Alert, 10/29/18.]-Henrietta Verma, Credo Reference, NY © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Hepworth (The Family Next Door) takes readers on a suspenseful ride as a family copes with the suspicious suicide of its matriarch. Lucy has never thought her mother-in-law, Diana Goodwin, liked her since they first met a decade earlier. Chapters in the first person from both Diana's and Lucy's perspectives reveal their deepest feelings and desires, highlighting past events such as the day Lucy married Diana's son, Ollie, and Diana's problems with depression after the death of her husband, Tom, moving forward to the time of Diana's apparent suicide. The investigation of the suicide changes dramatically when police learn that Diana didn't have breast cancer, as she had told her family she did. Furthermore, evidence emerges indicating she may have been murdered. Police question Lucy, Ollie, Ollie's sister, Nettie, and her husband, Patrick, about their involvement in the possible murder, and each of them have motives, especially Lucy, given her contentious history with Diana. Hepworth's short, punchy chapters keep the pages quickly turning while effortlessly deepening her characters. Readers will race to the end of this clever novel to find the truth. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  Booklist Review

Hepworth (The Family Next Door, 2018) turns up the tension in her latest Australian-set domestic-suspense novel. Lucy's ties with her husband's mother, Diana, have always been fraught with tension, especially disappointing because Lucy had delighted at the prospect of a mother figure in her life after her own passed away. Lucy and Diana were never on the same page, and so it's with mixed feelings that Lucy receives the news of Diana's sudden death. Determining the circumstances to be suspicious, police question Lucy, her husband, and her husband's sister and brother-in-law, unraveling secrets Diana had held close. Hepworth entwines the stories of two complicated women, from both of their perspectives, past and present, who desperately needed each other but were unable to say or do the right thing. Diana's personality always suggested a cold, distant woman more interested in her charities than her family, but though everyone seems to have a reason to want Diana dead, Lucy realizes she never really knew her mother-in-law at all. A masterful depiction of how much is said in the silences, accompanied by increasing unease over what happened to Diana, makes this a winner for fans of Liane Moriarty and Megan Abbott.--Tracy Babiasz Copyright 2019 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

When Diana, the matriarch of the Goodwin family, unexpectedly dies soon after her beloved husband's death, suicide seems the logical explanation. But the circumstances of her death quickly point to homicide, and too many family members seem to have motives.When Lucy first met Diana, 10 years ago, she had desperately hoped to find a warm, loving future mother-in-law. And while her fiance, Ollie, adores his mother, his sister, Nettie, and her husband, Patrick, wryly warn her that Diana has always been more practical than sentimental. Aloof and absorbed with her volunteer work with refugees, Diana is an elegant woman of few words but lots of money. Although she is devoted to helping others navigate childbirth and the job market, she is loath to give her own children any money because she is convinced that they should have the opportunities to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, as she and her refugee clients have had to do. Frustrated by their mother's financial indifference to their troubles, Ollie and Nettie long ago learned to turn to their soft-hearted father, Tom. Yet as Hepworth (The Family Next Door, 2018, etc.) shifts perspectives, chapter to chapter, we discover that Diana's emotional reserve is actually secretiveness and uncertainty grounded in her own traumatic experiences. Her every attempt to show she cares is fraught with second-guessing how others might misconstrue her meaning. And it is this careful shifting of perspectives and time periods that exposes the sense of loss haunting the family, keeping the reader questioning who might have murdered Diana. Was it Lucy who finally snapped after Diana snubbed her one too many times? Or maybe Ollie, whose shady business partner may have pushed him into a desperate financial spot? Or perhaps Nettie and Patrick cannot wait for Diana's estate. But why was the suicide note left in a drawer?A mesmerizing domestic mystery. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
<p>* " Deliciously entertaining!" --People Magazine's "People Pick" <br> * Entertainment Weekly's "MUST List" <br> * O Magazine's "15 Best Beach Books of the Year So Far" <br> * Bustle "Best Book of April" <br> * Refinery29 "Best Book of April" <br> * Cosmopolitan "Best Book of April" <br> * Woman's Day's "27 Fiction Books of 2019 to Add to Your Reading List ASAP" <br> * BookBub's "Biggest Books of April" <br> * PopSugar's "30 Must-Read Books of 2019" <br> <br> A twisty, compelling new novel about one woman's complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in death... </p> <p>From the moment Lucy met her husband's mother, she knew she wasn't the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly, and always generous, Diana nonetheless kept Lucy at arm's length despite her desperate attempts to win her over. And as a pillar in the community, an advocate for female refugees, and a woman happily married for decades, no one had a bad word to say about Diana...except Lucy.</p> <p>That was five years ago.</p> <p>Now, Diana is dead, a suicide note found near her body claiming that she longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body.</p> <p>But the autopsy finds no cancer.</p> <p>It does find traces of poison, and evidence of suffocation.</p> <p>Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her children, and their spouses? And what does it mean that Lucy isn't exactly sad she's gone?</p> <p>Fractured relationships and deep family secrets grow more compelling with every page in this twisty, captivating new novel from Sally Hepworth.</p> <p> Praise for Sally Hepworth: <br> <br> "With jaw-dropping discoveries, and realistic consequences, this novel is not to be missed . Perfect for lovers of Big Little Lies. " -- Library Journal , starred review</p> <p>"Hepworth deftly keeps the reader turning pages and looking for clues , all the while building multilayered characters and carefully doling out bits of their motivations." -- Booklist </p>
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