One of the books I really wanted to read last month was The MIL but I just couldn’t bring myself to read anything then. Thankfully I managed to read this last week and heres my take on it.
Lucy Goodwin is married to Ollie Goodwin. She is a stay-at-home mum who looks after three kids. Ollie runs a start up but he has really rich parents. Like really rich. His mother, Diana Goodwin is the matriarch of the family. Everyone loves and respects her. She isn’t your typical mother in law but she is much more than that. The relationship between Lucy and Diana is the highlight of the book. Diana also has a daughter Antoinette, married and desperate for a child. The story revolves around the Goodwin family in the last ten years and how Lucy sees it. Except now Diana is found dead – apparently a suicide but perhaps theres something else than meets the eye?
I have to say I was pretty disappointed in the beginning. It just wasn’t holding my interest. Lucy as a character was very plain and a typical whining character in terms of been a wife and daughter-in-law (probably to do with losing her mother at a young age) . It was Diana who held my interest. Once she started narrating the book, which is told in alternating POVs of Lucy and Diana in the past and present, I found myself turning the pages. One of the things I really liked about the book was how it explored this very delicate relationship. How their thoughts despite been so similar was starkly different when expressed.
We all know the Mil-Dil relationship is always on a precarious ground, I can vouch with experience, but I guess it is because we care too much that these hiccups arise. In terms of a mystery thriller I found it lacking in suspense. It felt more like reading the diaries of two different individuals. Diana was very fascinating to read perhaps because I related a bit with her, never knowing what to say and fumbling at the worst places, yet it was nice to know she made mistakes too. Its never made to feel as a matter of urgency how she died and the ending does make you feel heart wrenched. Its hard as mothers to want both the best for your kids as well as wanting them to learn life lessons albeit in a hard way.
The supporting characters added layers to a story filled with misunderstandings and drama and provided an atmosphere worth reading the book. Out of all this, Lucy emerged a more mature and rounded person that I enjoyed seeing, yet somehow it was sad that Diana did die and I had really hoped towards the end, she didn’t.
Pros: Writing, Character arcs, mystery
Cons: suspense, pace, length.
Bibliogyan verdict: An enjoyable and poignant read.