Marriage and midlife can be difficult. But when you add a controlling, manipulative and self-absorbed mother-in-law into the mix, things can get worse-much worse. Toxic, even.
When Allison Montgomery’s beloved father-in-law and long-time confidant passes away, her mother-in-law, Margaret, ‘temporarily’ moves in. From rearranging the furniture and taking over the kitchen, to undermining and embarrassing Allie at every turn, including funding her daughter’s escape, throwing a hissy fit at the mall, and publicly equating Allie’s glass of Chardonnay to full blown alcoholism, Margaret turns Allie’s life upside down causing her to bounce between a sincere desire to support her grieving mother-in-law and an intense urge to simply push her out of the nearest window.
Feeling annoyed, trapped and even a little childish, Allie struggles to avoid a complete meltdown with help from her fearless and audacious best friend, a plan for reinventing herself and enjoying a second act, and, yes, a few glasses of Chardonnay. Along the way, Allie discovers the reasons behind Margaret’s attitude toward her all these years. Does it help? Maybe…
My thoughts: I am very grateful my mother-in-law is nothing like Margaret, because Margaret is a nightmare. Actually, my grandmother is very much like Margaret. Constantly criticising, cleaning up around you while you’re still eating (she once washed a plate while I was still half a sandwich shy of finishing) and just completely out of control.
Allie can’t work out how her late sainted father-in-law managed with Margaret, and now she’ll never know. It doesn’t help that her husband Hank is next to useless at standing up to his strident and overbearing mother.
But somehow they’ve either got to get along or one of them will kill the other. Margaret is almost always in Allie’s house (change the locks!) and always looking for something to criticise. But as the family mourn the patriarch, might there be something else going on with Margaret?
Funny and highly observant of life’s idiosyncrasies, Allie and Margaret dust themselves off for battle. And we’re along for the ride.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.