I am a huge fan of this author. “The Mother’s Promise” was my first Sally Hepworth novel and is one of my favorite books.
The first line in the description of this novel grabbed my attention…
“A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder…
I couldn’t wait to start reading!
The story begins with a police car pulling up to the home of Lucy and her husband, Ollie. Although the car doesn’t have its lights or siren on, she knows immediately that something isn’t right. “Police don’t arrive on your doorstep at dinnertime unless something is wrong.”
The police ask if they are relatives of Diana Goodwin and right away Lucy knows what they are going to say next…
The story then jumps back ten years to Lucy’s first visit to the Goodwin home. Ollie’s father is friendly and seems happy to meet Lucy as does Ollie’s sister, Nettie. But Ollie’s mother’s greeting is lukewarm. She’s not rude to Lucy, she is very polite…she just seems sort of cold and standoffish.
When Diana meets Lucy, her first thoughts are that Lucy was probably adored by everyone in her life and things probably came very easily to her.
“Take the pregnant refugee girls I deal with every day. They’ve been through unimaginable hardships, and here they are working hard, contributing and grateful”.
Lucy just wants Diana to like her. However, it seems the harder she tries the more strained their relationship becomes.
And now…Diana is dead.
But things aren’t always what they seem. As they learn more about Diana’s death and more things are brought to light, Lucy finds herself questioning everything…some things just aren’t adding up.
Did anyone really know Diana?
I thought this was an excellent story filled with engaging characters and an entertaining plot. We are given insight into the complicated relationships within the family. I liked how it alternated between Diana and Lucy’s point of view in both the past and present. It was interesting seeing how they each read or misread the same situations.
As I mentioned in a previous review of “A Mother’s Promise”, Sally Hepworth does a wonderful job of bringing her characters and their individual stories to life. She creates characters that readers can relate to and empathize with.
This was definitely a thought-provoking read. I’ve read other novels that deal with the relationships between men and women and their in-laws, but I found this to be quite a unique story. I was really surprised by a few things and extremely satisfied with how everything came together in the end.
In my opinion, this was another winning story from Sally Hepworth.
I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel.