No one is good enough for her son…
As a single mother, Annie has an especially close relationship with her son, Ben. They have always been together. Just the two of them. So, when Ben brings home his mysterious beautiful new wife, Daisy, immediately Annie doesn’t trust her. Who is this woman who has taken her son away from her? And what is she hiding?
She’ll protect him with her life…
When Ben disappears, suddenly Annie and Daisy are all the other one has. Alone in Annie’s big, remote house, just the two of them, the tension is rising. And like any protective mother, Annie will stop at nothing to expose her new daughter in law, and the secrets she is hiding…
I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Claustrophobic, menacing and yet so believable, ‘The Daughter In Law’, is a riveting read.
It was always Annie and Ben until it wasn’t. Annie can’t understand why her only child has left her and married in secret. Now he is bringing her daughter in law to visit, and she has to be prepared.
Daisy’s has secrets, her whirlwind romance with Ben offers her a new life, but still, she dreads meeting her mother in law.
Told from Annie and Daisy’s point of view, the story begins to unfold, and each chapter brings a new revelation making you uneasy as you read on. The characters are complex, emotionally damaged, but believable. Annie seems extreme in her dominance of Ben, but the bond between a mother and her child is strong, and not always easy to share.
The plot twists begin early on, and gradually you start to realise there is something sinister going on, but who is the true victim. The suspense building is excellent, making this a genuine page-turner.
The last few chapters are so atmospheric, creepy and visual. You can see the action unfolding in your mind, even though you are metaphorically watching through your fingers.
A classy psychological novel, with many unique elements, vivid imagery and characters that resonate.
Author Interview with Nina Manning – The Daughter in Law
What are the inspirations behind this story?
I was interested in the relationship between a mother and son and how it is different from a mother and daughter relationship. I was fascinated by how some mothers find it difficult to let go of their sons and how they can even feel threatened by their son’s partner. I wanted to explore that idea on a deeper and darker level.
What characteristics does your story have that makes it unique, in the popular psychological thriller genre?
The Daughter in law has many themes running through it, such as grief and love and friendships. It also tackles covert narcissistic abuse and the one thing that binds, Annie, Daisy and Ben are that they were all emotional neglected as children. My book also has book club questions!
Do you draw your characters from real life, your imagination, or are they a mix of both? How do you make your characters realistic?
It’s inevitable that a characters foibles, or the way they gesticulate have been drawn from observations of the thousands of people I have encountered during my varied and interesting life so far. But all the characters in the book are purely a figment of my imagination.
When you write, what comes first, the characters, the plot or the setting? Why do you think this is?
When I wrote The Daughter in Law, it was the ending that came first. I had in my mind, a dramatic climax to the story as well as a big reveal so I wrote the story towards that ending.
The second psychological thriller that I am writing at the moment is purely plot-driven. I have added characters in as and when I need them and then seeing where it takes me. But I have an overall plot in mind and again, that dramatic ending.
What made you decide to become a writer and why does this genre appeal to you?
Writing has been part of my life since I was a small child. I have always had an innate desire to write. I have tried working for other people but I was always drawn back to my writing. I have never been able to conform and I have never been any good at being told when to be a desk/place of work and when I can leave. I am now thankful writing is my job and I can fit all my work around my family life.
What sort of books do you enjoy reading and why?
I enjoy reading any kind of book as long as it has great prose, interesting characters and an engaging plot. I read a lot of books for my podcast, Sniffing The Pages which goes out every two weeks, so as well as reading books for leisure, I also review books. I have just read a women’s fiction book by Holly Bourne and now I am reading Circe by Madeline Miller.
What’s the best thing about being a writer and the worst?
There are many best things but I would say being able to completely create an entire world, characters and scenarios from nothing, put them on to paper for the world to read and enjoy.
The worst bit so far is the painful part of getting that first draft done when you know what you need to do but it’s a struggle to get there. However, once the first draft is done, it’s an enjoyable experience moulding and shaping the novel to the finished piece.
Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. She lives in Dorset.