Synopses & Reviews
Much to the surprise of his mother, Lulu Penfield's first-born son has gotten married. It's not that she minds; she's fairly sure that he's made a good choice. What's really eating at her is the realization that she is about to become--gasp--a mother-in-law. Lulu's been around the block more than a few times. She's had more than the average number of mothers-in-law, and she's found herself more than once figuring out how these women manage to embed themselves in her marriages. As mothers-in-law go, she's had some real doozies. There was the Budgeteer, who insisted on teaching Lulu how to squeeze every penny out of her measly salary, how to keep her house spic and span, how to give birth, and of course, how to nurse her baby. There was the witch, who was skilled at casting some rather damaging spells. Try crossing that mother-in-law. There was the cool and poised New Zealand mother-in-law, whose son slandered her at length, leaving Lulu to wonder just how true his stories were. And there was the ghost of a mother-in-law, who lingered in Lulu's husband's study and had a word or two for Lulu herself. Now there's Lulu, about to become the sacred mother to whom the daughter-in-law must bow, about to become the source of wisdom about the son--his sins, his past, his potential. In a funny, bittersweet novel, Dawson takes us through the ups and downs of marriages and mothers-in-law. THE MOTHER-IN-LAW DIARIES will ring true for every woman who's ever said "I do" and who didn't realize that she was marrying not one person, but two.
In a funny, bittersweet novel--a book that is sure to ring true for every woman who didn't realize she was marrying not one person, but two--Dawson takes readers through the ups and downs of marriages and mothers-in-law.
The first one was her true soul mate, her mentor in everything from art to sex. The second was practical, a whiz with numbers, and with a bigger heart than Lulu ever imagined. The third could cast terrifyingly powerful spells, though they weren't enough to save the marriage. The fourth kept her at arm's length. The fifth was a haunting presence, a constantly unsettling force in Lulu's life.
And then there were the husbands, no small handful themselves, each as complicated as their mothers. But the real forces in Lulu's life, no matter the men, have been the mothers-in-law that came along with them.
Now, with her son's unexpected marriage, Lulu has become the sacred mother to whom the daughter-in-law must bow, the source for secrets about her own son - his sins, his past, his potential.
Here, in an honest, funny, and warm novel, Carol Dawson takes us into one woman's journey through a lifetime of mothers-in-law and a lifetime of lessons learned, and relearned.
Lulu Penfield, the narrator of The Mother-in-law Diaries, is a spellbinding, wickedly funny storyteller...This unsinkable character has a wealth of womanly wisdom to share.
- Marion Winik, author of The Lunch-Boy Chronicles
About the Author
Carol Dawson was born and raised in Texas, and has since lived in a variety of places --California, England, Italy, New Zealand, New Mexico, and Washington. During that time, she published three novels (The Waking Spell, Body of Knowledge, and Meeting the Minotaur) and a volume of poetry (Job). Dawson recently returned to her home state, where she is currently writing a history on the Maori people of New Zealand and is at work on her fifth novel.
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