CBR12 Bingo: Pandemic
This is another entry in the ever-growing genre of “twisty” books aimed at women. I admit I am always tempted by these books–I have to know what the twist is! And for the most part, I actually enjoyed The Mother-in-Law, unlike some other entries into this genre.
The book opens with Lucy and her husband receiving a visit from the police to tell them that Lucy’s mother-in-law, Diana, with whom she has never gotten along, has been found dead by apparent suicide. The rest of book alternates chapters between flashbacks and what happens after Diana’s body is discovered. Some chapters are narrated by Lucy, others by Diana. Of course, this being a “twisty” book, nothing is quite what it seems.
One thing I really liked about this book is that it’s clear, from the first time Diana narrates a chapter, that she’s actually not the cold, unfeeling woman that Lucy and other family members think she is–she’s just very different than Lucy and their different communication styles result in misunderstandings and hurt feelings. I found this refreshing after reading so many books like this where one or both of the main characters are genuinely unlikable. I liked both Lucy and Diana (I actually liked Diana better), and empathized with them both at different times during their conflicts.
There are, of course, numerous red herrings along the way. I didn’t love the twist–has there been a “twisty” book since Gone Girl where the twist actually improved the story? If there has, I haven’t read it–but I did enjoy the book up until then. The main thing that bothered me was the amount of time Lucy lets her very small children use electronic devices. It’s literally every scene the children are in, and they are unappealing brats for the most part as they usually only come on the scene to whine that their sibling is hogging the iPad. I’m not sure this was the author’s intent, but it sure did reinforce the point that you should limit your child’s screen time as much as you possibly can. It’s a good message, at least.
completed bingo: Readers choice (replacing Roarinf 20s), Pandemic, Friendship, Green, I Wish…)