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Wife-in-Law Hardcover – September 13, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312609779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312609771
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,410,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"... touching and fresh. Smith offers the requisite Southern charm and wit with these big-hearted characters, but she also jumps the Mason-Dixon line with an achingly real portrait of a middle-aged single mom.... It's easy to root for these Dixie belles."
--Publishers Weekly

About the Author

HAYWOOD SMITH is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Waking Up In Dixie, Ladies of the Lake, Wedding BellesRed Hat Club and The Red Hat Club Rides Again.


More About the Author

New York Times best-selling author Haywood Smith did not start writing till she was forty. Seven years of learning, writing, and rewriting later, St. Martins Press published the first of six critically acclaimed, best-selling historical novels about "strong women, hunky heroes, accurate history, and upbeat endings."

After a devastating divorce left her financially destitute, she switched to writing humorous Southern women's fiction about Baby Boomer women who help each other through their various trials with creativity, loyalty, and lots of fun, earning Haywood a place on the New York Times best seller list. ("I sent my ex a thank-you note.")

Haywood adored her mother-in-law, who lived across the street for twenty-five years, then moved in at Haywood's invitation after the divorce. In her mother-in-law's memory, Haywood wrote a fun, helpful handbook titled THE TWELVE SACRED TRADITIONS OF MAGNIFICENT MOTHERS-IN-LAW.

Haywood loves to do stand-up comedy about her life (It's been wild.) and waives her speaker's fee for women's charity fundraisers, Red Hat regional meetings, and Friends of the Library groups. Contact her at haywood100@aol.com with EVENT in the subject line for particulars.

She also loves to hear from her fans at haywood100@aol.com and personally answers all her e-mails.

Customer Reviews

Perfect book for reading by the pool or at the beach.
Heather Downey
The biggest disappointment, though, was the lack of depth of the characters, particularly the main character.
M. Stefanides
Having read most of Hayward Smith's books, I found this one to be my favorite so far.
Shelley1057

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AEH on December 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have read all but one Haywood Smith book and I have loved them all. But this one was my least favorite. It just didn't keep my attention and didn't pull me in like the other ones did.

I felt like this was less of a story that was woven together as her other books are, and more of something that was just written like someone would tell you how their day went. It just didn't have the zip or shine that the other books have and I had just wanted to finish it as soon as possible. I also didn't love the characters and felt it was a bit of a contrived plot.

That said, I do love Haywood Smith's writing typically and would recommend any other book by her and will still read her next book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Estill on September 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutly adore The Red Hat Club and The Red Hats Ride Again...and would love to read of more adventures for these friends.

This book was a little darker than I expected...but I did enjoy it.

I love books that make me laugh and that's what I feel Haywood is really good at...I hope she will return to that style of book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Annie B VINE VOICE on September 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Haywood Smith is one of my favorite writers and so I was very happy to find she had a new book out. I found the title, Wife-in-Law, alone to be funny and intriguing at the same time. Could the book live up to my hopes from this delightful title?

In almost all ways it did. Wife-in-Law is a wonderful story about the friendship between two women, Betsy and Kat, over a 35-year timespan. The book is about a lot more than that, though. It is also a book about family, raising kids, mental illness, and many other themes as well. The characters are completely delightful. Betsy and Kat couldn't be more opposite if they tried, but they became and remained good friends--even though one of them, and I'm not saying which so as not to spoil the fun, becomes the wife of her best friend's former husband. I loved the women and their families and found the story to be heartwarming and funny.

The book is a little choppy, especially in the beginning, as it goes back and forth in time, but because the times being written about are so clearly done, I didn't find it hard to read, but I did find that a bit distracting. I believe that Smith evokes the true South as well as any writer out there. This book really starts in the 70s and I found it very true to place and customs at that time especially--anybody else ou there remember that horrible book Total Woman??? Doesn't just the mention take you back to the 70s? However, there are places in the book where technology appears when it really shouldn't or appears earlier than it was available and that was also a tad distracting to me. Still, the overall story does not suffer from these lapses, at least for me. It is a truly easy, quick, very funny read.

Religion also plays another big role in the book.
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By Heather Downey on June 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book. Fun read. Perfect book for reading by the pool or at the beach.
I recommend this book. .
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By Carmela Devito on October 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed wife in law a story of love lost and found and the strength of women during good and bad times. The characters are real with strengths and faults at times Smith does engage in some negative name calling particularly towards east coast liberals and people she feels don't appreciate the charms and traditions of life in the south today. She is a skillful and clever writer that makes up for the occasional name calling
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By kaydee on May 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
AAnything haywood Smith writes is a delight. Love her characters and her take on hilarious situations life throws at you!!
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By M. Stefanides on March 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Before I explain why I gave this book only two stars, let me start with what I liked about the book. The opening was a real attention-getter; I was hooked from the first paragraph. Being told from the start that a murder would occur, but not knowing who did it, was a powerful hook for me. On the heels of that first paragraph, the narrator tells us she is a grandmother, and that sealed it for me. There is such a dearth of contemporary novels with older women as the main character. It's getting harder and harder for me to relate to main characters who are in their twenties, but I haven't lost my interest in exciting and romantic plots.

Unfortunately, the book quickly began to disappoint me. The first thing that bothered me was the use of flashbacks. I usually don't mind flashbacks; I would rather read a flashback than just be told the back story in an "information dump." However, Wife-in-Law overused the technique, at least for me. I found it confusing to go back and forth in time so often. It made it difficult for me to keep the action straight, and I frequently had to flip back several chapters to keep myself oriented, slowing down the flow of the story.

The biggest disappointment, though, was the lack of depth of the characters, particularly the main character. The book spans over thirty years, and while Betsy's circumstances evolve and she and the other characters experience many life-changing events, including the above-mentioned murder, there is no change or growth in her character. She starts out as somewhat naïve, easygoing, and mostly accepting of the way other characters behave. This is understandable because she is so young in the beginning. But after so many years of life experience, Betsy comes across to me as weak and somewhat of a pushover.
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