This paper looks into the book written by Joanna Trollope known as "Daughter-In-Law". She has been a writer for quite some time. The "Daughter-In-Law is the latest of her books, which she uses to tackle an important issue that most readers would associate with. As the name suggests, the British writer tackles the issue of an existing tension between a mother and her daughters-in-law. When a mother brings up her children, especially boys, in a loving and caring environment, she will have problems in future giving up her sons to marriage. This is because she will not be used to the notion that she no longer has power over her children. This paper looks at this issue critically.  

Daughter-in-Law by Joanna Trollope

Over quite some time, Trollope's novels have seemed to be less cozy and growingly darker in content. However, Trollope's writing has grown to be elegant in style. It has grown to become tingled with solitariness and innate selfishness about the individual. The novel "Daughter-in-law takes a look at a number of characters who seem to be selfish. They initiate a war between themselves; a mother-in-law and her three daughters-in-law. The sons seem to take a passive role and do not want to meddle in the conflict.   

In my view she is among the top when it comes to writing. As she grows older and older, Trollope gets better and better each day. Going back in history, she used to write about problems that did not focus on the readers who bought her books. To some of her New Zealand readers, she seemed to be off-topic. However, recent times have seen her become more serious and relevant. Trollope is a mother of two step-sons and two daughters. She now lives in London, which cannot be compared to the countryside she was used to. She has now started writing about changes and challenges in life with a rare perspective. She seems to be honest by getting into details.

In her new novel "Daughters-In-Law, she focuses on the relationship between her daughters-in-law and a mother of boys that is usually complicated. In this kind of relationship, there is usually a shift in power from the mother to the wife. It then follows that the mother becomes separated from her adult children. This problem becomes worse with the fact that, if a mother was more successful and dedicated to her child, the harder it will be for her to give out the boys to other entities.

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It is important to note that, this usually becomes a problem when the mother has boys only as her children. The mother in this novel, called Rachel, slowly learns how her son's wives are gaining power. Her youngest boy has just married, and the wife is the youngest too. She is called Charlotte (Joanne, 20-5). I could refer to her as a pet since she is the youngest. Having this in mind, it is understandable that she is used to getting her own way. Rachel lives in a splendid house at the Suffolk coast. Her boys are Edward, Ralph and Luke.

Ralph is the second born and seems to be less gratifying that his brothers who are aloof, moody and difficult. He marries a lovely lady known as Petra, while the eldest Edward marries Sigrid, who is a Swedish scientist (coolly and glamorous).

The story line appears to depict a successful family life until Luke Marries. The story continues with Rachel alienating her daughters-in-law. She feels her nest is empty and acts like a possessed woman. She attempts to wreck their marriages by making them loathe her. However, every character in this piece of art seems to be fierce and selfish in their way.

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The men in this novel seem to be passive. On the other hand, their women act like real monsters. Trollope makes us see that these daughters-in-law will end up resembling Rachel. This novel may seem to pass for a light novel, but in detail, it is an interesting affair that happens around the family dinner table.

 She takes on her mother-in-law in a strong way. She explains to her husband how her family comes first (Joanne,50-5). She told her mother-in-law about her pregnancy three weeks after she had told her own mother. However, this seems too simple an idea by Trollope, which touches on every day issues that are challenging in life.

Charlotte takes on her mother-in-law subject through her characters. The characters are very thoughtful, who help in describing the shift in loyalties that takes place in the family of one generation to the next. The book uses discussion and direct speech in bringing out this problem and setting the ground rules. Charlotte is of the opinion that her husband is supposed to be a hundred percent loyal to her. So he should throw out his mothers rule. However, one of Rachel's daughters-in-law explains to Charlotte that the only way to go is to have a balance in between the two. There should be neither an attack nor defence.

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This book is an easy and quick read with a captivating storyline. It has a flow that could be easily understood. This is a situation that people in the marriage institution could associate with, especially the ladies who are planning on getting married. It might give a sneak preview into the complex relationship between a mother and daughters-in-law.

In this book, there seems to be a lot of room for thought. However, Trollope keeps on insisting that she is not in any way a therapist or a counselor for that matter. She is of the opinion that writers are not supposed to tell readers on what to think. They only attract and join the reader into thinking. Moreover, they may decide to alert the readers on problems that they may have skipped before. I concur with her opinion from my experiences in life. I have seen my relatives get married and a quagmire of this magnitude arises. One of the characters in the book refers to the sons as being her husband first, before anything else.

The Daughter-in-law seems to carry on emotional and sociological issues as the book called "Sons and Lovers" by Lawrence. The story is nearly the same; how a mother holds on to her son.

In my view, this is a very fascinating and enjoyable book. It is a good piece of writing that catches on domestic drama of our every day lives. My opinion is that, mothers should not be blinded by their love towards their sons. For them to retain their sons, they need to shift their way of thinking and react differently towards the way power shifts down generations. This is my favorite book that tackles domestic issues so far.     

In conclusion, Joanne Trollope uses the book "Mother-in-Law" to tackle an important issue in life. She tackles the issue of an existing tension between a mother and her daughters-in-law. When a mother brings up her children, especially boys, in a loving and caring environment, she will have problems in future giving up her sons to marriage. This is because she will not be used to the notion that she no longer has power over her children.

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