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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I would rate this is one of the very best books I have read. The even handed portrayal of the characters was highly skilled. Of course Joseph's action was wrong but Norman managed to challenge us not to empathise with him, despite his action; with mother-in-law, despite her failure to be honest with Joseph, with Ben despite his tantrums, indeed with all bar, perhaps,...
Published 11 months ago by Keith Wadsworth

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
I waited ages to download this onto my Kindle, it was on my wish list for ages waiting for the cost to come down, so once I'd got it I read it straight away. I've read a few Charity Norman books (The Fall being my favourite) and look forward to this with great anticipation. Maybe because of all of this I was a little bit disappointed, I loved the premise of the book...
Published 13 months ago by H. S. Lawrence


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 13 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The Son-in-Law (Kindle Edition)
I would rate this is one of the very best books I have read. The even handed portrayal of the characters was highly skilled. Of course Joseph's action was wrong but Norman managed to challenge us not to empathise with him, despite his action; with mother-in-law, despite her failure to be honest with Joseph, with Ben despite his tantrums, indeed with all bar, perhaps, Joseph's sister, Marie. One reviewer describes it is a simplistic portrayal of mental illness but that is NOT what the book is about: it is about the consequences on others of someone's illness. Had it been about Zoe's condition the start would not have been the one it was: her condition is not explored. Instead this is about people talking and, more importantly, listening to others, as exemplified by Lester (what a refreshing change to have a positive presentation of a 'social worker') and the delightfully eccentric Rosie.

This is a beautifully constructed novel: a bitter-sweet tale which avoids sentimentality whilst exploring the angsts of guilt, love, and bereavement, being a teen, being a tot and being old and dealing with all sorts of changes of paths through life. For the last third of the book my eyes were almost permanently moist and my tuts and sighs prompted my wife to read it too - to exactly the same acclaim.

Brilliant.

Here I come Amazon, to buy Charity Norman's others.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 8 April 2014
This review is from: The Son-in-Law (Paperback)
Charity Norman is a brilliant author, I will certainly be reading her other books. I usually read crime thrillers but I picked this up after my wife finished it and I thought I would give it a go, expecting to be bored with it after a few chapters. Well, I was hooked after a few pages! The characters are all richly drawn and totally believable from the young children to the court family liaison officer. The book is so well written and totally gripping that you forget this is a work of fiction. It is intense,sad,uplifting and joyous in equal measures. A truly outstanding novel. Read it, you will not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written family drama...., 4 Dec. 2014
By 
jaffareadstoo (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Son-in-Law (Kindle Edition)
The anguish of a family ripped apart by a devastating tragedy is the theme which runs throughout this well written family saga. When Joseph Scott is released on licence from prison after serving his sentence for the manslaughter of his wife, he attempts to make some sort of life for himself, but his burden of culpability is never far from the surface and the increasing animosity of his family, particularly his in-laws does nothing to dispel either his guilt or his grief.

I was captivated by this book from the beginning and although I wanted to dislike Joseph, after all he was the perpetrator of a heinous crime; I found great sympathy for him and credit to the author for making him a sympathetic figure rather than a caricature of a murderous villain. She completely captured the anguish of a family in turmoil and with great insight delved deep into the minds of Joseph's children, who whilst struggling to come to terms with the loss of their mother, felt incredibly torn between love and duty to a father they barely understood.

There is no doubt that the author has a great skill for storytelling and has managed to convey the heartbreak of tragedy whilst at the same time keeping control of a narrative which is a powerful testament to the bonds of parenthood. The need we all have to protect those we love, even when there is the danger that by loving too much we are in danger of destroying those we seek to love, is perhaps the most the constant thought throughout the whole of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an emotional roller coaster, 2 April 2014
This review is from: The Son-in-Law (Paperback)
The Son in Law is a highly charged emotional read that will grip you from the beginning and stay with you long after you turn the final page

In the heat of the moment Joseph cracks. That single moment, that single crack in time, changes his life beyond recognition. His wife is dead. Is he at fault? Yes, but is he a murderer? As Far as Frederick and Hannah are concerned he is guilty and should pay the price. At this point in time I was tending to side with the grandparents. However as the story moves on we realise that the situation is not so black and white.

This book makes quite big jumps in time. I found this quite a brave move. Other authors tend to fill in blanks and gaps when it really isn't necessary. The next time we meet Joseph is 3 years later when he is leaving prison. His only wish is to be reunited with his children and to tell the story from his side. Hannah and Frederick are the only ones standing in his way. There hate runs deep and has even filtered down to some of the children, even to the youngest who remembers nothing and has to rely on what she was told by her grandparents.

As the story moves on and we learn about the events that led to that fateful night I found my sympathies altering a little. We learn more about Zoe and her struggles with her mental health. It makes you really question the meaning of guilt.

Ultimately The Son in Law is isn't about death, but rather how families ties can allow us to forgive acts that would think are unforgivable.

If your a fan of intense courtroom drama's and are already a fan of Jodi Picoult I would certainly recommend that you pick up The Son in Law
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, 27 April 2014
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This review is from: The Son-in-Law (Kindle Edition)
I waited ages to download this onto my Kindle, it was on my wish list for ages waiting for the cost to come down, so once I'd got it I read it straight away. I've read a few Charity Norman books (The Fall being my favourite) and look forward to this with great anticipation. Maybe because of all of this I was a little bit disappointed, I loved the premise of the book but it never really lived up to expectations, I found everything a little bit predictable, although I kept hoping for a shock it never came. That said I've read much much worse books and I will read Charity Normans books in the future. I just think my expectations for this were a bit too high!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, 21 July 2014
By 
The Little Bookworm "The little bookworm" (North Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Son-in-Law (Paperback)
I tried to read 'After the fall' by Charity Norman some time ago and couldn't get along with it. I picked this up as the synopsis looked brilliant (I'm a huge Jodi Picoult fan) but it was with some trepidation that I finally started it.

The story follows a family torn apart by tragedy. Joseph killed his wife Zoe, seemingly in a fit of rage, witnessed by his three children. Fast forward four years and he's out of prison. He wants to see his children but Zoe's parents, who have been raising them, are not so keen...

I was totally absorbed in the book from the start and felt a range of emotions. I don't normally like books which change viewpoints but this worked so well. There were chapters from Hannah (the grandmother), Joseph and Scarlett (the eldest daughter.) The book really made me question family dynamics and what I would do in such a situation. My favourite character by far was Freddie (the grandfather). He was like grandparents should be!

This book made me sob my eyes out at the end and it's a long time since I have felt that about a novel. It gripped me - I thought about it when I wasn't reading it and worried about how it might all turn out.

A fabulous book for an afternoon reading (don't plan on doing anything else) or for a book club. I LOVED it!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 8 July 2014
This review is from: The Son-in-Law (Kindle Edition)
Please please read this book. In fact every book that she has wrote. Trying not to be too gushing but this book is brilliant. You feel every emotion that the characters are feeling. It is a great story, written extremely well.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story I can't stop thinking about - you must read it! xxx, 25 July 2013
By 
Megan ReadingInTheSunshine (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Son-in-Law (Paperback)
I first discovered Charity Norman when I read her book, After The Fall - and if you haven't read it then please do, it was not only a Richard and Judy Book Club pick bit it is a fantastic read too, and one I would thoroughly recommend! So having enjoyed After The Fall, I was very much looking forward to starting on Charity's latest release!

Joseph Scott has recently been released from prison, and we soon learn that the reason he was there is that he killed his wife in front of their children. Hannah and her husband Frederick have been bringing up their grandchildren ever since Joseph took away their daughter from them.But now Joseph has been released, he is very keen to start seeing his children again, bit Hannah is determined that this will never happen...

I thoroughly enjoyed The Son-In-Law! Like After The Fall, The Son-In-Law was a book that had me intrigued from the first moments that I opened the book, and as the story progressed I became more deeply involved in what was happening and I could not put this down! I was up late at night desperate to get to the next part and I was often exhausted the next day - but it was worth it to find out a bit more!

The Son-In-Law is told from many different characters perspectives, and this is what makes the book so intriguing and compelling to read. At first I had the same thought that I'm sure many other will...he murdered his wife and committed a serious crime! But as I read on and learned things from the different perspectives, I realised that the story is not as straightforward as it first appears.

Charity Norman has really excelled with her characters, they came to life from the pages and they all seemed ever so realistic. I sympathised with them, I felt for them when they were going through hard times, I was surprised with them and I went through an emotional roller-coaster with everything that they had to deal with. The children especially made me emotional, I really could feel their pain coming from the pages at the loss of their mother, and I so desperately wanted to reach out and give them a hug.

The Son-In-Law is a very emotional novel...at times I was so emotionally involved in the novel that it felt as though I was a family member myself. I poured all of my emotions and feelings into the book and I was gripped to the pages because I was desperate to see how it worked out for everyone involved. At times the story was truly heart-breaking, and at other times I was left surprised by the events.

I don't want to spoil anything else because it is best to let you unravel things as you read them for the perspectives of the characters involved, but what I will say is that this story had me thinking about it non-stop, I was even dreaming about the plot line in my sleep! I couldn't get the story and the characters out of my head, and even after finishing, the story has stayed with me. It is surprising, gripping and The Son-In-Law is a book that I can not recommend enough - you must buy this!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect book, 14 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Son-in-Law (Kindle Edition)
Her third book and they just keep getting better. Her characters are so real and beautifully drawn. Their flaws and weaknesses making them more compelling. A terrific story where there are heroes and villains and they are often the same person! Thought provoking but non- preachy. We are left wondering what we would have done in their situation and achingly sad for all concerned. Also describes my beloved York in perfect detail. A triumph of a book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 7 Sept. 2013
By 
A. Linton (Manchester, Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Son-in-Law (Kindle Edition)
I loved 'After the Fall' but I couldn't help noticing how much it was based on the author's life and wondered how she would fare with her other novels. Well based on this novel I wondering if she is more a one trick pony than an exciting new talent.

I'm not denying that's it's well written but I had a problem right from the early chapters - I had gained the impression from the sample that it would focus on the grandparents but actually I realised quite early on that the real focus is the eponymous son-in-law - he is painted as a virtual saint who made one lapse, provided with a surrogate mother figure and a new potential love interest who serve as sounding boards for his issues and it's pretty clear after the first few chapters what the outcome of the story will be - especially as Frederick's health starts to go rapidly downhill. If I heard a story about a guy who got out of prison a few years after the manslaughter of his wife I think the most positive thing I could say would be 'well he's served his time' I don't think I'd be interested in hearing about him finding a new woman and getting access to his children again. That's how I felt about the character of Joseph, and I also have to say that - while I expected he had a lot of provocation - the final act which lead him to lose control and strike Zoe wasn't at all what I expected. It doesn't help that large sections of the book are really quite dull and predictable - like reading the notes for a social work case conference - in parts and some of the characters such as Abigail and Rose seem very sterotyped and predictable (like many middle class writers Norman isn't very good at creating convincing working class characters)

I am quite a voracious reader and at moment have a few other books on my wishlist so I decided about half way through that I had spent too much on a book I wasn't really enjoying and returned it to Amazon. I think Charity Norman should write more books about New Zealand and leave this kind of thing to writers like Jodi Piccolt ...
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The Son-in-Law
The Son-in-Law by Charity Norman
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