The Daughter-in-Law Syndrome


Arla and Ric have been married a long time. Empty-nesters now that their son has moved out permanently, Arla is ready to fix Ric with a counselor’s help. Her mother-in-law is a nightmare, and has been since day one of their relationship. Ric has always sided against Arla and with his mother. Here’s to hoping a counselor can fix Ric, since it’s obviously all his fault. 


A biting look at what happens decades later in life, this is a realistic portrayal of a longtime-married couple. Arla’s journey with their counselor is thought provoking to anyone with in-law issues, and Arla’s issues are huge. It’s not just mother-in-law, but both of Ric’s sisters too. This is a great tale showing how to fix the “self” and not others, as that’s all anyone in a marriage can do. One downfall is the slang. Dialect and slang can give flavor to writing, but there are so many slang terms used that unless the reader lives next door to Arla, figuring out what they’re actually saying to each other stops the story dead and pulls the reader out, and that’s a severe detriment to such a story. The reconciliation written is way too tidily, and not in character at all. By far the largest problem is that all of the dialogue is clumped into paragraphs, making it very difficult to read and understand who is saying what. An ending more in line with the wonderful personalities created, and a spruce up on editing for a global audience could easily turn this into a five star story.


Julie York