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Reviewed by Martina Svyantek for Readers' Favorite
Reluctantly Related: Secrets to Getting Along with Your Mother-in-Law or Daughter-in-Law is a bit of a mouthful, but the advice contained in this book does truly classify Dr. Deanna Brann’s book as an “In-Law Survival Guide.” Plus, it has helpful little comics along the way, which keep the mood light and upbeat even when tackling difficult topics.
For those who have any level of friction (small, medium, large, or apocalyptic), this is a very useful book. Dr. Brann includes some very helpful hints about how to not only get along and keep the peace, but to grow more understanding about where each side of the conflict is coming from, in terms of attitude and background. Though there are many jokes about the “Monster-in-Law,” this chronicles with both humor and heartache the struggles that many women go through when two families merge and branch off into a third. There are jokes, but there are also insightful coping methods, as if to say that the author is one of us.
When my husband and I were newly-weds, my relationship with his mother was the last thing on my mind. And now, after reading through Reluctantly Related, I realize just how lucky I have been! My mother-in-law and I get along just fine; I think that there will always be some level of tension, just between “my way” and “the way things have been done,” but we are lucky enough to have a relationship where we can actually sit down and talk about things instead of letting them stew. I would recommend this as a good read for brides- and mother-in-laws-to-be, those who currently are, and the individuals who bring them together (i.e., the husband/son).