The Complete Book of Mothers-in-law: A Celebration

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Most of us either have a mother-in-law or will be one. It's not a role most women take on gladly. Mothers-in-law are traditionally the butt of jokes and the scapegoats for family squabbles. But are they really as nasty, possessive and interfering as their reputation suggests? Luisa Dillner looks beyond the stereotype of the mother-in-law and finds they come in many different varieties; from loveable and loyal to lonely, ferocious and scheming. There are brave mothers-in-law such as the explorer and missionary David Livingstone's who trekked hundreds of miles across Africa to help out with the grandchildren, impossible ones like the actress Judy Garland, who picked her own son-in-law, and royal ones such as Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II who both found controlling their sons- and daughters-in-law their hardest job of all. Far from being all bad, mothers-in-law have many redeeming features and can be sources of help and support for their sons- and daughters-in-law. With a bit of understanding and a good dollop of tolerance this relationship can be one of the most rewarding of your adult life.

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About the author (2008)

Luisa Dillner is the author of The Complete Book of Mothers-in-law and is a columnist for the Guardian. Her proper job is working on new ideas
for the British Medical Journal Publishing Group. She has been a
contributor to many magazines and newspapers, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan
and the Observer and has written a book about relationships based on her Guardian column called Love by Numbers. She originally trained and worked as doctor in Bristol. She now lives in London with her family.

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