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The Son-in-Law by Charity Norman

The Son-in-Law

Family Drama   Literary Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A man leaves prison having served his sentence for the manslaughter of his wife. His in-laws were left to look after his three children. Now he wants them back but his mother-in-law is still very bitter and angry at the death of her daughter and is determined to prevent him having any contact with them, so this sad tale unfolds. It is well written and well-constructed, very dramatic, very emotional and seen through the eyes of all the main characters exploring deeply their torments, sorrow, guilt and hope. A very fine book.

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Son-in-Law a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'I just could not put this book down after reading the first page it is an amazing, heart tugging and emotional story with characters who are human and easy to relate to' - Kath Thornton. Scroll down to read more reviews.

A 'Piece of Passion' from Sam Redman, Asisstant Editor at Allen & Unwin...

'Well, what can I say? Charity Norman just keeps getting better and better! THE SON-IN-LAW is written with such a deft touch, yet it plumbs the depths of one family's experience and leaves you feeling as though you too have lived through the turbulent times faced by both the Wildes and Joseph. I'm still not sure who I feel for most in the horribly unfair situation Charity presents, she makes you identify with every single character. Overall though, yet again, she made me laugh, weep and pause a moment to consider the all-important question - What would I do?'

If you like Charity Norman you might also like to read books by Joanna Trollope, Maggie O' Farrell and Jodi Picoult.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


The Son-in-Law by Charity Norman

On a sharp winter's morning, a man turns his back on prison. Joseph Scott has served his term. He's lost almost everything: his career as a teacher, his wife, the future he'd envisaged.

All he has left are his three children but he is not allowed anywhere near them. This is the story of Joseph, who killed his wife, Zoe. Of their three children who witnessed the event.

Of Zoe's parents, Hannah and Frederick, who are bringing up the children and can't forgive or understand Joseph. They slowly adjust to life without Zoe, until the day Joseph is released from prison...


We have asked a select number of members and browsers to review The Son-in-Law. You can read their reviews below.

Tracey Poulter - 'A thought-provoking read – Joseph, who killed his wife, is trying to gain the forgiveness of his in-laws and three children. Would you forgive him?' Click here to read the full review.

Kath Thornton - 'I just could not put this book down after reading the first page it is an amazing, heart tugging and emotional story with characters who are human and easy to relate to.' Click here to read the full review.

Eva Le Bon, author of Bring Down the Moon - http://www.evalebon.co.uk/bring-down-the-moon - 'Hypnotising us to an altered state of awareness, this powerful novel, answers no questions, tells us no lies, but emotionally shakes us open to the victim and potential murderer in all of us, and to the family ties that, nonetheless, survive the deadliest of bludgeoning blows.' Click here to read the full review.

Barbara Gaskell - 'Charity Norman has written a story of a family in crisis as they struggle to cope with hard issues and choices. This is a page turner that makes you wonder what you would do and think in the same situation.' Click here to read the full review.

Angela Hunt - 'This is easily one of the best books I've read in a very long time...Once you start reading it, you have to keep on. I can't praise it highly enough. All I can say is you HAVE to buy this when it’s published.' Click here to read the full review.

Nicola Cooper - 'This was a story about families and tense relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, well written and very real...Highly recommended!' Click here to read the full review.

Helen Gough - 'This is not an easy read at times; I laughed and cried, sometimes at the same time! The author takes us on a journey of hope. She will appeal to any reader who enjoys a family story. Join her, you won't regret it.' Click here to read the full review.

Richard Hamlin - 'Charity Norman writes a great story; she tells of real life people with real life issues, in such a way that you identify with them, wanting to hear more about their traumas and ultimately hoping they find resolution.' Click here to read the full review.

Linda Birt - 'Charity Norman has written a novel that touches the heart and soul of family life...I have the up most praise for this novel, never wanting the story to end. I look forward to her next work.' Click here to read the full review.

Judy Connolly - 'Reading the story from the different characters points of view it seems with more honesty and support from his in-laws the tragedy might have been averted. I highly recommend an engrossing story.' Click here to read the full review.

Phylippa Smithson - 'The Son-in-Law is a compelling read. Charity Norman reveals the plot through the eyes of the individuals whose lives are directly impacted by a significant and life affecting event...A page-turning gem of a book. A must when packing for your well earned holiday!' Click here to read the full review.

Jane Pepler - 'This book is fantastic. I couldn't put it down, always the sign of an excellent book!...I think this is a stunning book by a tremendously skilled author' Click here to read the full review.

Caroline Mathews - 'This book was a bit of a slow burner, but when I got to the end, I can honestly say that I loved it...Just brilliant.' Click here to read the full review.

About the Author

Charity Norman

Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years’ travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law in the northeast of England. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand, where she now lives in Napier. Freeing Grace (2011) was Charity’s debut novel and After the Fall (2013) is her second.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th March 2014


Charity Norman

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Allen & Unwin


400 pages


Family Drama
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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