Review by author Dani J. Caile on 5th February 2015

5 stars. "The best yet"

A wonderful journey across one woman's understanding between herself and her in-laws. The way she finds out the intricacies of her relationship with her mother-in-law is cleverly done, with clear insights into the past and observing her own behaviour with her family around her. Well-written, the best I've read yet from Stevie Turner.


Review by Anna Burke on 17th March 2015

5 stars.


The Daughter-in-Law Syndrome is a delightful new book by Stevie Turner. Well-written in straightforward prose, the book focuses on Arla and Ric, a couple dealing with marital issues in midlife. As the title implies, much of the trouble involves Arla’s role as the daughter-in-law to Ric’s mother, not an easy woman to love. Couples therapy provides a place to safely explore the family dynamics, and at an opportune time, when Arla finds herself with a new daughter-in-law. This heartfelt story is full of hope that even after decades of misunderstanding, secrets and dysfunction, families can work through their problems. Arla finds that changing the world around her starts by changing the way she views and interacts with others—putting self-awareness, empathy, communication, and other vital skills to good use. There are so many things to like about this lovely book. The characters come to life and tell a poignant story in a tender but not overly sentimental way. Great dialogue drives much of the storytelling and the story moves at a good pace. Turner reveals what can happen when a loving couple works with a good counsellor to make their relationship better. And with greater intimacy, there’s better sex—what a concept! Five stars for this engaging tale.


P.J. Fiala's review

Apr 28, 15


5 of 5 stars

Read in March, 2015


Stevie Turner has done it again with The Daughter-in-Law Syndrome. This is a well-written tale that centers around Arla and Ric and their marital issues during a time in their lives when life should be getting easier midlife. Arla’s mother-in-law is a presence in their lives and she is not easy to love. Seeking family counseling comes at a time when Arla is also a mother-in-law and is seeing the world from the other side of the fence, so to speak. Thought provoking and interesting, this story fills you with hope that being a daughter-in-law and having one, can be a lovely position in life.


Stevie’s characters felt so real to me and the dialogue is outstanding. Five stars for this wonderful read.


A Commitment to Understand

By Blue Lady on 25th May 2015

5 of 5 stars


"I saw the resemblance as soon as Ric brought you home that time. He'd found a girl just like his mother, as many men do of course."


This is one of my favorite quotes from author Stevie Turner's latest release: The Daughter-in-law Syndrome because it symbolizes so much of the age old emotions experienced between a wife, her mother-in-law and her husband. The emotional turmoil experienced by Arla, Ric's wife, the self perceived victim of a family who disapproves their son/brother's choice of a marriage partner is similar to that traditionally felt or experienced in many marriages and resultant family relationships.


Ms. Turner creatively delves into the inner conflicts behind the disparate emotions of her well developed characters who make some rewarding discoveries.


Turner explores this twenty -eight year old marriage with a refreshing sensitivity and caring of her characters as she invites readers to neutrally dissect and examine the inner feelings and emotions that manifest the behaviors that are so disturbing to not just one character, Arla, the wife but to all involved family members.


The novel is very well written and easy to read. It not only offers a good story line but also provides food for thought and opportunity for self examination; a reminder of the importance of quality relationships that require 'give and take' and a commitment to understanding.


I highly recommend this novel and commend Ms. Turner on this family saga!


10th June 2015

3.5* from InD'tale magazine:



29/6/2015 Review completed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite


4 stars


The Daughter-in-law Syndrome by Stevie Turner focuses on Arla Deane. In her fifties, she has been married to Ric for almost three decades, yet until now has not resolved her issues with her mother-in-law and her husband's two sisters. She complains that she has never felt supported by her husband when it came to what she thought was a deliberate rejection and exclusion of her by her husband's family throughout their married life. And the cherry on top of it all was Ric's dismissive attitude on the subject - he has never expressed his opinions , and it looks like he's not about to start any time soon, preferring to avoid confrontation. She decides to go for marriage counselling, convincing a reluctant Ric to cooperate. Amidst all of this, she begins to experience a different kind of stress of being a mother-in-law yet again, this time to her younger son's wife Ria, whom she seems to dislike.


Although focused on familial relationships with extended members of the family, The Daughter-in-law Syndrome by Stevie Turner highlights the importance of openness and understanding, and how far a compassionate attitude can get you. Time and again, we hear people talk about how one must not judge others because we do not know what they have gone through. The book successfully places this at the forefront without being preachy, using Arla's character as the main device to open up other characters before us, unfolding complicated emotional landscapes in each story player that lead to understanding. With the aid of counsellor Toni Beecher, Arla embarks on a journey of self-discovery, understanding of others, enlightenment, compassion and forgiveness. Readers can certainly take home a lesson or two, not just in dealing with family, but with other people in general.


Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite


Readers Favorite

5 stars


Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite


When you first meet that special someone you experience a wide range of emotions from ecstasy to unconditional love. But what happens when the high emotions wear off and reality kicks in? The Daughter-In-Law Syndrome by Stevie Turner is a surreal account of how in-law relationships can affect a marriage.


Arla’s behavior in dealing with life’s challenges started early in life - like all of us - when she was a child. This behaviour transitioned to her adult life. So it was during Ric’s childhood as well. They both experienced a level of dysfunction, but when it came to Ric’s mother he was in total denial. From the beginning, Edna Deane, Ric’s mom, developed a dislike for Arla. When Arla and Ric decided to get married, they both were in denial about the true element of their relationship. When Arla mentioned to Ric how she was being treated by his mother and his sisters, he in turn dismissed it as untrue. Do you know what can happen when denial enters into a relationship? Disaster. If you want to find out, pick up a copy today of The Daughter-In-Law Syndrome by Stevie Turner.


The Daughter-In-Law Syndrome by Stevie Turner is an excellent story because this is the way of the world in how some in-law dysfunction begins. For no apparent reason, in-laws can dislike each other and once this happens disaster follows. We as parents think that there is no one good enough for our child. It is extremely difficult for a marriage to have years of bliss if there is dissension involved.


Excellent read!, March 31, 2016



Verified Purchase(What's this?)

This review is from: The Daughter-in-law Syndrome (Kindle Edition)

Title: The Daughter In Law Syndrome

Author: Stevie Turner

Publisher: S. T.

Reviewed By: Arlena Dean

Rating: Five



"The Daughter In Law Syndrome" by Stevie Turner


My Thoughts....


I will say that this author really did some magic with this wonderful read. I found it very well written covering all the subjects of 'The Daughter In Law Syndrome. I was left only saying Wow...very well done! The characters from Arla, Ric, that mother in law [Edna] and a few more were well developed, defined, portrayed and so believable giving the reader a read that will definitely keep your attention. Will seeking help after twenty eight years of marriage through a counselor [Toni] be able to help Arla and Ric in their marriage issues? Again this author did a wonderful job in presenting how it all starts...and continues on through dysfunction...even passing on to the siblings that can bring on even more disaster to the whole family.


In the end will there be a understanding between Arla, Ric, his mom, his sisters[Val & Jan]? How will all of this even help Arla with her son and daughter in law[Ria]? To get these questions answered and so much more I would definitely recommend you pick up this well written read. This is one those reads that any married woman may be able to relate to. This author really showed the readers that she was a good writer.


Review by Frank Parker on 14/4/16


I can still remember my mother's reaction when, aged 20, I announced that I was engaged to be married. It was my fiancee's 17th birthday and I had made the proposal some six months previously. My mother believed I was throwing my life away, that the young woman she referred to as a 'floosie' was certainly not good enough for me. That was 54 years ago and 'the floosie' and I are still happily married. It took a long time for the pair of them to become reconciled to the fact of our love for each other.


I mention this to illustrate how easily I can relate to the problems faced by Stevie Turner's female protagonist, Arla and her controlling mother-in-law Edna. After 30 years of marriage, Arla still feels ostracised by her mother-in-law and her husband's two sisters. She is frustrated by her husband's apparent indifference and his determination to support and defend Edna. Arla engages a counselor who helps her to analyse these feelings but it is only when her son, Stuart, introduces the woman he intends to marry that understanding begins to dawn.


I found all of the principle characters in this novel to be entirely believable. The nuances of relationships; the little irritations we accept rather than cause upset by pointing them out, the lies, not all of them little, we tell to justify our prejudices, are all well realised. I particularly liked Ric, the husband, and the way he and Arla interacted with each other.


Stevie has a section of her blog devoted to feminism and its heroines so it was a surprise to find that the woman in this story who plays the most important role in helping Arla and her in-laws to settle their differences is someone whose sole ambition is to be a stay-at-home wife. Stevie evidently believes in the importance of women being able to make such choices without being subjected either to peer pressure or financial constraints.


This is a book that will be unlikely to appeal to many men. Many women, on the other hand, will find much to enjoy in this perceptive analysis of contemporary family relationships.


5.0 out of 5 starsAn Honest Story of Relationships

ByAEMon September 7, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition


Ah, family. Relationships are nitty gritty, and I appreciate that the author not only created characters who had the kind of complexity that made them real, but also dove into the intricacies of relationships that often we don't take the time to acknowledge. I appreciate the way the book wrapped things up in the end, balancing the reality of the depth of pain years of broken relationships. For one part of the book I wanted desperately for the family to fix things, and found myself enjoying hanging out with them for the journey.


5 out of 5 stars

by JSpina

30th May 2019


Anyone who is or has ever been a daughter-in-law will see something of themselves in this wonderful story. The relationship between a mother-in-law and her son’s wife is a tricky situation in many cases as demonstrated by this talented author. She delved into the lives and loves of family that touched home with me and I’m sure many other readers. Stevie Turner gave the views of both sides and brought up some sensitive issues.


Edna, the mother-in-law, can’t accept the idea that her son has chosen a woman to take her place in his heart. Can she ever embrace this woman? Arla, the daughter-in-law, has her own demons to face with her husband and his sisters. She always feels on the outside looking in. What can she do to be accepted into this dysfunctional family? She even goes to a marriage counselor to try to get her husband, Ric, to open up to her about his family.


I enjoyed following along with their journey as they discovered some surprising revelations about themselves and how they grew closer in spite of the chasm that had opened up at the beginning of their marriage. When Arla has to face similar circumstances as her own son marries she begins to connect more with her own mother-in-law. Can she accept the woman that her son has married? If not, then why not?


5 out of 5 stars


by Robbie Cheadle


Everyone who has a spouse and children should read this book which exposes and examines many of the emotions and attitudes that impact on relationships with our in-laws, from mother and father-in-laws to son and daughter-in-laws.


I was amazed, as I listened to the audio book version of this book, how it pulled me up and caused me to start examining my own relationships with in-laws and my two sons as well as with my parents and my husband. I was really grateful to be given this warning about how I could feel in the future when the time comes for me to meet and accept future daughter-in-laws into our family. It has given me an opportunity to examine how I feel about my children and prepare for any future feelings of jealousy and dissatisfaction. This book teaches the reader about acceptance of other peoples choices.


Richard and Arla have been married for thirty years and the relationship between Arla and her mother and two sister-in-laws has been fraught with problems right from the beginning when Richard, who calls himself Ric, first introduces her to his mother. The story starts with Arla, at the end of her patience with Ric’s seeming indifference about his family’s rudeness towards her and his inability to ever defend his wife against their digs and unkindness, attending marriage counselling to try and work through her frustration. Ric, says he is happy with the status quo, and cannot see the need for the counselling. While he is not very supportive of the idea, he does agree to attend the counselling sessions. Arla is so fed up with the situation that she wants to leave, but feels trapped into staying due to her own lack of a career and income, which she gave up when her daughter was born.


Initially, as Arla tells her side of the story, I felt horrified by how rude Mrs Deane has always been towards Arla and her complete lack of acceptance of her son’s choice of life partner. She has influenced her daughters, Jan and Val, and turned them against Arla too, making family gatherings uncomfortable minefields.


As the book progresses, Arla discovers things about her husband’s past and his relationship with his domineering mother that she didn’t know and she begins to have a bit more understanding of the entire situation. Arla also gets introduced by her son to his intended wife and she starts to discover things about herself and her own nature that led her towards being more understanding towards her mother-in-law and why she has behaved as she did.


I enjoyed the positive outlook of this book and the fact that Ric and Arla are able to rekindle a bit of romance in their relationship and get to a point of trust where their secrets can finally be revealed. It is a lovely journey of self discovery by an ordinary couple with common marital problems and provides some insightful and useful advice in an interesting and entertaining way.


5.0 out of 5 stars In-law blues

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 July 2020

Verified Purchase

The cover made me chuckle a bit... is this a self-help book for quarrelling in-laws? The Daughter-in-law Syndrome is a women's fiction novel about Arla and her husband Ric. Sick of playing second-fiddle to Ric's family Arla suggests marriage guidance counselling. The story unfolds with each appointment, I was invested in this because marriage guidance must be a very tricky job. The characters were brilliant. Ric is a people pleaser- but he has his reasons. Arla is spikey and disappointed in life but becomes less so as the book progresses. Arla herself becomes a mother-in-law and the same thing happens again! As for Grandmother Edna, blimey what we have here is a master manipulator. Actually, Arla had a bit of luck thrown in to provide a beautiful resolution to the story. Bravery was employed by the characters, proving there is nothing wrong with saying how you feel. Back to my original point, this is fiction, the cover is fitting and this book will probably make you feel better if you've got the in-law blues.


5 stars on 14/10/2015 by Joy Nwosu-Lo-Bamijoko on 

Would you consider the audio edition of The Daughter-in-Law Syndrome to be better than the print version?

I don't know. I haven't read the print version.

I received this audio book as a prize, a few days ago, and decided to give it a try and see how it works out. From the very beginning, I was captivated by the story, and couldn’t stop listening. I listened way into the night about poor Arla who underwent a tug-of-war relationship with her mother-in-law, and sisters -in-law that lasted twenty-eight years. For twenty eight years, she was not accepted by her husband’s family, and it seemed that her husband remained quite neutral about it all, not taking sides, and not giving her support.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Daughter-in-Law Syndrome?

When she too became a mother-in-law herself to Ria, and things started to change. She saw herself almost falling into the same pattern as Edna, but Ria’s sunny disposition, and refusal to be put off, plus the therapy, of course, help her to become the mother-in-law to Ria that she did not experience.

She was forced to seek therapy to better understand her situation, and to figure out what to do. A marriage where a woman stays home to bring up the kids, usually leaves the woman with no financial power of her own. Arla confesses to the counselor Toni, that her fear of divorce was based on the fact that she has no money of her own. He mother-in-law, Edna, and sisters-in-law, Val, and Jan, and to some extent Ric her husband, put her through hell.

Which character – as performed by Wendy Anne Darling – was your favorite?

Definitely Ria's character. She was able to overlook, and underplay the initial brush off by Arla, and pushed ahead for acceptance, and to ignore the existing tension between Arla and the rest of the family to pull the whole family back together.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, when Ric, for the first time came in defense of the Arla against his sisters, as well as when Edna finally owned up to her bad treatment of Arla.

Any additional comments?

Reading an audio book has its pros and cons. I was in the middle of the book before I could follow the names, and the parts they played. Unlike a physical book, that I can turn back and check on the spelling of the names, with this audio book, my first, I went by the sound of the names. Whether I spelt them right is yet to be seen. I have since gone back and corrected the spellings of the names.

This was a great story, told with such insight that many women will relate to it. It is a well known story, beautifully told, with a great story arc that started on high tension, which gradually petered off. A good story, if I may say so, but I do prefer physical books.