cover image Don’t Roll Your Eyes: 
Making In-Laws into Family

Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws into Family

Ruth Nemzoff. Palgrave Macmillan, $16 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-230-33899-9

Nemzoff (Don’t Bite Your Tongue) advises how to improve troublesome relationships with a variety of nonblood extended family members. She encourages parents to work diligently on avoiding confrontations with their children’s spouses and concentrate on their children’s happiness rather than their own disappointment. Adult children are advised to focus on the good qualities of their parents-in-law, to always be civil, and to be generous in what they accept as an apology. While in-law sibling issues can run the gamut from accepting a transgendered sib-in-law to participating in long-term care for a sibling’s disabled spouse or partner, or dealing with sib-in-laws who don’t share the family’s values, Nemzoff also provides useful tools for readers dueling with their child’s in-laws over the love and attention of their children and grandchildren (who gets to spend more time with them? who offers more financial aid?). She also has advice for those with in-laws from different cultures, religions, and races. Offering plentiful composite case studies, the fair-minded, inclusive, and congenial Nemzoff doesn’t promise quick solutions and realizes some problems are unsolvable, but she focuses on helpful ways to improve relationships that with time and effort can be fixed. (Sept.)