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  • Writer's pictureGaili Schoen

The Real Mrs. Tobias

The Real Mrs. Tobias by Sally Koslow is the story of three women who married into the Tobias family, their subtle as well as acerbic interactions and their shared dilemmas. I am a daughter-in-law and will be a mother-in-law next year, and could identify with these three women's efforts to maintain the peace, while trying to hold on to their convictions and independence.

In-law relationships are a complicated dance, and I cheered for each of the three prima donnas: Veronika is the matriarch of the family who is struggling with her husband's escalating cognitive decline, and her grandson Micah's lack of maturity. Mel is her daughter-in-law who is similarly grappling with her son Micah's bad decisions as well as trying to keep her daughter Jordan from making a life-altering mistake. Birdie is Mel's daughter-in-law and is just about fed-up with her husband Micah, and the whole Tobias clan.

When Birdie and Micah got together, both Veronika and Mel were dismissive of Birdie, who was about to give up her slot at the prestigious Iowa writers' program in order to move to New York City to be with Micah:

"At first, in rare solidarity, Veronika and I considered Birdie to be no one to take seriously....agreeing that Birdie was too submissive. Too perfect a physical specimen. Too other."

But now that they are married and parenting Mel's beloved granddaughter Alice, Veronika and Mel can't help but try to keep Micah and Birdie together.

The Real Mrs. Tobias was a fun, humorous read. I found myself wondering and worrying, even when I wasn't reading, how Micah was going to resolve his predicament and save his relationship with all three women. Would these three women find a way to come together to support and appreciate each other?

I enjoyed the paperback version of The Real Mrs. Tobias, but was distracted by one of the narrators of the audiobook. Kendra Hoffman who narrates for Mel was great, but Callie Beaulieu narrated for both Veronika and Birdie, using the same guttural speech affectation for both. The affectation worked well for Veronika but was just plain wrong for Birdie. I recommend the paperback, hardcover or E-book!

Thanks to Pamela Lamp at ( a wonderful lifestyle blog) for this great book rec!

Paperback 336 pages, Audiobook 9 hours, 25 minutes.


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