This book sounds like a lovely tribute to your mother-in-law. People today do not understand or appreciate just how difficult life was not that long ago. From what I see of many in the younger generation and many who are middle age, they would not survive well if they had to deal with conditions many lived in during the early 1900’s let alone the 1800’s. It is amazing how few can cook, let alone raise and put up their own food and make their own clothing. The partnership you mention as a part of marriage isn’t the same in most modern marriages today. We don’t need each other in quite the same way. With both partners having careers and everyone so busy, a person can live on their own quite well. It is sad that even together they are missing really needing each other for a special completeness.