I bought this book years ago, after a really awful relationship sent me on a homework spree. After reading a slew of the other, more usual books, my reading path lead me to this - the most useful book ever for improving ANY relationship - parental, spousal, work - or even (and especially) your relationship with yourself.
Based on positive-seeking, solution-focused therapy, the author offers techniques and exercises to discover, ignite, and grow the positive potential in yourself and - by extension - others. Change yourself, and everyone who interacts with you will change too, as they react in new ways to your new choices and actions.
Most people are used to a habit of noticing what's wrong and complaining about it. To the author, this is the first step - noticing. But besides noticing what's wrong, you also need to start practicing noticing what's right, and then encourage and reward that - nurturing more desired behavior. (This is a lot like training animals - rewarding or praising good behavior). You can always delve into the "why's" later, but first, an improved daily interaction helps create a setting where why's can later be explored in a calmer way.
The author also has a website with a free message board, where you can safely vent or ask advice, away from your immediate situation. I highly recommend both this book and her message board.
Using this book and her techniques has empowered me to deal with very difficult people and situations, and made it easier for me to steer these situations into more positive and cheerful realities.