The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

Jan and I had a bit of fun with this one.

Jan’s review

Sister relationships are complicated, and fraternal twins, Fern and Rose, have a more complicated relationship than most.  

Fern is on the spectrum and has sensory processing disorder. Rose has been her best friend and protector  since they were young children growing up in an abusive household. Fern knows she could never make it on her own. She is indebted to her sister for many things and comes up with a plan to repay her that you know will not be as uncomplicated as Fern believes.

This seems to be a pretty straightforward story but things are not as they seem. After the halfway mark, there are a few surprises and twists in store. The story is told in a dual perspective from Fern’s point of view and in flashbacks to their childhood through Rose’s diary. I loved Fern’s quirkiness, innocence and good heart and I fell in love with her friend Wally. I loved the library setting and Fern’s job as a librarian, as well as her love of books and reading.

Which sister is the ‘good sister’? Are either reliable narrators?  Is someone lying? Was I right to root for one of the sisters?   The ‘good sister/bad sister’ story has been done before. Was it predictable? Yes. Did I care? No.  I still found it an engaging fun read that I read on the beach in one day. 

Recommended for fans of women’s fiction with a side of humor, romance, and light suspense that won’t stretch your ‘little gray cells’ too hard. This will be a good one to throw into the beach bag next Spring/Summer. 

·     I received a digital copy of the book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own. 

·     *Publication date 4/13/21 by St Martin’s Press

·     This was a buddy read with Marialyce, one we both found to be an easy light read.

Marialyce’s review

Sugar and spice and everything nice…that’s what little girls are made of…..and what happens when you have two little girls at once? Is it double the sugar and spice?

In her new book, The Good Sister, by Sally Hepworth we are introduced to two sisters who are twins. Rose and Fern Castle are quite different from one another as poor Fern seems to have a severe case of sensory overload and life is very difficult for her. Her sister, Rose watches out for Fern growing up and even keeps a very deep dark secret about an action of Fern’s that resulted in tragedy. The girls have had a rough upbringing as their father deserted the family and their mother seems harsh and cruel, and yet the girls grow into women, Fern heading off to become a librarian and Rose to marry.

Fern copes with what life has given her, the aversion to noise, clothes that scratch, and even people until she meets Wally (Rocco) and life takes a turn for the better. Fern has feelings for Wally and they are reciprocated by Wally and as Fern becomes pregnant, she feels she can repay all the care and concern given to her by her sister Rose by one simple act of love.

However, there is an evil twist about to present itself in the lives of the twins. One of them is lying and someone might possibly be dying.

This was a quick easy read, one that you didn’t need the wits of Sherlock Holmes to figure out. The story was entertaining, a good way to take a break from those heavy reads and while away a fall afternoon.

Thank you to Sally Hepworth, St Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for a copy of this story due out April 13, 2020

And here’ the author:

Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of six novels, most recently The Mother In Law (2019). Her forthcoming novel, The Good Sister, will be available in early 2021.

Sally’s books have been heralded “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.

Sally’s novels are available worldwide in English and have been translated into 20 languages.

Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.

11 thoughts on “The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

  1. I am glad it was not too heavy and that it was just a light, fun read for the most part. I am always interested in books with characters that have sensory issues, having worked with students on the autism spectrum. Great reviews and I hope to read this one in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

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