Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

The Good Sister
by Sally Hepworth
Published April 13th 2021 by St. Martin's Press

From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one and Fern is the quirky one. But the sisters are devoted to one another and Rose has always been Fern's protector from the time they were small.

Fern needed protecting because their mother was a true sociopath who hid her true nature from the world, and only Rose could see it. Fern always saw the good in everyone. Years ago, Fern did something very, very bad. And Rose has never told a soul. When Fern decides to help her sister achieve her heart's desire of having a baby, Rose realizes with growing horror that Fern might make choices that can only have a terrible outcome. What Rose doesn't realize is that Fern is growing more and more aware of the secrets Rose, herself, is keeping. And that their mother might have the last word after all.

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4 Stars

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth is a dual-perspective story told from the present day view of Fern and the diary pages of her twin, Rose. Fern has an undiagnosed sensory processing disorder, Rose has viewed herself as her caretaker since day one, guiding her to keep her safe. Fern believes she can finally pay Rose back for all she has given up for her, only as she reveals her gift she discovers that maybe Rose hasn't really been guiding her at all.

A twisted, methodical thriller that knocked my socks off without terrifying me completely. Rose and Fern are as twin sister as they come, continuing to live in the same town they grew up in and spending every free moment together. Fern doesn't have the ability to process that this is strange, not until a kind stranger enters her life and opens her eyes to the world she now wants to experience. Only, she has a plan to help her sister and her sister...she has a plan too. This one was messed up, the kind of messed up that I honestly would expect to see on TV, because it is that believable. Sally Hepworth takes us through the twins youth and daily adult lives, there's nothing really sinister going on, at least there isn't at the surface. As the cracks begin to show, The Good Sister turns into a thriller that makes you question just how good of a sister one of the twins really is.

I am a bit down about the fact that The Good Sister just wasn't as big of a win for me as it was for others. I guessed far too early on what was occurring and while I remained engaged, guessing it really took away the excitement of the read, dropping it to 4 stats for me. The story flows at a great pace, there's just enough information given to keep you hanging on, and I love that it wasn't a super amped up high energy thriller, this one felt plausible. I just needed a few more things kept in the dark.

I think The Good Sister is a fantastic read that thriller fans should absolutely pick up. It's not crazy fast paced, but even more so, it's not obscenely impossible. This could happen. This probably has happened! It's that kind of read, the kind that makes you think about it all.

1 comment

  1. I really want to read this book. Too bad you guessed the outcome before the book ended, but I am not a good guesser, so hopefully that won't be a problem for me. Nice review Carlene.


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