The Good Sister
By: Sally Hepworth
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 04/13/2021
My Rating: 5 Stars +++
Sally Hepworth, the author of The Mother-In-Law, delivers a knock-out of a novel about the lies that bind two sisters. From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one, with a home and a husband and a fierce desire to become a mother. Fern is the quirky one, the free spirit, the librarian who avoids social interaction and whom the world might just describe as truly odd. 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.
Spine tingling, creepy, utterly compelling and unpredictable, The Good Sister is about the ties that bind sisters together...and about the madness that lurks where you least expect it.
Praise for The Good Sister
One of the "April Most Anticipated"―CNN.com One of "15 Books to Check Out this April"―E!Online One of "The Best New Books To Read This April"―Bustle One of the "Most Anticipated Books of 2021"―Goodreads One of "The Big Mysteries and Thrillers of 2021"―Goodreads
"Hepworth's latest further solidifies her place among the top domestic suspense authors...Fern is drawn as smart, capable, and probably on the spectrum, and she is multilayered and relatable, illustrating Hepworth's talent for page-turners with depth."
"It's a warped tale of twisted memories and skewed perceptions that will make fans of psychological thrillers say, 'Wow, I didn't see that coming.'"
"Punchy prose helps propel the twisty plot to a creepy but satisfying conclusion. For fans of domestic dramas, this is a treat."
“Fans of Hepworth’s The Mother-in-Law will quickly be drawn into this family-based mystery surrounding twin sisters Fern and Rose.”
“Sally Hepworth's The Good Sister achieves the impossible trio of creepy, tender, and funny….Hepworth is an author poised to break out."
“[A] compelling, assured psychological twister…The book has a wicked sting of an ending, giving its title a dark second meaning. But where The Good Sister really shines is in its convincing, fascinating portrait of Fern’s sensory-processing disorder ― both its blessings and its curses.”
“Sally Hepworth writes characters you love.”
―Liane Moriarty, bestselling author of Big Little Lies
"No one writes domestic suspense like Sally Hepworth. The Good Sister is the perfect blend of suspense and heart - a book that's sure to get everyone talking!" —Kelly Rimmer, author of Truths I Never Told You
All Sally's book are 5 STARS!
Superstar savvy bestselling author Sally Hepworth is back better than ever with her latest THE GOOD SISTER. I adored The Good Sister and in LOVE with Fern and Rocco/Wally. Readers, I have read all her books, and this is my favorite!
Character-driven, beautifully written, quirky, funny, suspenseful, and heart-warming. You will be glued to the pages from the first to the last.
If you are a fan of authors Fredrik Backman, Elizabeth Berg, Jennifer Weiner, or Gail Honeyman’s novel Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, you will devour The Good Sister! (all favorites) Sally nailed it!
If you want to know which is the good or the bad sister, you must read! Expect deliciously evil, psychological manipulation, fun, literary mentions, riveting domestic suspense, quirky fun characters, and unreliable narrators. If you enjoy twisty stories about mothers and sisters, read on.
Meet Rose and Fern. Twin sisters, but totally different. Named after flowers with identical bracelets with the flower that is their respective name. They are loyal to one another.
Fern displays many characteristics of someone on the autism spectrum, though she has never been formally diagnosed. Think neurodiversity. She likes reading, she is eccentric, an introvert, a librarian, does not like crowds or noise and does not like people touching her. She is smart, brutally honest, but a bit naive in the real world.
Rose is married and a successful interior designer. However, she and her husband have not been getting along so well. She wants to have a baby; yet, she has a health issue that prevents it. Rose is not as she appears.
Fern happens to learn that her sister wants to have a baby, so she thinks, why not? She can have one for. She does not tell her her plans. But who is she going to meet since she does not drive, she does not go to bars, date, or not interested in a relationship.
However, she meets a guy who comes into the library. She thinks he looks like the “Where’s Wally (or Waldo if you live in the states). We all love Wally (you know the hip guy with the glasses, the red and white stripe shirt with a beanie), and Fern befriends him and even calls him Wally, even though his name is Rocco.
Set in Australia, Rocco is from the states but lives here in his van. Fern thinks he is homeless and why he lives in his van and comes into the library to shower. He has a high IQ, and Fern finds him rather cute, so why not ask him out? Simple right. Then get down to having a baby.
However, nothing or no one is as they appear. We get flashbacks of the Mum (which is not so nice) and the chilling journal entries from Rose and her psychologist, and a lake drowning accident that happened years ago.
As you move along in the story, you wonder which girl is the good sister and bad. Your loyalties will change further into the book. Hepworth keeps you guessing like a tennis match.
Fern feels like she is indebted to Rose due to a secret in the past. However, what really happened all those years ago?
Fern is a riot, and I love the way Sally gets into her head and this personality, which is so realistic. Flawless! And Wally, I loved him, and you will be rooting for these two all the way. Gosh, I want more books in the future with these two.
Now, Sally has a lot of tricks up her sleeve, and not only will you be entertained with the authentic fun characters, but you will also be biting your nails with the suspense as you turn each page. What will happen next?
There are some highly-charged neurodiversity themes, narcissism, motherhood, and sisterhood, mental illness, among others. The author tackles each topic with style, sympathy, and grace. There are deep human connections and friends.
I loved the library where Fern worked and her secret hideaway. I want to go there now. Fern and Wally make a great team.
This is a “must-read” and one of my favorites of 2021. If you have read Sally Hepworth’s books, she has her signature style, and you know the minute you open one of her books, you will be in for a rare treat. Her mix of to die for humor and heart makes her a #1 bestselling author.
Stay tuned for my Q&A Elevator Ride with Sally on the pub date, April 13, 2021. Who else cannot wait to get up close and personal with Sally Hepworth? She could be a stand-up comedian.
Seriously, watch her IGTV show. She is adorable, funny, sassy, and a wealth of information.
She is on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and I do not miss a show. She has so many fun new products, writing advice, book recommendation, and tons of clothes, makeup, and you will also get to see charming hunky hubby getting in on the action as well as the rest of the family! If you missed any, check out her channel. Nothing fake here. It is the real deal.
One of my favorite authors, this book is absolutely what we need right now! Read it and let me know what you think. I bet this will be a movie or TV series. (want to place bets)? Fingers crossed. I am trying to envision the cast of stars. So bloody amazing!
A special thank you to NetGalley and St Martins Press for an early reading copy. I have also pre-ordered the audiobook and the hardcover.