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April 5, 2021

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"When we were five, my mother took my sister Rose and me to the library every day for a year.  A better education than schools will ever give you, Mum used to say, and I quite agree.  If it were up to me, every child would have a year in the library before they went to school...How lucky the world would be if every child could do that." (loc 173)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Good Sister
April 2021; t. Martin's; 978-1250120953
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); women's fiction
WOW!  What a fantastic new book by Sally Hepworth.  It was one of those books that made the outside world go away for a few hours -- there was no cooking or cleaning, I ignored the phone and social media and even lost a few hours of sleep but it was totally worth it!

Fern and Rose are fraternal twins but they are different in every way.  Rose is married and trying to have a baby with her husband, Owen.  Fern is a loner who lives by herself and works at a library.  She has a sensory processing disorder which limits her life in many ways because she has to stay away from situations that might affect her disorder.  Because of the way that the twins were raised by a sociopathic mother, they became very close growing up so that they could protect each other from their mother.  As adults, they still protect each other.  Rose is always there to help Fern and is the person that Fern always turns to first.  Rose is the strong twin while Fern appears to be odd and needy. 

The Good Sister is told in alternating chapters by each of the twins.  Reading Rose's chapters make you see her as the brave protector of her sister who is also helping keep a terrible secret from years earlier.  But then when you read Fern's chapter, you can't help but admire her for the way she is approaching her life to keep her disorder from affecting her day-to-day life.  The more you read the alternating view of each sister, the more you begin to question the stories that they are telling about their lives.  Is it all real or are there other and worse secrets being kept quiet?  When Fern meets a man and finds out that she is able to love someone, she also begins to question some of Rose's attitudes toward her.

I can't say any more about the plot at risk of telling more than I should.  What I can say is that this is my favorite Sally Hepworth novel.  It's a book that will keep you guessing until the end.  You will change your mind several times about the real motives of each twin versus the perceptions that they want you to believe. The novel is compelling and totally unpredictable. The Good Sister is about the ties that bind sisters together...and about the madness that lurks where you least expect it.

Buy The Good Sister from Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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