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The Good Sister

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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 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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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 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.

30 review for The Good Sister

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Happy book birthday to one of my favorite thrillers of the year! 🥂🥳📚 Another big, bold Wowza! This book captivated me from the first moment I started to read the intriguing opening and for 5 long hours, I pulled the plug off myself, rejecting to connect with outside world, ignoring my husband dearest who kept asking me why he didn’t have any clean shirt and how I achieved to burn takeout leftovers. I didn’t hear my partying neighbors who recently turned their home into Airbnb circus or blaring Ge Happy book birthday to one of my favorite thrillers of the year! 🥂🥳📚 Another big, bold Wowza! This book captivated me from the first moment I started to read the intriguing opening and for 5 long hours, I pulled the plug off myself, rejecting to connect with outside world, ignoring my husband dearest who kept asking me why he didn’t have any clean shirt and how I achieved to burn takeout leftovers. I didn’t hear my partying neighbors who recently turned their home into Airbnb circus or blaring German words from TV( Husband dearest decided to watch Dark’s last season without me as a punishment) I just kept reading and I have to admit: THIS IS THE BEST BOOK OF SALLY HEPWORTH! And FERN IS ONE OF THE MOST FASCINATING CHARACTERS I’VE EVER INTRODUCED. The story is told by twin sisters: Rose and Fern, not only sharing a womb and awful childhood memories, but also sharing a big secret. After her fertility problems and troubles of her marriage, Rose starts seeing a therapist and she is advised to keep a diary to pour out her bottled up feelings she has been keeping since her childhood. The twins’ story start with her diary pages tell us something tragic happened when twins were little. A boy was drowned. It seems like Fern is responsible of boy’s dying and Rose saved her sister from being held behind the bars by keeping her mouth shut. And from the POV of the diary we realize their mother has sociopathic tendencies, targeting Rose ( because she takes the blames to protect her dear sister) by mentally and physically abusing her. Then after being overdosed, the sisters find themselves at the rusty wheels of foster care system. When we read the parts of Rose, we start to empathize with her and we think how adorable, protective sister she is. But when we read Fern’s parts, we cannot help but root for the character wholeheartedly. She is on the spectrum of Asperger’s syndrome, sensitive to light, voices, touch (when she has to attend a gathering at the crowded place she has to wear googles and earpods to protect herself), an efficient librarian: because she is highly intelligent, focused on details and the libraries were always her favorite place since her childhood. She also has abrupt, inappropriate social approaches but her emotional side, her directness, straightforward honesty makes her unique. She loves her sister and sees she cannot conceive a baby so she decides to get pregnant and give the child to her sister. She meets Rocco at the library (but calls him “Wally” because with his hat and loose pants, he truly looks like the character from Where’s Wally) who is intelligent computer programmer, suffering from Autism as like her and her intention to give her sister baby and have sex with a stranger turns into an intimate romantic involvement. As we continue to read both sides of stories, we start to question what if Rose is not who we think she is. Is she really a protective, caring, adorable sister or is she manipulative, controlling, irritating bitch who wants to turn her life into hell? Or Fern has also secret sociopathic tendencies like their mother and harm people without thinking a second? Read and enjoy each impeccably written characters to find out! Overall: I loved the twisty, riveting, high tension, breathtaking pacing, well crafted characters. Fern and Wally stole my heart! No more words, I’m giving five gazillion stars! I just reviewed one of the best upcountry thrillers of 2021! Yayyyy! Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sharing this incredible ARC with me in exchange my honest thoughts and review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Fern and Rose are twins, not identical, as different as two people can be. Fern is fair, slender, and tall while Rose was a shorter, plump child, with darker hair. Eventually Rose was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes while Fern struggles with sensory processing disorder. Rose had been the more outgoing child while Fern had and still does shrink from noises, light, smells and all the things that bombard her senses. Rose is Fern's protector and this protection continues into their late twenties, e Fern and Rose are twins, not identical, as different as two people can be. Fern is fair, slender, and tall while Rose was a shorter, plump child, with darker hair. Eventually Rose was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes while Fern struggles with sensory processing disorder. Rose had been the more outgoing child while Fern had and still does shrink from noises, light, smells and all the things that bombard her senses. Rose is Fern's protector and this protection continues into their late twenties, even as Rose marries and Fern lives in a small apartment near Rose.  Rose is an interior designer and Fern is a librarian, a job that Fern loves as much as she loves her never changing routine. I'm so fond of Fern, with her colorful clothes, shoes, skirts, and overalls. She is great with both children and the elderly, at the library, but DO NOT ask her to help you with the printer or photocopiers because she'll pretend she didn't hear you or pretend she hears someone calling her in another part of the library. And Fern will discard your food if it's too stinky...I think I might have a bit of Fern in me.  Rose's diary tells us that Rose and Fern had a painful upbringing, via a cruel, mood changing mother, a mother who always favored Fern over Rose. When Rose and Fern were twelve, Fern did something very, very bad and Rose helped make up a story so that what Fern did wouldn't be discovered. This bad thing is what reminds Fern that she can never really be on her own, that she'll always need Rose to look after her and fix her mistakes. Still, Fern is very good at her job and she is well liked by her co-workers and the library patrons.  Rose and Fern are so very close, Fern needs Rose to survive, it's as if they can't tell where one really begins and the other ends. But things in the past might not be as they seemed and things in the present might not be as they seem. One of these women wants something so badly that she'll do anything to get it.  Publication: April 13th 2021 Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Just finished an Unboxing & Review Video for a PR box sent from St Martin's Press along with Once Upon a Book Club's March boxes (YA & Adult)! And whew! What a wild ride. LOVED LOVED LOVED the books this round! My reading rep code: MIRANDAREADS10 YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads Just finished an Unboxing & Review Video for a PR box sent from St Martin's Press along with Once Upon a Book Club's March boxes (YA & Adult)! And whew! What a wild ride. LOVED LOVED LOVED the books this round! My reading rep code: MIRANDAREADS10 YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  4. 4 out of 5

    Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)

    “My sister holds the key to my sanity.” 3.5 stars The Good Sister is a highly entertaining, psychological thriller/domestic drama about twin sisters, and the lengths one sister will go to get what she desires, even if it means costing her twin her sanity. Twin sisters Fern and Rose are extremely close. Fern is on the spectrum, and Rose makes sure her twin is taken care of, something she has done since they were children. When one twin needs something, the other is there. But one of these twins is C “My sister holds the key to my sanity.” 3.5 stars The Good Sister is a highly entertaining, psychological thriller/domestic drama about twin sisters, and the lengths one sister will go to get what she desires, even if it means costing her twin her sanity. Twin sisters Fern and Rose are extremely close. Fern is on the spectrum, and Rose makes sure her twin is taken care of, something she has done since they were children. When one twin needs something, the other is there. But one of these twins is CRAZY, so crazy that she tries to steal what her sister holds most dear. This book emanates a heavy sense of foreboding, and I was quite tense while reading. I was reluctant at times to turn the page because I was scared to read what was going to happen. However, at a certain point, quite early on, it becomes obvious what’s going on. If you read a lot of thrillers, the plot is going to feel predictable. The sense of foreboding lifts and then it just becomes a drama, drama, drama. But I enjoyed the drama! There is something about this book that made me want to keep on reading, and that something was one of the characters. I don’t want to say which one, as it would be a potential spoiler, but this character had me flipping the pages. I loved her and was rooting for her. The Good Sister is fast-paced with some good twists and turns. It spins out of control towards the end and gets a little messy, but I loved one of the characters, and I enjoyed seeing the other one get what she deserved! I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY, DON'T MISS THIS ONE*** This is the second book I’ve read by Sally Hepworth and it’s phenomenal. It’s so much more than I thought it was going to be, part family drama, part mystery, part exploration of how people on the low spectrum of Asperger’s syndrome function in our society. Rose Castle and her sister Fern are twins, but they could not be more different. They even look very different. Fern is tall and willowy, Rose is short and “round” as her mother always called he ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY, DON'T MISS THIS ONE*** This is the second book I’ve read by Sally Hepworth and it’s phenomenal. It’s so much more than I thought it was going to be, part family drama, part mystery, part exploration of how people on the low spectrum of Asperger’s syndrome function in our society. Rose Castle and her sister Fern are twins, but they could not be more different. They even look very different. Fern is tall and willowy, Rose is short and “round” as her mother always called her. These two have had a difficult childhood, raised by their mother who has her own mental issues, they once spent an entire year living in libraries and their car. This was fine with Fern as she loved books. Very early on she learned that she could get lost in the story and not think about her day to day life. This novel is told from two points of view, one is told in Fern’s voice as she tells us about her childhood and how Rose has always been there for her. Fern works as a librarian and loves her job, she thrives on routine and organization. One day a man enters the library whom she assumes is homeless because of his overall appearance. They start having some great conversations, she learns that he lives in a van by his own choice. He doesn’t need to have a lot of “things“. They go on a few dates and realize that they really have a lot in common. His name is Rocco but Fern calls him Wally because of the silly hat he wears which reminds her of the “Where’s Wally” character. Fern finds herself experiencing love for the first time. Meanwhile we learn from Rose’s diary that she is more manipulative than it seems at first. She looks out for Fern but also keeps her from maturing by constantly telling her that she is forgetful and unable to be counted on. A very sad event happened when they were children and Fern has always felt responsible, Rose constantly holds this over her. You will learn a lot more about Rose during the novel. She has her own ideas about how she wants the future to play out. I really don’t want to ruin this great story for anyone. It’s a wonderful novel with lots of surprises and twists. The characters are well developed and I was so invested in the story I stayed up until 1:30 am to finish it!! I can recommend this book to anyone who enjoys drama, mystery and family relationships with amazing characters. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss. This novel is set to publish April 13, 2021.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a Psychological Thriller that I have saw so much about it. The first Fern chapter I read I know that the Fern character has Autism, but the book never says that is what she has. I do not want to say to much about the book because it being a thriller I want to not give away anything. The characters are developed very well, and the storyline was great. The twisted where not super big, but they where really good. I loved everything about this book. I am so glad I decided to read this book. This is a Psychological Thriller that I have saw so much about it. The first Fern chapter I read I know that the Fern character has Autism, but the book never says that is what she has. I do not want to say to much about the book because it being a thriller I want to not give away anything. The characters are developed very well, and the storyline was great. The twisted where not super big, but they where really good. I loved everything about this book. I am so glad I decided to read this book. If you love psychological thrillers then you should give this book a chance. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (St. Martin's Press) or author (Sally Hepworth) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that. (*)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Yun

    There's only been one time that Rose couldn't stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life. Fraternal twins Fern and Rose are as close as two sisters can be. Fern has sensory processing issues, and Rose has looked out for her all her life. When Fern unexpected comes across a chance at love, secrets from their past start to surface. And soon, it's not at all clear who really is The Good Sister. I found the initial chapters of the book to b There's only been one time that Rose couldn't stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life. Fraternal twins Fern and Rose are as close as two sisters can be. Fern has sensory processing issues, and Rose has looked out for her all her life. When Fern unexpected comes across a chance at love, secrets from their past start to surface. And soon, it's not at all clear who really is The Good Sister. I found the initial chapters of the book to be riveting. Both Rose and Fern are well-developed characters, and they really jump off the pages. Fern, in particular, with her unique difficulties, is so sincere and loveable. She tries hard to fit into the world around her, but she's constantly bumbling it up just a bit. The love story in here is my favorite part of the book, and it was a joy to read the interactions between Fern and Wally. But to imply that this is a thriller of any kind is really stretching it. This is first and foremost a domestic drama, with just a hint of a secret in there to propel the narrative forward. I found the pacing to be quite slow, especially after the initial setup. Maybe I didn't have the right expectations going in, but I kept waiting for something exciting or shocking to happen, which didn't materialize. It was clear where the story was headed by the halfway point, after which all the suspense fizzled out. As a result, it started to lose steam for me, and my attention drifted away. Still, the ending pulled it all together. It delivers the secrets that have been promised all along, and wraps everything up with satisfaction. While nothing truly surprised me, I did enjoy the story overall. It's my first time reading Sally Hepworth, and I'm impressed with her characters. They really made this story shine. I think fans of women's fiction centered around intriguing family drama will very much enjoy this story, as long as expectations of shocking twists are kept in check. My heartfelt thanks for the copy that was provided for my honest and unbiased review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr... A diabolical and compelling read filled with emotional drama that tugs at the heartstrings and entertains with its twists and turns. Twenty-eight-year-old twin sisters Rose and Fern are completely different in both looks and personality. Fern works as a librarian. She's not your typical librarian. She wears her hair like Princess Leia (it’s practical!) and she’s partial to bright and sparkly clothing adorned with things l My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr... A diabolical and compelling read filled with emotional drama that tugs at the heartstrings and entertains with its twists and turns. Twenty-eight-year-old twin sisters Rose and Fern are completely different in both looks and personality. Fern works as a librarian. She's not your typical librarian. She wears her hair like Princess Leia (it’s practical!) and she’s partial to bright and sparkly clothing adorned with things like rainbows and unicorns. Fern takes her job VERY seriously. However, if a patron needs assistance with the photocopiers she’ll do almost anything she can to avoid them. Rose is married and works as an interior designer. She’s quick to point out that she’s the type “who designs office spaces, not the type who chooses scatter cushions.” The sisters spend a lot of time together. Fern has dinner at Rose’s house at least three times a week. Rose’s husband, Owen has been in London working for the last three months. Rose was not able to accompany him. She needed to stay to help Fern. Rose has always felt the need to protect her sister. They had a difficult childhood with a very manipulative mother. Something happened when they were twelve years old that changed their lives forever. Only Rose and Fern know what really happened that day. It’s a secret they have both kept all these years. Some people find Fern very peculiar. She has sensory issues and gets overloaded easily by bright lights, loud noises, large groups of people, and more. She also has difficulty reading social cues. These things can make life difficult for Fern. Rose understands all of this tries to make things easier for her. Fern appreciates how much her sister does for her. That’s one of the reasons why she wants to help Rose fulfill her lifelong dream.  “This could be my chance to pay Rose back for everything she’s always done for me.” But things don’t always go the way we think they’ll go. And sometimes, things aren’t always what they seem… Will the secret the sisters are keeping finally come to light? And what if that isn’t the only secret being kept? I loved this book!! This was the perfect read to help me escape from reality for a while. Sally Hepworth writes about family drama in a way that’s often relatable. There were many endearing characters in this novel and the interactions between them had me laughing out loud at times. The story alternates between Rose and Fern’s point of view and includes flashbacks to their childhood. Some things may seem obvious but I feel like the author intended it to be that way. So while I did figure out a few things early on, I was so engrossed and entertained that it didn’t bother me at all. A clever story about family dynamics and dysfunction, manipulation, complicated relationships, and of course secrets! I'd like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sally Hepworth

    Coming your way soon x

  10. 5 out of 5

    JanB

    3.5 stars. To be clear, I consider a 3 star rating to be a good, enjoyable read. 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 3.5 stars. To be clear, I consider a 3 star rating to be a good, enjoyable read. 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 at a time when I needed an easy page-turner. 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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    preoccupiedbybooks

    Now 99p on kindle UK! An engrossing and suspenseful drama about secrets, lies and the complicated bond between sisters This is a story about twin sisters and their bond, This is a story about childhood trauma, This is a story about what it's like to be on the Autistic spectrum, with Sensory Processing Disorder, This is a story about boundaries, This is a story which asks what makes a good sister? It's been a long time since I devoured this book in a day, and stayed up very late to finish it, but The G Now 99p on kindle UK! An engrossing and suspenseful drama about secrets, lies and the complicated bond between sisters This is a story about twin sisters and their bond, This is a story about childhood trauma, This is a story about what it's like to be on the Autistic spectrum, with Sensory Processing Disorder, This is a story about boundaries, This is a story which asks what makes a good sister? It's been a long time since I devoured this book in a day, and stayed up very late to finish it, but The Good Sister was such an entertaining page turner, that I just couldn't help myself! This book had got a lot of hype from my GR friends, so I am so happy that it lived up to, and exceeded my expectations! So how can a book be a twisty drama, which filled me with a sense of foreboding and unease also be so heart-warming and wonderful? I'm not sure how Sally Hepworth managed to achieve this, but she did! I was addicted to this nail-biting story, and felt deeply worried about the vulnerability of one of the characters, and the danger that they possibly faced, and yet smiled at the humour, the romance and the lovely characters! The Good Sister was so well written, it just flowed incredibly well, weaving together so many issues in a remarkable and sensitive way. I enjoyed the contrast of the chapters, written from one sister Rose's POV in the form of her diary, with some flashbacks to their childhood, and from her twin sister's POV as the narrator. It was emotional reading about these characters, and trust me, the characters definitely make this book! Rose, the sensible, protective, responsible sister, who takes care of her twin, supports her and is her person. Fern, the innocent, quirky sister, with a heart of gold, who has to have a routine, misunderstands social norms, and has several sensory difficulties. These characters had me caring about them, invested in them, rooting for them! The character growth was amazing throughout the story, and I relished in it! The dynamics between the sisters as they grew up, and as their lives evolved was so fascinating. I adored the library setting, where Fern worked, and the secondary characters whom I met there. Did I have an inkling where this book was going? YES! It did have a little predictability that seasoned thriller readers will figure out. Did this affect my enjoyment? HELL NO! I delighted in every step of the journey! I'm not going to say too much about the plot because it was wonderful discovering it myself! And my review cannot do this lovely, yet dark book justice, but if you're looking for a quick and engaging suspense, which also has family drama, unreliable narrators, romance and some amazingly fleshed out characters, then give this one a go! Avaialble April 15th 2021! Many thanks to NetGalley UK and Hodder & Stoughton for my ARC, in exchange for an honest review!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! *Now available* This was my first Sally Hepworth novel, but after reading this, it definitely won’t be my last … this was really good! I was expecting a psychological thriller, but it’s more of a domestic suspense/mystery and family drama heavy on the psychology. What surprised me most though, was the unexpected heartwarming romance that drove much of the plot. I went in expecting cold, calculating, hand-twisting characters and was met with Fern and “Wally”, one of the qui HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! *Now available* This was my first Sally Hepworth novel, but after reading this, it definitely won’t be my last … this was really good! I was expecting a psychological thriller, but it’s more of a domestic suspense/mystery and family drama heavy on the psychology. What surprised me most though, was the unexpected heartwarming romance that drove much of the plot. I went in expecting cold, calculating, hand-twisting characters and was met with Fern and “Wally”, one of the quirkiest, most charming and sweet pair I’ve seen in a book of late, and I’ve met a few this year. Jayme referenced Eleanor Oliphant in her review, and she’s spot-on as far as Fern’s personality is concerned - just add in debilitating sensory issues with light, sound and touch, and the similarities are there. Fern and Rose are fraternal twins - Fern being taller and more fair and pretty and Rose being more petite and fleshy. Since childhood, Rose has always taken the role of protecting the more innocent-minded Fern from the things in her world that overwhelm her due to her sensory processing disorder. Rose has also protected Fern from their mother’s narcissistic ways, taking the blame for all her sister’s mistakes, so she would never get in trouble, despite it putting a strain on her relationship with their mother. Unfortunately, one of Fern’s childhood mistakes is very big, and the two women have spent a lifetime keeping the secret of what really happened. At least that’s how Rose’s journal tells it. Now adults, Fern is happily living the single life as a librarian, and Rose is struggling in her marriage to Owen, trying to save her marriage and desperately wanting a baby. When Rocco (or “Wally”, as Fern calls him, due to his similarity to the Where’s Waldo character) comes into the library one day, Fern sets in motion a plan to help her sister fulfill her dreams. Life has other plans … and those plans get messy. For all the feel-good aspects of this book, I have to say my stomach was in knots for a good three-quarters of it. The dysfunction between the mom and her daughters, and the smothering dysfunction between Fern and Rose created an uncomfortable but necessary tension that lingered through the whole book. I thought the whole book was really enthralling, but if I had to find one flaw in the story - and it’s a minor one for me - I thought the transition into the ending was pretty abrupt. One second the threat is there, and then POOF! It nicely and neatly isn’t. The saving grace was the explanation for events afterwards. I’ll knock off a half-star for that, but since I’m rounding up it still gets an enthusiastic 5 stars from me and a ‘heart'y recommendation! ★★★★ ½ (rounded up to 5) ❤️ Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jayme

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! I have LOVED all of the Sally Hepworth novels that I have read so far, so I was thrilled to be invited to read a VERY early ARC of her latest , directly by the Publisher through NetGalley. I just couldn’t WAIT any longer to read it! She truly excels at DOMESTIC SUSPENSE, and this was her best yet! Rose and Fern are fraternal twins who are as different inside as they are outside. Fern has Sensory Processing Issues and is often overwhelmed by loud noises, bright lights, and HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! I have LOVED all of the Sally Hepworth novels that I have read so far, so I was thrilled to be invited to read a VERY early ARC of her latest , directly by the Publisher through NetGalley. I just couldn’t WAIT any longer to read it! She truly excels at DOMESTIC SUSPENSE, and this was her best yet! Rose and Fern are fraternal twins who are as different inside as they are outside. Fern has Sensory Processing Issues and is often overwhelmed by loud noises, bright lights, and pungent smells and Rose has always been her fierce protector. Their mother lacked some mothering skills, and they even had to develop a way to communicate without words-a warning tap of their matching bracelets, when Fern should remain quiet. The threesome were even “homeless” for a year, spending every day in the Public Library, and every night in the home of anyone who would loan them a couch for the night. But this ended up serving the girls well, because when Rose moved on to marriage, and a fierce desire to become a mother herself, Fern found herself a job as Librarian, which she excelled at, and found that she could live independently after all. When Rose discovers that she may be unable to have a baby of her own, Fern decides that she may just be able to repay Rose for all the things she has done, and for all of the shared SECRETS that she protected. I had no idea when I started this book that I would find the next Eleanor (Oliphant)! Although Fern often has to decipher what her co-workers and Customers are asking of her-she VERY OFTEN sees the World more clearly than you or I, and her outlook is delightful! My favorite chapters were those spent in the present day with Fern and Rocco (affectionately dubbed Wally by Fern). They meet in the library when he comes in to use the shower and she mistakes him for a homeless guy-though he actually has chosen to live in a van. #VANLIFE. The sister’s earlier years are shared with the reader through the “Journal entries of Rose Ingrid Castle” in alternating chapters. As the story progresses I became quite ANXIOUS as to what may happen, as I became quite invested in wanting a happy ending for Fern, but knowing that life doesn’t always give us what we want. Whether I yelled at my Kindle with triumph or with anger, is for you to find out! One of my favorites this year! And, another fun buddy read with DeAnn! 💕

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kaceey

    Twin sisters are supposed to be as close as, well...two peas in a pod! Right!?👭🏽 At least that’s the way it worked out for twins Fern and Rose. With Rose taking on the responsibility of looking after Fern. She has sensory issues that have consumed her life. And a past that Rose isn’t about to let her forget. Sisters! Oy! Could I write an encyclopedia-size book on that subject! But I digress… For these two, the question is when does a functional loving ‘sisterly’ relationship stop being healthy? Well Twin sisters are supposed to be as close as, well...two peas in a pod! Right!?👭🏽 At least that’s the way it worked out for twins Fern and Rose. With Rose taking on the responsibility of looking after Fern. She has sensory issues that have consumed her life. And a past that Rose isn’t about to let her forget. Sisters! Oy! Could I write an encyclopedia-size book on that subject! But I digress… For these two, the question is when does a functional loving ‘sisterly’ relationship stop being healthy? Well you might want to ask these two ladies! Though somewhat predictable, (I had most of the book figured out nearly immediately) I still enjoyed every bit of the ride. Sally Hepworth writes a highly engaging read you won’t easily be able to put down. Certainly true for me! For a light, engaging thriller that delves into family dysfunction...look no further! A buddy read with Susanne that we both really enjoyed! Posted to: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC to read and review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    just adding this out of CUROSITY because my GR feeds are full of praises for this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    A domestic drama about twin sisters that entertained all the way to the end! Fern and Rose are fraternal twins and very protective of each other. They grew up with a mom who wasn't always looking out for them and they didn't have the best of childhoods, but they had each other. I enjoyed the characters and though somewhat predictable, I was surprised by one turn of events. If you love some twin sister drama, this one is sure to entertain and you will be quite entertained as the whole baby A domestic drama about twin sisters that entertained all the way to the end! Fern and Rose are fraternal twins and very protective of each other. They grew up with a mom who wasn't always looking out for them and they didn't have the best of childhoods, but they had each other. I enjoyed the characters and though somewhat predictable, I was surprised by one turn of events. If you love some twin sister drama, this one is sure to entertain and you will be quite entertained as the whole baby plot plays out! Thanks to the publisher for my Review Copy. OUT April 13, 2020

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    Review published on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... Wickedly Devine. Sisters. They REALLY Can’t be Trusted, Can They? Speaking from experience, I’d say that answer is no. (And I really am “The Good Sister.” (JK!)) Baaawaaahh!!! What can I tell you about this Wildly Captivating, Entertaining, and Enthralling Domestic Thriller? It’s DEVILISH. It’s Fun. It’s Crazy. And it’s Hella Good! Is it a tad predictable? Yes. Admittedly, I guessed what would happen early on but it didn’t take away f Review published on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... Wickedly Devine. Sisters. They REALLY Can’t be Trusted, Can They? Speaking from experience, I’d say that answer is no. (And I really am “The Good Sister.” (JK!)) Baaawaaahh!!! What can I tell you about this Wildly Captivating, Entertaining, and Enthralling Domestic Thriller? It’s DEVILISH. It’s Fun. It’s Crazy. And it’s Hella Good! Is it a tad predictable? Yes. Admittedly, I guessed what would happen early on but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment in the least. In fact, I couldn’t turn the pages of this one fast enough. It's twisty-turny and there are still surprises to be had! A Brilliant Buddy Read with Kaceey! *To my sister, Karin: As for who is the “Good Sister” - we can agree to disagree. Love you! A huge thank you goes out to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the arc. This was a delightfully wild, wicked read. I can’t wait to see what Sally Hepworth comes out with next. Published on Goodreads on 12.27.20.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Contrivance The Good Sister is a cleverly imagined story of sibling relationships and influences, especially as they are twins with one more dominant than the other. There is a backdrop of danger and uncertainty, as one of the sisters has a destructive personality disorder. The plot is extremely well delivered with a horrible secret hanging over the family, and a sociopathic mother that targets her displeasure and wrath at one daughter in particular. Fern and Rose Castle are twin sisters and have Contrivance The Good Sister is a cleverly imagined story of sibling relationships and influences, especially as they are twins with one more dominant than the other. There is a backdrop of danger and uncertainty, as one of the sisters has a destructive personality disorder. The plot is extremely well delivered with a horrible secret hanging over the family, and a sociopathic mother that targets her displeasure and wrath at one daughter in particular. Fern and Rose Castle are twin sisters and have lived most of their lives with their single mother and her different partners over the years. As one POV we look back in time with Rose as she recalls and notes in her diary the life and experiences she and Fern have endured. Fern provides an added first-person POV, as we discover her as a wonderful and highly likeable character who has a sensory overload problem and exists on the autism spectrum where social etiquette is just non-existent. The dialogue and perspective Fern exhibits have endearing humour, as she rationalises situations in her own unique manner and is astonished why people are easily offended. “It’s astonishing what can be offensive to people. For example, apparently, it is the height of rudeness to ask someone his or her age or weight, which makes absolutely no sense. Why be mysterious about something that is quite literally on display for all to see? And yet, these rules exist, and everyone seems to understand what they can and can’t ask. Everyone except me.” Fern recognises that she causes issues with her irregular approach, so she often defers to her sister to make many of her life choices. Fern is a librarian, marvellously suited to her job as she recalls and recommends the huge number of books she reads. She believes that she cannot be trusted because she is absentminded with dangerous consequences – none more so than the massive family secret where a boy was killed at Fern’s hands. Rose is married and has a problem conceiving a child due to premature ovarian ageing. In selfless support of her sister, and with her own unique analysis of the situation, Fern decides to become pregnant and give the child to Rose. The man she identifies as the potential father-to-be is called Rocco Ryan or as Fern calls him Wally because he looks like “Where’s Wally” with his bobble hat. Wally is also an intriguing character that adds another important thread to the story that helps Fern grow and gradually develop her independence. I much prefer novels that gradually paint the symptoms of a personality disorder and allow us to build our own diagnosis. So much more could be said about the characters in the novel but the less said the better. If we follow the notion that there is a Good sister then we can surmise that there is an implication of a Bad sister, but the story has many secrets and surprises ahead. The Good Sister is a very engaging story full of suspense and drama, with compelling characters that keep this novel fascinating and with intelligent humour that rounds this novel off as a great entertaining read. The novel is impressively threaded together even if predictable and convenient at times. Sally Hepworth is establishing her place as a great storyteller with sharp social and domestic observational quality. I would recommend this book, and I would like to thank St Martins Press, Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in return for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Once again, Sally Hepworth has tackled family dynamics and done a great job. Rose and Fern are twin sisters. They grew up with a difficult, possibly sociopathic, mother. Because Fern was “different”, obviously somewhere on the Asperger’s spectrum, Rose became her protector. The chapters alternate between the two sisters, who are now 28. Rose is desperate to have a baby. But her marriage isn’t in great shape and she’s got fertility issues. Fern decides to help achieve her sister’s goal. And that’ Once again, Sally Hepworth has tackled family dynamics and done a great job. Rose and Fern are twin sisters. They grew up with a difficult, possibly sociopathic, mother. Because Fern was “different”, obviously somewhere on the Asperger’s spectrum, Rose became her protector. The chapters alternate between the two sisters, who are now 28. Rose is desperate to have a baby. But her marriage isn’t in great shape and she’s got fertility issues. Fern decides to help achieve her sister’s goal. And that’s where things get really interesting. I immediately loved Fern. She’s got the straightforward, literal approach of someone with Asperger’s. I loved watching her blossom after she met “Wally”. Hepsworth gradually shows us more and more of each character. And not everyone is who they appear to be. As the book goes on, I became more and more engrossed in the story. It’s a suspenseful, addictive read. Perfect entertainment! The title is perfect. Because what is the definition of good, really? My thanks to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael David

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! What do you get when you throw a domestic drama, a budding and original romance, and a simmering thriller with unexpected turns into a blender? THE GOOD SISTER. Fern and Rose are twins, but are as different as night and day. Fern has sensory issues. Rose has diabetes. Fern has been single for most of her 28 years. Rose is married, although the marriage is estranged. Fern has never even thought about having children. Rose and her husband have always wanted children, but neve HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! What do you get when you throw a domestic drama, a budding and original romance, and a simmering thriller with unexpected turns into a blender? THE GOOD SISTER. Fern and Rose are twins, but are as different as night and day. Fern has sensory issues. Rose has diabetes. Fern has been single for most of her 28 years. Rose is married, although the marriage is estranged. Fern has never even thought about having children. Rose and her husband have always wanted children, but never thought they’d have them. This plants a seed in Fern’s head that she can help her sister out with the ultimate gift. There’s so much more to say, but I don’t want to give anything away. I will say that this far exceeded my expectations. The story is gripping from page 1. The chapters alternate between Fern and Rose’s POV. Fern is one of the best characters I’ve read in some time. With her sensory issues and being a bit different than everyone else, it was fascinating to see how her mind processed information and took everything so literal. She’s also one of the best examples of character growth I’ve read in some time. Fern is also a librarian (which was my dream job when I was a child), and I loved the relationships between her and her coworkers...which grew as the book progressed. As other reviews pointed out, this doesn’t really hit suspense/thriller territory until about halfway through (54%). However, you will not be disappointed getting to know the characters and learning about their quirks. It’s all part of the groundwork for the second half. There are plenty of surprises and dark turns ahead, and the whole journey is 100% satisfying! Sally Hepworth is now an auto-read author for me. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press, Sally Hepworth, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    This is the story of twenty eight year old fraternal twins Fern and Rose. Fern is a librarian, she’s on the autistic spectrum and has sensory issues. Rose is an interior designer of office spaces, she’s married to Owen though they are having problems because Rose is desperate to have a child. Rose has health issues as she has type one diabetes. Rose tells her story via a journal which describes their upbringing and recent events while Fern tell her own story. I absolutely love this novel, it’s a This is the story of twenty eight year old fraternal twins Fern and Rose. Fern is a librarian, she’s on the autistic spectrum and has sensory issues. Rose is an interior designer of office spaces, she’s married to Owen though they are having problems because Rose is desperate to have a child. Rose has health issues as she has type one diabetes. Rose tells her story via a journal which describes their upbringing and recent events while Fern tell her own story. I absolutely love this novel, it’s a compelling page turner especially at about the half way point when it becomes something you aren’t expecting. I love Fern’s character right from the start and her meeting ‘Wally’ (Rocco Ryan) adds to the delight of her. She is without guile, she’s so honest, she struggles to make sense of things because she is so literal but what could she achieve without Rose constantly hovering? Wally/Rocco is another outstanding character and through him Fern realises a lot about herself, about the people around her and achieves much acceptance especially of her capabilities and she becomes MORE. The plot is fast paced, it’s very well written and I love the twists in the storytelling revealing a mastery of manipulation. The analysis of the relationship between the twins and the dynamics with those in their orbit is absolutely fascinating and I like how the truth eventually emerges. Overall, this book is right up my literary street and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended. With thanks to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for the much appreciated arc for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    A round of applause to Sally Hepworth!!! 👏👏👏👏👏 "Sisterly relationships are so strange in this way. The way I can be mad at her but still want to please her. Be terrified of her but also want to run to her. Hate her and love her both at the same time. Maybe when it comes to sisters, boundaries are always a little bit blurry. Blurred boundaries, I think, are what sisters do best." The quickest plot summary ever because I do not want to give anything away: Rose and Fern are twin sisters but could no A round of applause to Sally Hepworth!!! 👏👏👏👏👏 "Sisterly relationships are so strange in this way. The way I can be mad at her but still want to please her. Be terrified of her but also want to run to her. Hate her and love her both at the same time. Maybe when it comes to sisters, boundaries are always a little bit blurry. Blurred boundaries, I think, are what sisters do best." The quickest plot summary ever because I do not want to give anything away: Rose and Fern are twin sisters but could not be more different. Fern is tall and fair-haired with sensory issues while Rose is a short brunette with diabetes. When Fern discovers that Rose has been unsuccessfully trying for a baby she makes it her mission to find someone to get herself pregnant so she can give her baby to Rose. Needless to say things don't go as planned. Ms. Hepworth introduced me to two characters that I will never forget and that I utterly adore. I wish I could elaborate and tell you all the reasons as to why I love these characters so much but I'm afraid it will spoil things for future readers. I had no idea that when I cracked this book open that I would become so enamored. Did I see some of the twist coming? Yes, but that in no way ruined anything for me. The story was so compelling that the pages practically flipped themselves. This is my third Hepworth book and I tell you that she just keeps getting better and better. Highest recommendation. ALL THE STARS! Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for my digital copy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    James

    The Good Sister is the latest book from Sally Hepworth. I've previously read two of her more current releases, and when this one became available via NetGalley, even though it's almost a year before publication, I had to grab a copy. Sometimes books just line up at the right time, as I had a few free days between reads... then this popped up. Hepworth's novels have made it to the top of my must-read, newly published list of authors... although, I still need to get copies of her earlier novels so The Good Sister is the latest book from Sally Hepworth. I've previously read two of her more current releases, and when this one became available via NetGalley, even though it's almost a year before publication, I had to grab a copy. Sometimes books just line up at the right time, as I had a few free days between reads... then this popped up. Hepworth's novels have made it to the top of my must-read, newly published list of authors... although, I still need to get copies of her earlier novels so I'm fully caught up. A solid 4.5 stars for this one. In this book, two sisters in their late twenties are somewhat co-dependent. Fern is tall and willowy, and she has intellectual / relationship boundary issues. Rose is shorter and told ‘she's round’ by her mother, yet she is married and seeking to have a child. Chapters alternate between their points of view, mostly through journal entries on Rose's part. Fern is more the leading character between the two. Through memories of their childhood and the way their mother introduces men into their lives, both sisters have had somewhat traumatic experiences. In contemporary times, Fern works at a library and Rose looks after her on the sidelines. Something bad happened years ago, and Fern is responsible... but it takes almost half the book to discover the secret. And even then, there is more to it than we initially know. I won't say much more as I don't want to spoil anything... as the surprises are lovely and haunting. In the last decade, there have been a lot of books focusing on the relationship between sisters, particularly those that urge the reader to decide which one is telling the truth and which one is lying. At the beginning, I worried this would be another re-telling of semi-average nature... but quickly, the story becomes more and more fascinating. The strength and beauty of this novel is in the character development, specifically Fern's. Fern is such a treasure, a wonderful compilation of all the things people face in small increments; yet Fern has all the issues at once. People make her nervous. Noises frighten her. She thinks she is a horrible person. She trusts no one. She says things that come across as mean but she doesn't mean them that way. The entire time I'm reading her sections, I found myself enamored with how complicated and troubled the young woman is, but at the same time how innocent she must be. Reading this book just to see Fern's evolution is definitely an option. Though the mystery and drama is intriguing, I found myself more focused on whether she and Wally would get together. Wally is her love interest, a man who lives in his van despite having some money, and who showers in the library because it is free and available. He's equally adorable, because like Fern, they suffer from some trauma in their past and never had the proper guidance to learn how to deal with the repercussions. Hepworth's handling of these two characters is wonderful. She could've tried to play on our sympathies by having strangers or even friends treat them both poorly because they were intellectually challenged, but that's not the case. Everyone is kind to them, a little apprehensive at times but mostly generous and friendly. It is in the innocence of how they live that readers will fall in love with their connection. Rose, on the other hand, is frightfully peculiar. From the very beginning, I knew something else was going on... and I don't think Hepworth is trying to hide it. She's careful to drop the clues so readers think they know what's going on, but there is a blend of history that's not yet come out. That's when we meet their mother, who for some reason I'd suspected was dead. She's not. And this also isn't a spoiler because it's something pointed out that just wasn't a central point. This is why I like Hepworth's novels... well... that and because when I look up to check the time, thinking I've read 10% and a half hour has passed... I learn I'm halfway down already. It's so simple to read yet full of complexity in the words and imagery. In the end, I really enjoyed this book. It's less about the plot and more about the character development. You want to see Fern and Wally succeed, but can they? Is this a story where you are meant to think she's the bad or the good sister? Does Hepworth want you to find your silver lining in the end, or is this about saying "I told you all along, she did something bad." Phew... I kept waffling because it was too obvious and too murky at the same time. I'm quite happy with the way it culminated, not because of which sister is good, bad, or a combo of the two, but because I felt like the story truly wrapped up everything that had happened over thirty years, and I understood so much of the tension and fear along the path.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gloria Arthur

    ⭐️5 Stars⭐️ Give me more!!! This was a page turner for me, I just loved everything about this psychological domestic thriller. I was so absorbed in the storyline, it was quirky, dark and suspenseful. Fern Castle is a librarian, she has a traumatic secret from her childhood that haunts her. She avoids loud noises, bright lights and crowds as she has sensory-processing issues. Fern has a carefully structured life and catches up with her married twin sister Rose frequently as they are very close. Fe ⭐️5 Stars⭐️ Give me more!!! This was a page turner for me, I just loved everything about this psychological domestic thriller. I was so absorbed in the storyline, it was quirky, dark and suspenseful. Fern Castle is a librarian, she has a traumatic secret from her childhood that haunts her. She avoids loud noises, bright lights and crowds as she has sensory-processing issues. Fern has a carefully structured life and catches up with her married twin sister Rose frequently as they are very close. Fern is one of the most intriguing characters I have come across. Rose finds she is unable to have a baby and Fern being the loving sister she is decides to have a baby for her but she needs to find a father first. What could possibly go wrong? Fern meets Wally (Rocco) at the library, mistaking him for a homeless man when he goes there to shower. Will he be the father of her child? This will be one of the best books of 2021, it’s such a sensitive and well written story. The characters of Fern and Wally will pull at your heart strings. A must for your TBR list! I wish to thank Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for providing me with an advanced copy in return for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    NZLisaM

    They're as close as two sisters can be…   At 27, fraternal twins Rose and Fern lives are as different as chalk and cheese, but their bond has always been strong. Rose is an interior designer, married, with a beautiful home that looks like something out of a magazine spread. She dearly wants a baby, but is having difficulty conceiving. Fern works in a library, has only ever had one short-term boyfriend, and lives in a flat. She's on the autism spectrum, but has never been diagnosed. When Fern discover They're as close as two sisters can be…   At 27, fraternal twins Rose and Fern lives are as different as chalk and cheese, but their bond has always been strong. Rose is an interior designer, married, with a beautiful home that looks like something out of a magazine spread. She dearly wants a baby, but is having difficulty conceiving. Fern works in a library, has only ever had one short-term boyfriend, and lives in a flat. She's on the autism spectrum, but has never been diagnosed. When Fern discovers a bottle of pregnancy vitamins in Rose's belongings, she confronts her sister. Upon learning of her infertility struggles Fern is determined to help. If Rose can’t have the baby she longs for then Fern will carry one for her. It's the least she can do, after all her twin has done for her. The Good Sister was the perfect blend of psychological suspense, domestic drama, and unhealthy family dynamics, and I devoured it. There is no way this won't make my 2020 top favourites list. This is Sally Hepworth's best book so far, I reckon. As other readers have mentioned (and I agree whole-heartedly) this novel had a lot in common with another of my 5 star reads – Eleanor Olyphant is Completely Fine. Fern's literal interpretation of her interactions with others and struggles to read social cues and situations made for adorably sweet and, at times, hilarious reading. Savvy readers will have a fair idea where the thriller storyline is going, but what made this a tense, nail-biting read for me was the vulnerable and naïve nature of its central character being unaware of the impending danger and threat. I felt very protective towards Fern (as well as other characters, and a dog) and was rooting for her as she discovered and explored her newfound independence. The library is one of my happy places as well, so I completely understand why Fern felt so comfortable there. Another constantly present worry was me wondering how far the situation was going escalate, and the last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat. Talk about shocking – secrets and lies galore! Chapters alternated between Fern in the present and Rose's diary entries, which also include flashbacks to the twins troubled childhood. The prevalent questions throughout are – what does it mean to be a good person, a good parent, and as the title states… a good sister? I'd like to thank Netgalley, St. Martins Press, and Sally Hepworth for the e-ARC. AUS/NZ Publication Date: Out Now! US Publication Date: 13th April, 2021.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    *Now Available!* The initial publisher's description of The Good Sister used these adjectives: "spine tingling, creepy, utterly compelling and unpredictable," While my spine didn't tingle, I didn't get any creeps, and I found the story pretty predictable, I 100% was utterly compelled to keep the pages turning. I'm also now compelled to go back and read the author's earlier novels, because it's obvious Sally Hepworth has a gift for storytelling and character development. The Good Sister is the sto *Now Available!* The initial publisher's description of The Good Sister used these adjectives: "spine tingling, creepy, utterly compelling and unpredictable," While my spine didn't tingle, I didn't get any creeps, and I found the story pretty predictable, I 100% was utterly compelled to keep the pages turning. I'm also now compelled to go back and read the author's earlier novels, because it's obvious Sally Hepworth has a gift for storytelling and character development. The Good Sister is the story of fraternal twins, and clearly we're meant to discern which is the titular good one. The largest share of the chapters are dedicated to the perspective of Fern, a neurodivergent librarian who counts on her sister Rose for nearly everything... and would do anything for her. Rose in turn is dealing with marriage and fertility issues, as well as childhood scars, in her chapters told in the form of journal entries. To say much more quickly falls into spoiler territory if you're looking to enjoy this book as a thriller. If you're content with a well-written, absorbing women's fiction novel, then you're in for a heart-warming ride with a truly unique character. That's right, one of the adjectives I'd use to describe this "thriller" is heart-warming. I'll also throw in unforgettable, as I believe I'll think back on one of these sisters often. I'd like to thank Sally Hepworth and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to review an advance copy via NetGalley. Blog: www.confettibookshelf.com IG: @confettibookshelf

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    The Good Sister is an overhyped books that does not need any hype because Sally Hepworth can stand on her own. I have not read all her books but have read her last two books before this one and loved them all. She has established her place and style as a great story writer!! I have been struggling a bit with overhyped books breaking my reading groove and I was worried this was going to be another book that didn't "live up to the hype". I had nothing to worry about because Sally Hepworth writing The Good Sister is an overhyped books that does not need any hype because Sally Hepworth can stand on her own. I have not read all her books but have read her last two books before this one and loved them all. She has established her place and style as a great story writer!! I have been struggling a bit with overhyped books breaking my reading groove and I was worried this was going to be another book that didn't "live up to the hype". I had nothing to worry about because Sally Hepworth writing is captivating with characters that are easy to connect with. I found all of her books well-crafted stories with compelling family dynamics, themes and plots that are brilliantly delivered. Her characters are interesting and unforgettable characters that I still think about, and Fern and Rose will be too. The drama to the stories is engaging and adds enough suspense to drive the stories forward. The Good Sister explores the dynamics between very different twin sisters. It is well-layered with not what I would call twists but turns to the story that might feel predictable but are perfectly paced and layered to pull the story together. There is a bit of trope here with the good sister and bad sister, however, it’s fresh and exciting, and Fern and Rose are unique, compelling and fascinating characters. I did have a teeny tiny struggle with buying into some parts of that very, very bad thing Fern did, however I did like how it all wrapped up. I received a copy like many other reviewers did from the publisher. To see what I have to say about overhyped books listen to my audio thoughts on our blog as I question if overhyped books caused my reading slump. Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

  28. 4 out of 5

    DeAnn

    5 terrific stars and available now!! Rose has taken care of her twin sister Fern for their whole lives. When Fern gets overwhelmed with the world, Rose is there to soothe her and make it right. Rose has been her protector, especially from their mother who always seems to punish Fern. In present day, Rose is married and really wants to have a baby, but she is unlikely to conceive due to a medical issue. There are some chapters from Rose’s journal that fill in the story of their lives growing up. I 5 terrific stars and available now!! Rose has taken care of her twin sister Fern for their whole lives. When Fern gets overwhelmed with the world, Rose is there to soothe her and make it right. Rose has been her protector, especially from their mother who always seems to punish Fern. In present day, Rose is married and really wants to have a baby, but she is unlikely to conceive due to a medical issue. There are some chapters from Rose’s journal that fill in the story of their lives growing up. I really like Fern! She is a librarian and doesn’t think twice about sitting on the floor to read a book to a toddler or recommending books to all the patrons, but she doesn’t like to fix the copiers. She does like her life scheduled and just so. Some might think of her as odd, but I just loved her character and rooted for her. She meets a library patron – Wally – and his interactions with Fern are some of my favorite parts of the book. This one was perfectly paced and set me up for a terrific ending. A wonderful domestic suspense tale from an author I’ve read before, this is my favorite so far of Sally Hepworth’s books. This one seemed to fly by, and I was very compelled and a bit anxious to see how it would all turn out. Fans of “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” will enjoy this one. Jayme and I had a great buddy read with this one. Highly recommended and a favorite! A hearty thank you to St. Martin's Press for the copy to read through NetGalley.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Arna

    I really enjoyed this book! Part suspense, part family drama, I think it has something for everyone. Even though I guessed where the book was going, I didn’t mind at all because I was so obsessed with Fern. She’s such a great character and I loved that her POV was most of the book. If you enjoyed 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙈𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙄𝙣 𝙇𝙖𝙬 you should definitely check out Sally’s latest book. 🥰 Thank you so much @panmacmillanaus for my gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    4.5 stars. I wish to express my sincere thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy of The Good Sister in return for an honest review. This was a pleasant surprise. I expected it to be a routine mystery with some twists and turns and it turned out to be so much more. This was a compelling, in-depth personality study of two very different women who happened to be twin sisters. Their characters, hearts and minds, and their history kept me riveted throughout. I was conflicted w 4.5 stars. I wish to express my sincere thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy of The Good Sister in return for an honest review. This was a pleasant surprise. I expected it to be a routine mystery with some twists and turns and it turned out to be so much more. This was a compelling, in-depth personality study of two very different women who happened to be twin sisters. Their characters, hearts and minds, and their history kept me riveted throughout. I was conflicted while reading. On one hand, I wanted to rush through the story to discover their secrets and fate. On the other hand, I wanted to read slowly in order to prolong the enjoyment and suspense I was feeling. Rose is married and living a comfortable lifestyle. She is depressed due to a medical problem that prevents her from having children. Her husband has left her due to her constant sorrow and mood swings, resulting in a strain on their marriage. Both sisters live near one another in Australia. Rose's husband has gone to London on a business trip following breaking up with Rose. Rose decides to follow him with the goal of reconciliation. She considers herself to be a fierce protector and helper of her sister, Fern. Their mother has been in a nursing home for years, incapacitated due to an overdose and a stroke. Fern over-reacts to sensory stimuli. She cannot abide loud sounds, strong aromas, bright lights, or being touched. She avoids eye contact during conversations and is a literal thinker. She is awkward in social situations. It is possible that she functions at a high level on the autistic scale, but has never been diagnosed. Fern is content working daily in a library but refuses to learn how their computers and printers work. She loves all other aspects of her library routine. When overcome by people or sensory stimuli, she has a secret little room as a retreat while calming down. She learns about Rose's unhappiness and decides to have a baby to give to Rose in return for all her help. We learn through Rose about their mother's abuse and neglect and a childhood tragedy involving Fern. She feels that Fern has repressed early memories and is still forgetful. One day, a man enters the library to take a shower. He is an American who is living in his van. Fern is drawn to him as she thinks he looks like Waldo in the Where's Waldo books. She calls him Wally and they strike up a friendship to Rose's dismay. Rose doesn't want the vulnerable Fern associating with a homeless man. We discover Wally's true identity. He has secrets of his own. This is only the beginning of a very twisty, gripping plot. I won't reveal more. I became heavily involved in the story and its outcome for both sisters. This is the first time I have read anything by Sally Hepworth, but am now a fan and intend to read more of her books.

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