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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

The Good Sister - which one is "good"???

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

Genre: General Fiction, Suspense, Psychological Thriller

Published October 2020; 309 pages (8 hr audio)

I needed a commute audio book so was scrolling through my library's offerings and came across this one. I have an ARC by Hepworth to read but haven't read anything else by her, so grabbed this one.

First Sentence: "Journal of Rose Ingrid Castle... It's been three months since Owen left. Left? or left me? Like so many things in the adult world, it's all a bit gray."


Fern works in a library where she functions best - quiet, low lights, little interaction with the public. Fern has sensory sensitivities that make her not "normal" and her twin sister, Rose, has always been there to help, to guide, and to protect her. Rose discovers that she can't get pregnant, so Fern sees a way to pay her back for all the years of help and care. She decides to get pregnant.

The problem is, she isn't dating anyone, and personal relationships are very hard for her. But, events transpire and she meets Wally (Rocco) and they have a connection. These circumstances cause powerful changes in the dynamics between all the characters. Secrets from the past become exposed and the sister's relationship is threatened.

There is a mom that plays a part in the story of this dysfunctional family as well. Her impact on the girls and their relationship is kind of a side story, but an important one.

There's a bit of romance between Fern and Wally that is gentle and caring as they both work to overcome their personal issues. I'm not a romance fan, but I loved this one.


This book was not what I was expecting. It's told in the first person from Fern and the Rose chapters are from her diary and explore/expose the past and a tragedy that occurred when they were kids. I LOVE the character of Fern. Her sensitivities are handled so believably and her melt downs when it's too loud, too bright, too touchy, feel true. Her first instinct in each of those situations is to call Rose for help and Rose always goes. But does Fern really need help or is Rose manipulating the situation?

This book grabbed me immediately and never let go. It's not action packed as in a police mystery/thriller. It's more of a slow burn psychological thriller - wondering, wondering which sister is the reliable narrator. And as the suspense builds to the conclusion and pieces start coming together, I was not terribly surprised but I was surprised at the details. It's a very satisfying conclusion.

This is the perfect kind of thriller for those who don't like graphic violence, but like uncertainty in the outcome. It's perfect for readers who like sibling stories that have a dark under side to them. Actually, it's just a good read for almost everyone.

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