The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth is entertaining, captivating and addictive! I love her storytelling, atypical characters and the tricky twists and turns, always surprising in the end! Rose and Fern are sisters. Rose is the responsible one, married with a white picket fence and has a seemingly perfect life; her sister, Fern is quirky and a bit unusual. She works at the local library and keeps a strict routine which helps with her sensory processing issues that set her apart from most people, and she relies on Rose to keep her in line.
They have had a tumultuous childhood and together they carry a sinister secret. Rose has looked out for Fern their entire lives and when Fern learns Rose can’t have a baby she decides she will pay her back by finding a man and making a baby to give to her sister. When secrets from their childhood come out, the sisters are at odds.
“Sisterly relationships are so strange in this way. The way I can be mad at Rose but still want to please her. Be terrified of her and 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.”
I loved this story that is heartwarming and mysterious, and causes you to question the reliability of the characters as the plot thickens! The Good Sister takes on neurodiversity in a beautiful way and with a happy ending – true form for Sally Hepworth, I highly recommend this book!
“People without sisters think it’s all sunshine and lollipops or all blood and guts. But actually it’s always both. Sunshine and guts. Lollipops on blood. Good and bad. The bad is as essential to the relationship as the good. Maybe the bad is even more important, because that’s what ties you together.”
Thoughts from a Sally Hepworth Interview
Sally Hepworth has no sisters but her mom is one of five and all her friends have a sister. She has two daughters so she learned about sisterhood by watching them. Sally comes from a neurodiverse family and wanted to have a character with similar challenges to be represented in the book, but not have that be the most interesting part of her. In The Good Sister, Fern has no specific diagnosis as the story is to entertain and for us to see the characters play out their journey. We live life through Fern’s eyes in the book yet we learn about Rose’s perspective through her journal entries, giving dimension. Add in the truth, and this leaves us three sides to the story and we must determine who is most reliable. Hepworth believes people are mostly good at their core and this plays out in an enjoyable and hopeful way.
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About Sally Hepworth
Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of six novels, most recently The Mother In Law (2019). Her forthcoming novel, The Good Sister, will be available in early 2021.
Sally’s books have been heralded “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.
Sally’s novels are available worldwide in English and have been translated into 20 languages.
Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.