Review: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

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. 


This book is like nothing that I have read before and this is mainly because of Fern. How I loved this character! Right from the start, it was evident that Fern was going to be an endearing character despite anything bad she might have done (as implied by her twin sister). She has sensory processing issues, is sensitive to light, voices and touch. Fern doesn’t go out in crowds but when she has to, she wears goggles and EarPods to protect herself. She is a wonderful librarian, highly intelligent though she cleverly avoids any work issues that she doesn’t like such as dealing with complains about the computers and printers. Fern had me smiling so many times throughout this book.

Right from the start, it was evident that there was something sinister about the sisters’ relationship. Rose details her childhood memories through diary entries which illustrate a difficult upbringing. It is through the diary that we also find out that she is struggling with infertility. Nevertheless, the sisters seem to have a nice relationship with Rose being Fern’s care-giver and defender but clearly, all is not what it seems.

The character development is amazing. Both sisters are so deftly crafted that they feel like real people. Other support characters such as Wally and the librarians that Rose worked with were all were developed. This book had so many likeable characters despite the menacing undertones.

I enjoyed this twisty, well-written, entertaining narrative and I am so glad to have met all the characters.