Title: The Good Sister
Author: Sally Hepworth
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: April 13, 2021
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.
There was something about this novel that made me love it.
I don't know if it was Fern with the way she processed the world or if it was Wally and his hat or if it was the way the author decided on the resolution of the suspense. I just ended up being delighted by it!
Could I guess where the story was going? Certainly. Yet, I love and appreciate the delivery!
The book is about two fraternal twins.
Fern Castle is a tall blonde girl who has sensory processing disorder. She prefers to follow her routine day by day and hates when her schedule gets changed. Fern works as a librarian and loves her job except when the manager wants her to greet people or learn about the printer or copy machines, then Fern fines her hidey-hole and stays there until she feels safe enough that she can go out again.
Rose is the other sibling. She is a brunette, shorter than Fern. She's an interior decorator. She is married but she has always looked out for Fern. Her diary is full of passages about how her mother behaved when they were kids and how she protected Fern from her neglect.
When Rose confides in Fern that she can't have children due to premature ovarian failure, Fern decides that the best way to help Rose is to get pregnant herself and give the baby to Rose. She just needs to find a man and have sex with him.
Enters Wally, I mean Rocco, an IT genius who is living out of his van. He's nice to Fern. He's patient with her and he seems to understand Fern's limitations and tries to make things easier for her. Having himself some issues, it was easy for him to relate to Fern. Yet can their relationship work?
I love Fern with all her quirkiness, her love for books, her special hidden space. She made the book for me. I did fall for Wally too. Such a nice guy! I want to be friends with them and meet at the library. I just need to wear my goggles (which I already use for work--thank you, COVID) and borrow the noise-canceling headphones from my hubby.
A complimentary copy was provided by St. Martin's Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.