A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth - Feature and Review


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.


The Good SisterThe Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth is a 2021 St. Martin’s Press publication.

Fern and Rose are fraternal twins. Yet, Rose is stable and mature, while Fern is on the autism spectrum. After a tumultuous childhood, Rose looks after her sister, who works at a library. Because Fern once did something really, really, bad, and because Rose’s marriage has hit a rough patch, Fern wants to make everyone happy again- and she knows just what she can do to make that happen.

While Rose is away, Fern sets her plan in motion…

What could possibly go wrong?

I breezed through this one in record time. For a little while I was not exactly sure where Hepworth was leading me and sat nervously on the edge of my seat waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Obviously, some terrible things have already transpired as we get a glimpse into the twins’ childhood. We also know that the girls were directly involved in a disquieting tragedy as children, and now it looks as if trouble may be brewing again. What is so alarming is that we don’t know WHO will strike, or when, or how…

The only downside to being a lifelong crime fiction loyalist, is that original plots are often far and few between. The good/bad sister trope is hardly original, having been done six ways from Sunday.

Once it became clear which direction the story was headed, the wind went out of my sails a little, but I was so concerned about the characters, I kept turning pages at warp speed. Turns out that although I knew- and I suspect, once most readers reach a certain point in the book, they will have caught on, as well- what the big plot twist was, there were a few stunning developments I did not see coming and the last chapter was truly psycho!!

Once I had a little time to think about the story, I realized that, in hindsight, it was much more cunning than I had originally given it credit. Still, the cleverness is in the well-drawn characterizations, without which, the doubts, concerns, and suspense, wouldn’t have been possible.

This is only the third book I have read by this author- but this one is a little different, having an edgier quality, utilizing another form of suspense from what I was expecting. Some of the emotional depth and relatability were lacking here, but overall, this was an absorbing, twisted little page turner!!



Sally Hepworth is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels, most recently The Good Sister, which was an instant bestseller.

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.

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