Review: The Good SisterTitle: The Good Sister
Author: Sally Hepworth
Genre(s): Romance, Thriller
Pages: 309
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Sexual Content: 2 Flames

Goodreads Amazon

There's a trigger warning for this book. See Trigger Warning section at end of review for more details.
Goodreads Synopsis

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights, and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be ... dangerous.

My Thoughts

I was really excited to read THE GOOD SISTER because my IRL friend Jenny recommended it to our book club and I usually enjoy the same type of thrillers she does. We decided to read it as September’s book and I’m glad we did so I’d read it sooner rather than later.

I loved THE GOOD SISTER. It was a fantastic story that kept me reading until I was done with the book. I saw the big twist coming a mile away; it didn’t ruin the suspense or story for me, though, because I still wanted to know how everything would play out. I wasn’t disappointed.

I really liked the characters in THE GOOD SISTER. I liked that even though I guessed the twist, I still kept wondering if I was right. I also loved that a couple of the main characters were neurodivergent. I have sensory issues, not to the extent Fern does, though. I really connected with that aspect of Fern’s character.

Angry is just a pen name for sad…. In my experience, nine times out of ten if you are kind to the angry person, you will calm them down and find out what is really going on with them.

I would’ve given THE GOOD SISTER 4 stars, except near the end Hepworth perpetuated the stigma that people diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are violent psychopaths. BPD’s misunderstood even among the psychological community. Those trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) understand BPD the most. I simply wish she had talked to a DBT-trained psychologist or someone who’s diagnosed with BPD before she used BPD as one of the reasons why the antagonist did what they did.

I don’t think cancelling someone is the right answer, though, because it takes away from what’s important—educating as many people as possible to help break the stigma surrounding BPD and other mental illness. Because of this, I’ll continue to read and, most likely, enjoy Hepworth’s novels.

Have you read THE GOOD SISTER? If so, what did you think?

Trigger Warning

There is a trigger warning for sexual assault, loss of a child, and loss of a parent.

About Jenni Elyse

Hi, I'm Jenni. I’m an eclectic reader. I mostly read fiction and I favor fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers, and romance. The more kissing in a book the better!
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10 replies
  1. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    I can understand your disappointment in the stereotyping. I find that quite a lot in books–a lack of knowledge about both mental and physical conditions. It isn’t hard to research or ask experts. I’ve read very few thrillers that have actually surprised me.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Agreed. 😀 The problem with researching BPD is that there’s a lot of crap out there because of the stigma even from the psychological community. It would be hard to get the correct research unless you talk to a very specific niche of therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. She could’ve at least spoken with someone diagnosed with BPD who’s gone through treatment. Although, even without treatment, she’d find her stereotype misleading.

  2. Louise Hallett
    Louise Hallett says:

    Fantastic review Jenni. It’s a shame BDP was badly represented, authors really should do their research when including such complex and misunderstood topics. I’m glad it hasn’t put you off reading more by this author.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      It really is a shame. I said something about it on Instagram and tagged the author. I normally don’t tag the author, but I thought this was an exception. Hopefully, she learns from her mistake and doesn’t do it again. 😀

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Agreed. 😀 I had to regulate my emotions so I wouldn’t let it sour my whole experience. After I did regulate my emotions, I thought, “See, this is what BPD is really like. Extreme emotions we have to regulate constantly, which I’m very capable of because I’m not a crazed psychopath.” LOL.


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