The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

“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.”
― Sally Hepworth, The Good Sister

The Good Sister tells the story of fraternal twins, Rose and Fern Castle. The two have relied on each other for their entire lives ever since their dad left and their mom was left as their sole caregiver. Their childhood wasn’t ideal or perfect, but they made it through together. Rose always looked out for Fern, but there was one time when Rose wasn’t there for Fern which resulted in a deadly mistake that has haunted Fern her entire life.

Flash forward to the present. Fern now works at her local library. She has a sensory processing disorder which means that she works hard to avoid crowds, loud noises, and bright lights as much as she can. Fern loves routine and structure, so she carefully plans out her life. She has dinner with Rose three nights a week, visits her mom, and participates in some recreational sports. Life is going on a perfectly normal steady pace. Until it isn’t.

One night at Rose’s house for dinner, Fern learns that Rose cannot get pregnant. She has a medical condition that means she will most likely never get pregnant. After researching Rose’s condition, Fern decides that she has finally found a way to pay Rose back after her years of looking out for her. Fern has decided to have a baby for Rose, but now she needs to find a father. That should be fairly easy to do!

Since Fern has made a plan, she begins putting it into motion. This journey throws up some road blocks though as Fern learns some things about her family that lead her to question what she knows to be true.

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