You guys. You. Guys. Seriously, I think The Good Sister has made it to the very top of my favorite books so far of 2021. Seriously. Keep reading to find out why.
The Good Sister has ALL the things….Romance, thriller, psychological stuff, just All. The. Things. I love this book so much! One of my favorite parts of this book is that one of the sisters is on the ND spectrum. It’s never specifically said that Fern is autistic, but all the signs are there. Now, you’re probably wondering why she’s my favorite character? Because in so many ways, she’s relatable, and in so many others, I learned things from a fictional character that I didn’t know before. it’s OBVIOUS that Sally Hepworth, the author, either has a family relative on the spectrum, or she DID. HER. RESEARCH.
I love research. I love authors who research. I love authors who show that they researched. All these things are so important! I read a book last year that showed the author did NO research for the book, and I’m telling you, it was a pretty quick DNF for me. I adore authors who research, especially sensitive subjects like autism and neuro-divergency.
Ok, now that you know how much I love this book, I’m going to tell you what it’s about. No, I’m not going to give you spoilers. If you have followed me for any amount of time, you know I HATE spoilers. (small note, I’m aware I’m using a lot of caps, but I’m just so excited to talk about this book. I can’t help it).
Who is The Good Sister?
The great thing about this story, is I don’t think I’ll ever have to choose.
Humans crave routine, even as we say we thrive in chaos. Fern thrives so much in routine that she is able to function extremely well. I love that about her. Even when things happen outside her routine, she expresses her frustration with it, but tries to be flexible. One of my favorite things about her is that when she’s holding a conversation with someone, and they state something as a question, but doesn’t actually ask a question, she won’t say anything. That’s something I wish all of us could do at one time or another.
Personally, I love routine. I forget things if they fall outside of the routine I create. I have a planner, and a phone and all sorts of things to help me stick to my routine. I think that’s what makes me relate to Fern so much. She thrives so much in routine that dangerous things happen when she diverges from her routine. That sense of danger is part of what sets off the story in The Good Sister. Rose writes a story in her journal at the beginning of the book about something Fern did when she was a child. This situation creates the dynamic between Rose and her sister throughout their lives. Fern believes she is dangerous, so listens to her sister when Rose “knows better.”
When Fern finds out that Rose can’t have a baby, but desperately wants one, she decides to be a surrogate. But instead of talking to Rose and finding a way to bring Rose into the decision with her, Fern decides to do it her own way. She figures out the easiest way would be to find a man, have sex with him, and if she gets pregnant, give the baby to Rose.
Fern meets a man at the library where she works, that she nicknames Wally, and asks him out on a date. This date precipitates quite a few things that bring Fern’s disability into the forefront, and brings secrets to light that everyone wanted to keep buried.
As I said above, I love Fern. She’s easily one of my very favorite book characters EVER. She is such a good person, and functions so well, that at times it’s easy to forget she has autism. At other times, she has a breakdown, that probably quite a few of us have considered at times, but Wally is so understanding when she can’t function, that the reader ends up loving him too.
Rose is easy to dislike. Not because I think she’s deliberately malicious, but because she tends to manipulate Fern, and use Fern’s autism to her own advantage. I don’t like this about her. As the story progresses, and things come to light, the differences between the sisters become even more pronounced, and Fern becomes much easier to love.
One thing I love so much about this book, is that I’m well aware that the author has to have done her research. Either that, or she has someone in her life with Fern’s specific form of Autism. Just how she’s able to portray Fern so well is amazing. I learned so much reading this book, that when speaking with someone who is either neuro-divergent, or has spectrum disorder, I know a little more now, and am able to understand behaviors that I may not have understood before. This is something I never would have thought I could get from a fiction book.
Have I mentioned yet how much I love this book? I think everyone should read it. Seriously. If you haven’t yet, go buy it. Now. Trust me, you won’t regret it. I can’t recommend this book enough.
Have you read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Let me know in the comments below! Also, if you’re considering buying this book, please use the link below, and purchase through my amazon affiliate link. I’ll get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going!
I hope you enjoyed this review! I’d love if you shared with your friends! Until next time, bookworms!