cover image The Good Sister

The Good Sister

Sally Hepworth. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-12095-3

Rose Castle and her twin sister, Fern, who share narrative duties in this addictive psychological thriller from Hepworth (The Mother-in-Law), live in Victoria, Australia. Rose is a married interior designer, and Fern is a librarian who suffers from a sensory processing disorder. When Fern discovers that Rose desperately wants to become a mother, but has been unable to conceive, she considers everything Rose has done for her, including protecting Fern from their abusive mother during their childhood, and decides to act as a surrogate. To that end, she seduces a library patron in order to get pregnant. Fearful of Fern’s emotional fragility, Rose moves in with her sister to ensure the pregnancy runs smoothly. Excerpts from Rose’s journal heighten the suspense by gradually revealing the abuse the girls suffered as children. Meanwhile, Fern expresses her growing discomfort with her sister’s arrangements while giving insights into living with her disorder. Punchy prose helps propel the twisty plot to a creepy but satisfying conclusion. For fans of domestic dramas, this is a treat. (Apr.)