This book has been on my radar for months so I was delighted to have an excuse to read it to review on the podcast! So, in this episode of the podcast, I take a deep-dive into this fabulous book The Good Sister by Aussie author Sally Hepworth with my author friend Mandy Newman. This is the first Sally Hepworth book I have read and, after reading this, I can assure you it won’t be my last!

Mandy and I really enjoyed this book and both thought that it would be the perfect book for someone looking to restart their reading career. It is an enjoyable, easy read with a story that will keep you gripped till the end! The story centres around 2 sisters, Rose and Fern, their toxic childhood and Fern’s quest to help Rose have a baby. It is a story of sisterhood, kindred spirits and a powerful reminder of acceptance and inclusion. I guarantee it will generate many conversations!

The Good Sister is Sally Hepworth’s 7th book! Prior to releasing The Good Sister, she wrote The Mother In Law in 2019 which Mandy thoroughly enjoyed. You may also remember The Secrets of Midwives which she wrote in 2015 – another best seller! Sally has absolutely nailed the contemporary women’s fiction market. Not only does she understand her reader but she has a profound understanding of the issues and challenges that they face.

Why Did We Read This Book?

– We are very keen to support Aussie authors and were yet to read a Sally Hepworth book on the podcast. This one caught my eye!

– This book explores 2 very modern issues of our time: infertility and neurodiversity. Sally has mentioned in interviews that she has had personal experiences within her family of both issues and was very keen to weave them into the books. She does this beautifully, particularly through my favourite character of Fern who has sensory processing difficulties.

– I believe contemporary women’s fiction is a way we can help better understand our own lives as women. Reading about the experiences and challenges other women face can help us both question and reflect on our own lives and choices.

– Like many of us, I have a sister. And like all normal sisterly relationships, we can drive each other mad but I’d be the first one to offer her a kidney! Sally explores this relationship so well.

About The Author

Sally Hepworth is a well established Aussie author who has mastered contemporary women’s fiction. She is the author of The Secrets of Midwives, The Things We Keep, The Mother’s Promise, The Family Next Door and The Mother-in-Law.

She has lived around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the United Kingdom and Canada, where she worked in event management and human resources.

She now lives in Melbourne, with her husband, three children and one adorable dog.

She admits that she doesn’t have a sister but she grew up alongside a set of twin brothers and spent most of her childhood asking her mother where her twin was. She craved ‘a person’.

She was inspired to write the book after an incident during which one of her daughters bit the other. When she started to reprimand the perpetrator, the other daughter quickly intervened and immediately defended her sister. ‘Leave her alone – she’s my baby sister and I love her. Anyway, I’ll bite her back later when she’s not expecting it’

The Verdict

Mandy and I both thought the book was great. In fact, the more we talked about it, the more we agreed it actually was an incredible vehicle for opening our eyes and changing our preconceptions about neurodiversity. Although it could possibly fit into the crime genre, I did also consider the book to be incredibly hopeful.

If you loved Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (which I have previously reviewed in book club – check out episode here) or The Rosie Effect, you’ll adore this book!

Check out the podcast for our full download about this amazing book. You can listen via your favourite podcast app or by clicking on the link below.

Happy listening

Alex x