The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
Published April 13th 2021 by St. Martin’s Press
Rose and Fern Castle are twins, but they could not be more different. Fern is on the autism spectrum, but is able to live independently and hold a job. Their appearances are also opposite, where Fern is tall and willowy and Rose is short and her mother says, “round”, in fact she teased her incessantly as a child. They were raised by their mother who has mental health issues, and doe snot seem to be able to hold down a job. They constantly move around, in fact spent one year living in libraries and their car. When their mom overdoses, Rose is left to take care of Fern. Fern works in the library and is very happy with her job as she loves books. Rose has gone to the UK to spend time with her husband while he is working out of the country. While she is away, Fern meets Wally, a man who also has some social difficulties. Fern falls for him and he for her, but when she becomes pregnant and offers her child to Rose and her husband to raise, she breaks it off with him. As the story progresses, we begin to see cracks in Rose’s story and perhaps some secrets that will affect both sisters and Fern’s child.
The story alternates between Fern’s point of view and Rose’s POV, told through journal entries. They include flashbacks to their childhood, where we see how and why Fern has become so dependent on Rose. There is definitely an unreliable narrator in this one, but I will leave that to you to figure out. Rose is such a sweetheart, she wants to do whatever will make her sister happy, as well as what she believes she has to do due to family obligations. As the story progressed, I became suspicious of some of the things that were happening, but I was shocked when all is revealed. This is a well written and plotted story about family dynamics, relationships, secrets, obligations and mental health. I really enjoyed this one and recommend it to those who like domestic thrillers. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
You Can’t Catch Me by Catherine McKenzie, Julia Whelan (Narrator)
Published June 9th 2020 by Brilliance Audio, Lake Union Publishing
Identity theft is one of those things that I, along with many other people, think about. What would happen if someone cleared out my back account, took out credit cards in my name and destroyed by credit and put me into deep debt. Nah, it couldn’t happen, could it? In this story Catherine McKenzie takes us on that journey with Jessica Williams.
Jessica has not had an easy life. First, she was raised in a cult, was rescued and had to start a new life. She gains a certain amount of notoriety before crashing and burning. Leaving her job with a nest egg after revealing harassment, she is trying to figure out what to do next, when she meets another Jessica Williams. Striking up a conversation and revealing more about herself than she should, she ends up with her bank account cleared out and without a job. She was a victim once, and has no desire to be another one, so when the police do nothing, she takes it into her own hands. She will track down this fraudster and get her revenge.
This is a twisty story that had me doing a read/listen whenever I had a moment. There were some great characters in this story, but this was not a character based story. This story was well paced and plotted. Just when I thought I knew what was going on, there was a twist or new plot point that sent it in another direction. There were hints here and there, but not enough to give it away. There were parts of the story told in flashback to let us know what had happened in Jessica’s past and to give us some insight into her personality, but it all flowed well. You Can’t Catch Me is a story of revenge, with deception, secrets and some wonderful twists. I did have to suspend belief a couple of times, but it worked in this story. If you enjoy being entertained with a thrilling, cat and mouse story, then pick this one up, I recommend it.