The Good Sister
Author: Sally Hepworth
Published: April 13, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 26- June 4, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one and Fern is the quirky one. But the sisters are devoted to one another and Rose has always been Fern’s protector from the time they were small.
Fern needed protecting because their mother was a true sociopath who hid her true nature from the world, and only Rose could see it. Fern always saw the good in everyone. Years ago, Fern did something very, very bad. And Rose has never told a soul. When Fern decides to help her sister achieve her heart’s desire of having a baby, Rose realizes with growing horror that Fern might make choices that can only have a terrible outcome. What Rose doesn’t realize is that Fern is growing more and more aware of the secrets Rose, herself, is keeping. And that their mother might have the last word after all.
This is the fourth novel I have read by Hepworth and I have enjoyed them all! The Good Sister. is not a thriller per se, but more of a domestic drama. We have dual narrators, both Fern and Rose (via her journal). The reader will have their opinions of both twin sisters– which can change throughout the novel– and of their mother. Fern is on the Autism spectrum, but functions relatively well on her own and works in a library(!) which is many readers dream job.
The sisters are twins and 28 years old who could not be more different from each other– including their appearance– but they take care of each other. They had a very difficult childhood, which the novel goes into. There is a little bit of a romance with one of the sisters and if you read thrillers like I do, you may figure out what is going on. But then what keeps you reading is the drama! I enjoyed the drama in this case and still had some surprises along the way.
If you like reading mysteries and enjoy drama dealing with family relationships (because who doesn’t have that!?!?) then you should read this book.
It looks like I have found another ‘go to’ author to read with Hepworth!
I received a copy to read and review from the publisher via NetGalley.
The Soulmate Equation
Author: Christina Lauren
Published: May 18, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 29- June 2, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.
But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.
I am not much of a romance reader; in fact, this is the first book I have read from writing duo Christina Lauren. (They are writing partners and best friends). What piqued my interest in The Soulmate Equation was the similar concept to John Marrs’ The One. Other than the same basic premise, these are two very different books, and surprisingly I really enjoyed The Soulmate Equation!
Basically dragged by her best friend into doing the GeneticAlly DNA test, Jess matches at an unheard of number with the founder, whom she has previously met and yes, they clash. GeneticAlly says that they will pay Jess to spend 3 months with Pena to see what happens as the business is about to go public and stands to make a. lot. of. money. And the business wants to capitalize on this match! Being Jess is struggling to make ends meet and take care of her daughter she agrees.
This is one of those typical romance tropes (I hate you then later on maybe not), so you know where it is going and it was fun to see the journey. I did like that the main character’s name is Jess and her daughter’s name is even more unique: Juno. There is even something unexpected that happens in the last quarter of the novel that I enjoyed.
Remember that Jess is a ‘number person’ and there is a lot of science explained behind GeneticAlly where the reader can understand. I liked Jess and adored her best friend Fizzy: Everyone needs a Fizzy! And as this is a romance book the chemistry gets hot and there are sex scenes which are not explicit, but enjoyable to read.
For not being much of a romance reader, giving it a 4-star review is saying something and the fact that I listened to it as often as I could and had it finished in just a handful of days says I liked it! I enjoyed this novel and might just have to read more by this writing duo. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Patti Murin and she did a great job of bringing Jess to life for us. She might be another narrator for me to be on the lookout for![Top]
Diary from the Lunatic Asylum
Author: Mary Pengilly
Published: November 2, 2012
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
DECEMBER.—They will not allow me to go home, and I must write these things down for fear I forget. It will help to pass the time away. It is very hard to endure this prison life, and know that my sons think me insane when I am not.
So this isn’t a horror story; it’s not even fiction. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed. However, once I figured out that this was an actual diary, written by a real woman who had been committed to a real asylum, I just went for it. It’s definitely not as good as Nellie Bly’s account, but it was interesting and informative. Mrs. Pengilly managed to write an account from a relatively neutral viewpoint, while still keeping a handle on all the problems. It’s a simple, easy to read report on her stay, the issues in the Aylin’s of her time, and a list of solutions. I looked up Mrs. Pengilly after I finished reading this book, and she went on to spearhead some cool movements to try to improve conditions for female patients.
It’s not a book I’d recommend to everyone, but it’s a good personal story that I enjoyed reading.