Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Review: The Good Sister by Gillian McAllister

Thriller, Suspense


G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Release Date:
June 11, 2019

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Martha and Becky Blackwater are more than sisters--they're each other's lifelines. When Martha finds herself struggling to balance early motherhood and her growing business, Becky steps in to babysit her niece, Layla, without a second thought, bringing the two women closer than ever. But when Layla is found dead one morning, at only eight weeks old, Becky is charged with the unthinkable: the murder of her sister's child.

Nine months later, Becky is on trial and maintains her innocence--and so does Martha. Unable to shake the feeling that her sister couldn't possibly be guilty, Martha sets out to uncover exactly what happened that night, and how things could have gone so wrong. As the trial progresses, fault lines between the sisters begin to show--revealing cracks deep in their relationship and threatening the family each has worked so hard to build. With incredible empathy and resounding emotional heft, The Good Sister is a powerhouse of a novel that will lead readers to question everything they know about motherhood, family, and the price of forgiveness.

My Review

Martha Blackwater is trying very hard to juggle a newborn baby, Layla, with her career. Her sister, Becky, agrees to take the role of nanny to help Martha and her husband. While both are away on business, Becky is left to care for the child. One morning she finds Layla dead. Becky is devastated. Then, she’s arrested for the child’s murder. The family, especially Martha, is beyond shocked.

Almost a year later, Becky’s trial begins. Neither sister can believe what is happening. Becky swears her innocence, but nobody knows what to think. Martha is especially confused and plans to do a bit of investigating on her own. She just can’t accept that her sister would have done this horrible thing.

This is an emotional, intense novel. The subject matter might not be for everyone. It’s always difficult to read about a child’s death. The book basically concentrated on the aftermath of this tragedy.

This is a very well written, riveting novel. I kept trying to figure out how it would all end. I didn’t find the characters particularly likeable or sympathetic though. I just kept thinking about Layla. I don’t want to give anything away. I’ll just say it’s a captivating, suspenseful novel that makes you think.

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I wasn't sure about this one because of the child's death but it does sound intriguing. Too bad that none of the characters were sympathetic.

  2. I don't think I could handle this one.


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