Darling Girls

I have become such a fan of Sally Hepworth’s books. I absolutely loved her first two, and this one was great too. Hepworth has such a gift for writing characters that are complex and sometimes difficult, but extremely lovable all the same. In this case it’s three sisters. There is Jessica, the oldest: A type-A professional organizer (who may be addicted to pills and keeps everyone at a distance). In the middle there’s Norah, who is beautiful, brilliant… but also violent. And then the youngest: Alicia, who struggles with her confidence and can’t seem to be in a relationship. The three sisters grew up in foster care, under their seemingly lovely foster mother Miss Fairchild. There’s a pool, the home is beautiful and immaculately clean… it seems idyllic! But Miss Fairchild is actually unpredictable, manipulative, and emotionally abusive. She finds non-physical ways to abuse each girl. It is awful but the sisters form a close bond. When they manage to escape, they think they are free. But twenty years later, a body is discovered under the home they grew up in. The sisters find themselves thrust into the media, unable to decide if they are suspects or witnesses. It’s a page turner. I will warn you that there are trigger warnings for child abuse, kidnapping, and rape.