I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Good Sister by Gillian McAllister
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on June 11, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
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An electrifying novel about the unyielding bond between two sisters, which is severely tested when one of them is accused of the worst imaginable crime.
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.
The Good Sister by Gillian McAllister is an intense and emotionally charged courtroom drama centered around the death of Layla, an 8 week old infant who was in the care of her aunt at the time of her passing. All the evidence points to Becky behind the death of Layla, but could it also have been just a crib death? Pitting sister against sister on opposites sides of the courtroom the truth slowly starts to be revealed.
Wow! What a powerful and truly devastating story. Martha is juggling a new career and an infant daughter. To say things were rough isn’t even half the truth. While building her business from the ground up, Martha is saddled with a new baby who cries constantly. Doctors have diagnosed baby Layla with acid reflux hence her continuous crying. With her new business venture, Martha is finding it hard taking care of work and Layla at the same time, so Becky steps in as the nanny to take some of the pressure off of Martha. During one of these times while Martha is away on business Layla passes away and now Becky is on trial for murder.
Martha and Becky are as close as two sisters can get. They might be as different as night and day, but you can see the love and the trust they have for each other. That’s why it is so hard for Martha to fathom why and if her sister could murder her baby, Layla. Gillian McAllister really shows how one devastating event can tear a family in two. Layla’s death just doesn’t affect Martha, it affects their entire family from their brother to their parents with loyalties divided. I can see the internal struggle Martha is going through and how her emotions are pulled in different directions wanting to believe her sister innocent and yet another part wondering how her sister could do something so terrible to an innocent baby.
I really like how McAllister presented witnesses to the jury. Each witness just doesn’t state the facts we actually get to witness it through their point of view and then how opposing lawyers destroy each piece of evidence. This really leaves me, as a reader, torn between wondering if Becky is guilty or not. McAllister also shows that not everything is just black and white and that there are many shades of grey the characters go through when it comes to this case.
McAllister also brings home how someone can just so easily snap and do something harmful even if it is not in the nature. I can’t even begin to imagine the frustration of having a baby that constantly and continuously cries almost all day long. Eventually it is going to take a toll on you. So, in a way, if Becky was guilty I could understand up to a point how someone could just snap and lose it. McAllister really made me stop and think how something like this can be possible.
The Good Sister is a gripping and emotional story that just grabs you right from the first page. Gillian McAllister has such a knack of drawing you in to a story and holding your attention all the way through until the end. I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of stories about families mixed in with a courtroom drama that will mess with your emotions and leave you wondering if this fractured family can ever be whole again.