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The Good Sister [Kindle Edition]

Drusilla Campbell
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.00 (29%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
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Child 44
Child 44 is the first book in the Child 44 Trilogy Series: Look for the movie version in cinemas April 17. See more books by Tom Rob Smith

Book Description

Roxanne Callahan has always been her younger sister's caretaker. Now married, her happiness is threatened when beautiful and emotionally unstable Simone, suffering from crippling postpartum depression, commits an unforgivable crime for which Roxanne comes to believe she is partially responsible. In the glare of national media attention brought on her sister, Roxanne fights to hold her marriage together as she is drawn back into the pain of her troubled past and relives the fraught relationship she and Simone shared with their narcissistic mother. At the same time, only she can help Simone's nine year old daughter, Merell, make sense of the family's tragedy. Cathartic, lyrical, and unflinchingly honest, THE GOOD SISTER is a novel of four generations of women struggling to overcome a legacy of violence, lies and secrecy, ultimately finding strength and courage in their love for each other.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A mother on trial for the attempted murder of her children opens Campbell's piercing latest. The story shifts back in time to explore Simone Duran's childhood with her sister, Roxanne, and their self-absorbed mother and also Simone's life as a stay-at-home mom suffering from postpartum depression. Simone's neglect of infant daughter Olivia, who she lets lie in her crib crying for hours on end, tears at the heart, but while Simone's mothering is disturbing, Campbell (Blood Orange) highlights the underlying factors that have pushed Simone to this edge, giving the story balance. Simone's macho husband prevents her seeking treatment while he imposes pregnancy after pregnancy on her in his desire to finally have a son. Add Roxanne's overprotectiveness of Simone, and you have a completely dependent woman. Campbell burns through Simone's struggles and also those of Roxanne in haunting, graphic detail. This portrait of the inner life of a woman whose psychotic state led her to believe that killing her children and herself would have been best for all of them should be on everyone's book club list.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Roxanne has always been responsible for her sister, Simone. Their absentee father and abusive mother ensured that the girls would rely on each other. When the unstable Simone marries a wealthy man, it seems Roxanne’s caretaking job is over, and she begins to fashion a new life for herself. Unfortunately, the stress of multiple pregnancies and episodes of postpartum depression make things worse for Simone. The novel opens with Simone’s trial for the attempted murder of three of her children, which weakens suspense and makes it hard for the reader to become invested in the childrens' fate. The unrealistic survival of the children may have been written to ensure that the character remains sympathetic, but it would have been more interesting to see if sympathy could be maintained for a damaged woman who was successful in her attempts at murder. A note from the author describes her own family’s struggle with postpartum depression, and a reading group guide makes this a natural for book groups. --Marta Segal Block

Product Details

  • File Size: 395 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003YFIVKO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,552 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific read!! October 15, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought The Good Sister for my Kindle, to read on an upcoming 5 hour plane trip to Hawaii. I usually take a couple of books, at least, as I will sometimes tire of one after a couple of hours. However, I could not put TGS down!!
I loved everything about it...the brilliant writing by Ms. Campbell, the development of the characters, and the tension of the story as it unfolded. I was not prepared, however, to have come away from the book with a better understanding of myself and also with a more clear vision of the perils (and reasons for...) some of the quirks in a couple of relationships in my life. This book was a gift in so many ways, and I was reduced to tears as it ended....not ONLY because it ended, but because of the gratitude I felt in finding such an artist as Ms. Campbell.
As the plane landed, I turned on the wireless in my Kindle and ordered WILDWOOD and BONE LAKE.
Such a delight to find a new literary gold mine!!!!
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and Articulate November 21, 2010
Format:Paperback
May 26, 2005. The day I stopped loving Tom Cruise. That is the day he slammed Brooke Shields for publicly announcing her reaction to postpartum depression. She chose medication. Gasp! Since then I've felt nothing but contempt for the man who has never had his body rewired while internal organs are pushed aside and changes in hormonal balance makes you cry because the cat coughed up a hairball.

On this particular day, my own body was waging a war with itself, having pushed a person the size of a pot roast through a hole the size of a nostril, and for some mysterious reason, my previously aesthetically pleasing breasts became as hard as granite were leaking sustenance for a child that was wholly dependent on me. No amount of positive thinking was going to magically restore my sleep deprived, physically rewired body. Nope. Instead I did what any sane woman would do.

I painted the family room. And the kitchen. And the entry.

To this day, I can't properly articulate my manic response to giving birth. I can only sit back, sigh and enjoy the ambiance of the colors.

And so, back to the book and painting. The author paints a clear path to Simone's thinking and thinking errors. The feeling of being overwhelmed and helpless as the demands continue to pile around her, looking for impossible solutions and eventually slipping past depression into psychosis. It is as disturbing as it is well articulated. A new mother may see a sliver of herself in Simone and feel uncomfortable.

The author adds to Simone's personality bipolar, learned helplessness, narcissism, and provides a breeding ground for Simone's role. At the same time, Simone's older sister, Roxanne, takes on the caretaking role from a very early age.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars keep reading!!! January 28, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was frustrated with the book as I began to read. It seemed to jump from scene to scene without transition. HOWEVER, it picked up speed after the halfway point, and by the end I was hooked. If you also find it difficult at the beginning....KEEP READING!!! It's worth it.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to read this! October 25, 2010
Format:Paperback
I have read Drusilla Campbell's other books...Blood Orange being my fav, and I was very excited to see a new one out.
I received a gift card from Borders and knew just what I was going to buy... The Good Sister.
Off I went to my weekend getaway in Mexico with my new book in hand.
Each morning I woke up to a cup of tea and a chance to read. From the very beginning the characters in the book captivated me.
What I really liked was the complexity of the family members and how I got sucked into the lives of these people...I related to the complex reationships we all have and what we do to keep them together.
This is a story that I believe we can all relate to, from the lies to the secrecy, to the love. I did not want to put this book down, it is such a moving story of a family's tragedy, one that made me cry.

I do not want to give away anything in the book, I just want to highly reccommend that you read this...to reflect on your reationships and who you are to the ones you love.
Thank you, Drucilla, for a great read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and wonderful book! December 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a social work student and am very interested in mental illness and crime, so I was ready to be extremely critical of this book due to my educational background. However, I was pleasantly surprised and found myself completely caught up and lost in this story. It is an excellent depiction of post-partum psychosis and allows us to get a glimpse into the minds of people who may be different than us - and shows just how easy it is to be pushed over the edge sometimes when one is under pressure. This is one of those books that covers the emotional bases! I found myself feeling sad, feeling angry, feeling empathetic, happy, confused, and everything else. It is also a book where the characters are extremely well developed - it is so easy to feel like you actually know the characters (which is hard for an author to do, I imagine). After I read this book, it has stayed in the back of my mind frequently. If you are someone who is interested in criminology, depression, or anything in that area, I would say that this is a "must read!"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable lessons to stop devastating tradgedies! December 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was beautifully written! I know of a lovely young mother who killed her 2 beautiful children who she loved immensely. I could never fully understand how or why she could do what she did. I now have a much better understanding of how such a loving mother could do such a horrible thing. I hope that more people can recognize the red flags of post partum depression & do all they can to get the woman the professional help needed to hopefully stop more needless tradgedies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Post Partum Depression: A Very Serious Matter
The story opens as a flashback to 1977 when Roxanne, then 9 is taken by her single mother to live with her grandmother in San Diego. Read more
Published 1 month ago by BeatleBangs1964
4.0 out of 5 stars Held my interest to the end.
I've heard of postpartum depression previously however I've never really been personally touched by it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Faith Finn
2.0 out of 5 stars A Story Half Told : (
This story presents a important and often misunderstood topic, but I felt it was missing the depth of character necessary to tell such a story. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Shafer
4.0 out of 5 stars It has good character development
This is an engaging tale with a message. It has good character development, and gives an intimate look at post-partum depression.
Published 6 months ago by DeNell Benner
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I can't remember what it is about
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read but I was seriously disappointed
Having worked as a psychologist for years this work did not enthrall me as much as it disgusted me. It does show the problems with mental health treatment in this country. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Live to Ride
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good Sister
My wife reads tons of books so we typically purchase large quantities of books over the length of the year & she shares her books with others as well as they with her
Published 10 months ago by Riick
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense
Very intense read. Very well written and author raises alot of questions. Although the subject is very dark, this is a great book and one that would be great for bookclub... Read more
Published 11 months ago by MamaK
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking...
Generations of a family, feeling the pain of depression and its effects. Many children, I suspect, are going through the same things that are taking place in this story.
Published 12 months ago by Sharon Y
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Wild about it
Our book club read it and although most did not like it, we had quite a discussion about it's topics. Some of us felt it was not written very well also.
Published 12 months ago by rolling stone
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More About the Author

Drusilla Campbell lives in San Diego with her husband, the lawyer-poet-professor, Art Campbell, two rescued dogs and four horses. She was born in Melbourne, Australia and came to California when she was six years old. Before that she criss-crossed the United States by train and car with her brave and resourceful mother and mostly adorable baby brother. She had sailed the Pacific Ocean three times before starting first grade and knew how to run down a pitching outside deck and come to a sliding, slamming stop against a bulkhead, laughing the whole time. She grew up in the Santa Clara Valley in the halcyon days before the dot com magnates discovered it, attended San Jose State University, and then started traveling again. She taught in Melbourne, London and at a remote jungle outpost in Panama before settling down and marrying. While living in Washington, DC she got a Masters Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the American University and went to work for NPR's major DC affiliate, WAMU-fm. She has two sons, Rocky and Matt, and three grandchildren who are smarter, more intelligent and entertaining than anyone elses. The dogs, the horses, the family and friends and writing books keep her happily in one place.

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