Cover image for The good sister
Title:
The good sister
Author:
Campbell, Drusilla.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Grand Central Pub., [2010]

©2010
Physical Description:
viii, 334 pages ; 21 cm
Summary:
"A novel of three generations of women seeking to overcome a legacy of violence, secrecy, and lies...as they discover just how far sisters, mothers, and daughters will go to hurt and help one another"--Cover p. [4].
General Note:
Includes reading group guide (p.[331]-334).
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780446535786
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

Drusilla Campbell was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1940. After graduating from San Jose State University, she spent two years hitchhiking around the world. Whenever she ran out of money, she stopped for a while and taught at elementary schools. She received an M. A. in broadcast journalism from American University and worked for a public-radio station in Washington, D.C.

She wrote 17 novels during her lifetime including Blood Orange, The Good Sister, Bone Lake, Little Girl Gone, When She Came Home, and In Doubt. She died of lung cancer on October 24, 2014 at the age of 74.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

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.--Block, Marta Segal Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.