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The Good Sister

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  2,866 ratings  ·  253 reviews
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...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2010)
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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...more
Wendy Hines
The Good Sister opens with Simone Durand on trial for the attempted murder of some of her children. Devastating to think anyone would want to kill their kids, but tragically, it is on the news all too often.

The story then goes back in time to showcase how Simone came to be how she is, and her connection to her sister, Roxanne. Roxanne has always been there to care for Simone, but she feels guilt when she doesn't want to care for her, she wants to have her own life. Roxanne's husband doesn't unde...more
Ruth Turner
Held my interest until the trial, when it became a little boring. I skimmed through most of it.

An easy, quick read. I finished it in one sitting.
This was not an easy read as the book dealt with issues like postpartum depression bordering onto psychosis, neglect of dependent children and an aversion of the female child. The young mother, who is described as a girl in a woman's body is 'forced' to repeatedly bear children, the goal being a male baby in the family. To begin with, she herself is dependent on others, emotionally and physically, to a much greater extent than normal. She was neglected by her mother, overtly protected by her sis...more
Grand Central Publishing|October 1, 2010|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-446-53578-6

Story Description:

Nine-year-old Merell knows what she saw in the pool that day. And her call to 911 immediately put her mother, Simone, under suspicion for an unforgivable crime. But as usual, Simone’s older sister, Roxanne, has come to the rescue. In the glare of national media attention she tries to help her vulnerable niece make sense of the family’s tragedy. And while striving to hold her own marriage together, s...more
Quotes I liked:

“She had decided there must be rules for what was right to say and feel, rules for when to talk and when to listen, and sometimes she was afraid of what would happen to her if she never learned these rules. ” (p.173)

“She had learned to slip into rooms and disappear into the shadowy corner spaces, becoming practically invisible.” (p.30)

“Memory had long nails that caught and held.” (p.180)

“…learned helplessness was characterized by extreme passivity and dependency, a sense of inferi...more
Rhonda Rae Baker
This was an extremely intense novel that had my attention from the beginning. I totally related to the storyline and understood what was going on. The way Drusilla changed POV (third person) was important and the backstory was woven in beautifully with just the right amount at the right time causing me to read faster and faster.

I'm choked up about it as the subject matter isn't for the faint in heart and it's possible that shallow thinkers or those who haven't been in similar circumstances won't...more
All in all a good book on many subjects very near and dear to my heart. However, there were three main faults keeping me from rating this book any higher:

1.) I wanted to feel for Simone. Whether by my own choice or by the persuasion of the author, or other outside factors such as reviews, I'm not sure. So I kept trying to like her but I just wasn't convinced. Maybe there is not enough background into Simone's life but ultimately I didn't see her as anything more than a self-loathing, entitled ad...more
Linda Rowland
Interesting story and the characters could have been as well if I could keep the men they kept losing straight. Same crazy people reproducing the same crazy situations.
I thought it was a good story badly written. Maybe the confusion was only in my head but it was at the very end that I realized it was the grandmother of Roxanne whose husband left and had another family. Did the rest of the men die?
It seemed that the buildup to the event was the thing and not what actually happened.
I am rambling....more
I wasn't sure if I really wanted to read a story about post-partum depression, mental illness, and the attempted murder of children (sounds like a fun Mother's Day read, eh?), but something in the book description grabbed me. It starts off at the trial of Simone, the younger of two grown sisters, but the main focus of the book is on Roxanne. Good thing since Roxanne was the only person that I could tolerate in this book. A great deal of the story goes back to the time before the crime, and some...more
A wonderful, multiple-layered book dealing with post-partum depression and mental illness. Fascinating glimpse inside the mind of a mother, who honestly loses all sense of reality, and believes that the "right" thing to do is to save her children by trying to kill them. For so many years I have looked aghast at news articles about monster mothers, who harm their children, and now, thanks to this book I shall have some modicum of understanding of the anguish in their minds. Another valuable lesso...more
Shelley picked this for our book club. I enjoyed it even though it was about a macabre subject – a mother attempting to murder her children! Roxanne is Simone’s big sister, and she has been taking care of her all of her life. Now Simone is married to a chauvinist who married her because she was beautiful, but vulnerable and fragile. He ends up practically abusing her by repeatedly impregnating her, hoping for a boy after 5 girls, even though she’s obviously not capable of taking care of all thos...more
Post-partum depression is an issue that is prevalent in society, but often overlooked as a serious disorder, so I was glad that this book brought to light the real pain and confusion many young mothers feel after the long awaited birth becomes a reality. I just felt like the book missed its opportunity to hit that mark.
The Good Sister was about cycles--mothers who will do anything to keep their husbands happy; mothers who really don't want children and are not equipped to raise them well; eldest...more
Stella Craine
I decided to read this book because the characters have some parallels to my own disfunctional mother and sister, and I hoped to gain insight within my own family dynamic. So far, the plot is no where near my reality; there's far more drama and dysfunction with lots of promise to be a fantastic, well written tale.

Ok- now that I've finished this book it was kind of blah, but readable. The post-partum behaviors of the sister were more of a side story and lacked depth, the main character (the "good...more
Susan Anders
Well-written fiction account of a woman suffering through postpartum depression and how it effects generations of women. As a mother of an infant that was very difficult, I totally understand this temporary and sometimes long-term affliction! When my sister-in-law (mother of 4 boys) called me a few weeks after bringing my second infant home from the hospital and jokingly asked if I was ready to throw her out the window yet, I was so relieved to know that I was not the only one that had that thou...more
Debbie "DJ" Wilson

A very personal account of a woman suffering from postpartum depression, emotional and mental disorders. The story is told mostly from her older sisters point of view, who was abandoned by their mother only to be brought back to help care for this younger sister. The book grabbed me right from the start as it opens with the younger sister on trial for the attempted murder of her children. Her husband knows she is helpless, and needy. This was his main attraction to her as he pays no attention t...more
It was hard to read because I was always wondering when Simone would follow through with killing one of her children. This book was a good read, but it wasn't great. It was almost hard to read because of the post partum depression issues & harming her children. I did appreciate that this book brought to peoples attention that babies DO get/have acid reflux. I almost jumped out of my chair when reading that baby Olivia had acid reflux because it seemed like no one ever thought that acid reflu...more
Wow. I have a love-hate relationship with this book. I could profoundly relate to so much of Simone's struggle with Post-Partum Depression. It was by no means a feel good read, but a book about how the "sins of the father (or mother)" can so greatly affect our children. I didn't enjoy how the author jumped around in her timeline, and I despised Simone's husband. I felt like Campbell did a great job of describing what it is like to be experiencing severe PPD, and how draining it is for those who...more
I call bullshit.

Don't read a book and claim it's about Postpartum Depression. This woman was fucking psychotic to begin with. Giving birth to a zillion kids was the icing on the cake. Everyone who wrote reviews praising this book stating it gives a voice to PPD? Duh. This book was about a fucked up family who produced a fucked up woman who fucked up her own kids. There's nothing here, other than the trial defense, which really is about PPD. I am irritated. In case you couldn't get that.
This book held my attention enough to finish but it didn't grab me enough to give it more than 3 stars. It explores the relationship between two sisters, one emotionally dependent on the other and culminates in the younger sister's trial for the attempted murder of 3 of her daughters. The main focus is on the relationship between the sisters and their other family members.
--- i think its sad many women have suffered from this debilitating disease process for sooo many years and yet it wasnt formally accepted as that until 1994. just liked the story, felt for the mom, the sister AND the daughter(s) in all of their forms.
something just resonated with me
Janet Pawelek
Any woman who has ever had a baby can relate to the storyline in this book. All of us are sleep-deprived, nervous about taking care of a newborn, scared when the baby cries. Even if we have a strong support system, our hearts still beat fast with insecurity and fear. That's without having clinical postpartum depression. Soooo...add to this a complex chemical and hormonal imbalance, a mentally unstable personality underneath, and a sketchy support system, and you have the perfect storm.
What a wo...more
Ramona Fontenot
Somewhat haunting. This book covered postpartum depression. I believe some women are taken in by men who bully them into having children - lots of children. This was the case in this book for sure. The main character was fragile and not strong in character to begin with - then she marries a man who wanted a docile woman to take care of - which led to a not so happy life for her. She had 5 babies in a matter of 8 years and several miscarriages - BECAUSE her husband wanted a boy. BLAH - he was a b...more
I think I'd really give this 4.5 stars I loved this book! I found it really engaging from the beginning.
Holly Tellander
Several times while reading this book I had to set it down and just stare off into space and think. That to me is the mark of good writing. I was in Roxanne's head, I was in her sister's head but I was also in their hearts, and that is difficult to do. I don't have much experience with postpartum depression, other than pure aghast horror at news stories of mothers killing or trying to kill children, but I do have experience with dysfunctional families and this book was spot on in its description...more
Cheryl "Mash"
THE GOOD SISTER by Drusilla Campbell
Published by Grand Central Publishing
The Hachette Book Group
ISBN 978-0-44653578-6
At the request of Bestsellersworld, an ARC TPB was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.

Synopsis (borrowed from B&N): 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 c...more
I have to give this book a few stars because I definitely found it interesting, and I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and all their history, but it was really kind of a mess. The writing was sometimes good and sometimes not, often too confusing to follow with all the jumping back and forth between viewpoints and past/present, and I really felt like the author just didn't give enough. There were so many hints or brief allusions to certain parts of each character's story, and I kept...more
Eva Leger
I'd give this more of a 4.5 but I can't possibly give it a 4 as much as I liked it. I'll usually round lower when something like this happens but it just can't happen here.
I had a real good time reading The Good Sister. That's not to say it's a "feel good" book, it isn't, but I thoroughly enjoyed Campbell's writing like I knew I would. Drusilla Campbell is one of the very few authors I'll by a new book by without question or nervousness. I fell in love with Campbell after finding Blood Orange a...more
It's refreshing when I feel like an author is writing a book in order to explore characters or to express herself, or for some other reason than to make a point. It seems that there are plenty of writers who use fiction to mask whatever conviction they are trying to share with the reader.

I thought all of the characters in this novel were treated with love. Even characters I wanted to dislike(and did, in fact dislike), I could understand, at least somewhat, and identify with them. They made sens...more
May 21, 2011 Gina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in reading about family dysfuntion and its fallout
Recommended to Gina by: no one
A wonderful, multiple-layered book dealing with post-partum depression and mental illness. Fascinating glimpse inside the mind of a mother, who honestly loses all sense of reality, and believes that the "right" thing to do is to save her children by trying to kill them. For so many years I have looked aghast at news articles about monster mothers, who harm their children, and now, thanks to this book I shall have some modicum of understanding of the anguish in their minds. Another valuable lesso...more
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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...more
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