Darling Girls

A Novel

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Pub Date 23 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 07 May 2024


SISTERS, SECRETS, LOVE, AND MURDER... Sally Hepworth’s new novel has it all.

For as long as they can remember, Jessica, Norah, and Alicia have been told how lucky they are. As young girls they were rescued from family tragedies and raised by a loving foster mother, Miss Fairchild, on an idyllic farming estate and given an elusive second chance at a happy family life.

But their childhood wasn’t the fairy tale everyone thinks it was. Miss Fairchild had rules. Miss Fairchild could be unpredictable. And Miss Fairchild was never, ever to be crossed. In a moment of desperation, the three broke away from Miss Fairchild and thought they were free. Even though they never saw her again, she was always somewhere in the shadows of their minds. When a body is discovered under the home they grew up in, the foster sisters find themselves thrust into the spotlight as key witnesses. Or are they prime suspects?

A thrilling page-turner of sisterhood, secrets, love, and murder by New York Times bestselling author Sally Hepworth.

“Sally Hepworth writes characters you love.” —LIANE MORIARTY, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF APPLES NEVER FALL

SISTERS, SECRETS, LOVE, AND MURDER... Sally Hepworth’s new novel has it all.

For as long as they can remember, Jessica, Norah, and Alicia have been told how lucky they are. As young girls they were...

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ISBN 9781250284525
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Featured Reviews

This was an excellent thriller that kept me guessing the whole time! It was unexpected and fresh. I would definitely recommend this book!

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I was utterly captivated by the book, and I owe my enchanting experience to my dear friend Marie, who shared this literary journey with me. The characters became my companions, their essence so palpable that I felt their every emotion. Just when I thought I had the plot figured out, the author masterfully deceived me, leaving me in awe and earning the story an imaginary Oscar in my heart.

The ending was a whirlwind of emotions, a perfect blend of surprise and satisfaction. I found myself both saddened and overjoyed as the main characters discovered each other and forged a remarkable friendship. Their bond was so genuine that even in the face of adversity, they stood together, proving that solidarity in tough times is the most profound testament to friendship.

Throughout the book, I was moved to tears and laughter, my heart swelling with a myriad of emotions. Sally Hepworth's storytelling prowess is commendable, weaving a tale so poignant and heartwarming that it left me profoundly grateful for the experience. Thank you, Sally Hepworth, for crafting a narrative that touched the depths of my soul and left me with a heart full of emotions and a mind brimming with admiration.

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The story that keeps on giving until the thrilling end. So many times throughout the story I thought I had it figured out, BUT I didn’t. What a great surprise! This psychological thriller has so much energy. We travel through the lives of three foster sisters; Jessica, Alicia, and Norah. They are adults now but their earlier lives at Wild Meadows, the home of foster mother Miss Fairchild, was an unfortunate nightmare while in her care.

The girls stayed close as the years went on. They have adult lives now but childhood traumas creep into their lives daily. One day, the police investigate a suspicious circumstance that occurred at Wild Meadows many years ago. The girls must return to their old foster home and face their demons while trying to help figure out what happened.

The way Hepworth builds her characters and immerses us into their life is remarkable. It was as if I was watching a mini series and each time I put the book down and picked it back up, I was watching the next exciting episode. This is a true thrill ride that doesn’t slow down around corners.

A perfect mystery read for anyone who loves a good story that will make you laugh, cry, sit on the edge of your seat, and be thankful you aren’t one of the characters living the horror. This would be a great book to movie! We can hope!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC of this book.

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Wow! I’ve read other books from Sally Hepworth, but this might be her best yet! Told in different perspectives and jumping between time periods, this was a page-turner that managed to dole out several surprises, right up to the very end. The final reveal was a shocker!

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Sally Hepworth wove a tale that sucked me right in. Alicia, Jessica, and Norah became sisters by choice during their youth. The girls met in a foster home where they shared an unpredictable foster mother named Miss Fairchild.

Darling Girls follows the stories of the sisters growing up in foster care and learning about their adult lives was so intriguing. I loved the characters and their storylines. Also, they mystery of who the bones belonged to and what had truly happened when the girls were young kept the pages turning. I also have to say that I was totally surprised by the twist at the end, and that is VERY rare for me.

This story is a can’t-miss for thriller fans. Do yourself a favor and grab it now! I also loved The Soulmate, so I think Hepworth is officially an author whose books I will be automatically adding to my TBR from now on.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to read and review this ARC!

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Another amazing Sally Hepworth. I absolutely loved the Soulmate and this follow up was also incredible.I enjoyed the mystery and how the story came together. I highly recommend to mystery and thriller lovers.

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This is a riveting exploration of trauma, family bonds, and the lasting impact of a troubled past. The author's command of suspense keeps readers on the edge of their seats, eager to uncover the mysteries that lurk within the shadows. If you enjoy psychological thrillers that delve into the complexities of family relationships and the blurred lines between victim and perpetrator, this novel is a must-read, a true haunting and atmospheric tale.

I just reviewed Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth. #NetGalley

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Jessica, Norah, and Alicia have always been told their lucky. As young girls they all foster children placed in the care of Miss Fairchild on an idyllic farming estate and given an elusive second chance at a happy family.

But things aren’t always what they seem, and Miss Fairchild isn’t perfect. The three sisters escape one day, and thought they were free, but time has a way of catching up with you and now the sisters are catapulted back when a body is discovered. Are they witnesses? Or are they the prime suspects?

Sally Hepworth is one of my favorite authors. So, I was excited to see what she came up with this time around, and I was blown away.

I was a little apprehensive about getting the story from past and present points of views for three characters, but this was done so well, that it worked for me. I loved exploring the relationship between Jessica, Norah and Alicia. While they weren’t sisters by blood, they were sisters by circumstance. Found family can be stronger than real family in my opinion and that was the case here. The intricacies of the relationship between the three was interesting and well flushed out, it seemed realistic.

The characters were all well developed, and since we got the past point of view, we learned what shaped them into them into people they are today. They all have different issues and took different paths, and their back stories supported and built up the case for their present. I liked the little tidbits of information that were sprinkled throughout that just clicked when you read it about why each of them did what they did. It was also really interesting to read about their foster mother, Miss Fairchild, she was quite an interesting character.

While I had figured out one of the big twists of this one relatively quickly, it didn’t deter from my enjoyment. I don’t think that this is necessarily an edge of your seat thriller, that’s why I’d classify it more of a women’s fiction with thriller undertones. It’s well done, and entertaining, and it holds your interesting, it just isn’t super thrilling, and I was okay with that.

I will continue to be a supporter of Sally Hepworth and can’t get enough of her books. I anxiously await the next one.

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press @StMartinsPress and Netgalley @netgalley for

This review will be posted to my blog, speedreadstagram.com around publication date.

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Jessica, Norah, and Alicia are sisters. Not by blood, but they grew up in the. Same foster home under the care of Miss Fairchild. Their time with Miss Fairchild could be considered anything but a happy childhood.

Once they’ve grown up and have been living their own lives, they are informed that a body has been found underneath their foster home.

The story jumps back and forth between the past and present. We get the backstory of the girls’ lives under their foster mother, and then are brought back to current times to learn more about the investigation.

As per usual, my girl Sally KILLED IT (no pun intended) with this book. There are plenty of twists and jaw-dropping moments, right up until the very last page.

If you’re a fan of the thriller/mystery genre, this book is a MUST READ.

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Hepworth’s books are always phenomenal! This one did not disappoint! The last page threw me for a loop!

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Sally Hepworth has done it again! "Darling Girls" is a captivating thriller that kept me hooked from start to finish. As a devoted fan of Hepworth's previous works, this book exceeded my expectations.

The story follows Jessica, Norah, and Alicia, three foster sisters who grew up under the care of Miss Fairchild. Despite the seemingly idyllic setting of their farming estate, the author skillfully unveils the darker side of their childhood. Miss Fairchild's rules and unpredictability add a layer of suspense that keeps you guessing until the very end.

Hepworth's storytelling is impeccable, and her ability to create relatable characters is on full display. The foster sisters' journey from a fractured past to the discovery of a body under their childhood home is filled with twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat.

If you are looking to add an amazing thriller to your Spring of 2024 TBR list, do not miss Darling Girls!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the Advance Readers Copy.

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“You’re lucky to be coming to this home.”

I keep writing and rewriting my review because while I don’t want this story to sound too dark (it isn’t), I DO want to convey how deeply affected I was. Darling Girls was my first novel by Sally Hepworth and it won’t be my last!

Jessica, Norah and Alicia are foster sisters who have a tight bond based in shared childhood trauma. Their foster mother Miss Fairchild is a calculating and insidious malignant narcissist. She reminded me of an evil Mrs. Hannigan. I could picture Miss Fairchild stumbling around drunk, lipstick smears on her face, singing Little Girls. (IFYKYK)

Twenty Five years after they broke free of their foster mother, the sisters are forced to revisit the past when bones are found underneath the house they lived in. Whose bones are they? How long have they been there? Are the sisters suspects? The perspective of each sister shifts fluidly from the present to the past as we learn how they came into each other’s lives. There’s also a creepy anonymous narrator woven in via visits with an equally creepy psychiatrist.

Sally Hepworth’s ability to create characters of incredible depth and psychological complexity is astounding. The sisters each have unique challenges as of result of their traumatic pasts, such as addiction, lack of impulse control and self loathing. There are moments of levity and humor too. I particularly enjoyed the bedtime jokes and couldn’t help but chuckle. I laughed, I cried, I cheered them on and I celebrated their courage. I had no idea I would feel so connected to each of these women AND their younger selves. I wanted to jump in and be the fourth sister! (I don’t have siblings.) This is a testament to Hepworth’s talent.

Jessica, Norah and Alicia are fierce, loyal, intelligent, kind and protective. They continue to work through their demons together. This story of resilience, sisterhood and family got me in all my feels and I still have book hangover. Family doesn’t have to be blood relation; we can choose our own.

⚠️The acknowledgments were so heartfelt and poignant it moved me to tears. This story contains potentially triggering subject matter and material but it’s also an area that’s needs light shed on it.

Thank you Sally Hepworth, St. Martin’s Press and NetGallley for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Big Sally Hepworth fan and I think this might be my new fave by her. Loved how the story was told, loved the main characters, loved the surprise twist at the end. Can’t find anything I didn’t like about this book. Would absolutely recommend

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