Desperate to enjoy their empty nest, Jen and Andeep downsize to the countryside, to forage, upcycle and fall in love again, only to be joined by their two twenty-something daughters, Asha and Camille. Living on top of each other in a tiny house, with no way to make money, tensions simmer, and as Jen and Andeep focus increasingly on themselves, the girls become isolated, argumentative and violent. When Asha injures Camille, a family therapist is called in, but she shrugs off the escalating violence between the sisters as a classic case of sibling rivalry … and the stress of the family move. But this is not sibling rivalry. The sisters are in far too deep for that. This is a murder, just waiting to happen… Chilling, vicious and darkly funny, Keep Her Sweet is not just a tense, sinister psychological thriller, but a startling look at sister relationships and they bonds they share … or shatter.
Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and adapted for a major BBC drama. Her 2019 dark-comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in the Literary Review, Herald Scotland, Guardian and Daily Telegraph, shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and won the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award. Her latest title Ash Mountain was published in 2020. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband. Follow Helen on Twitter @FitzHelen.
My thoughts: I don’t have the easiest relationship with my sibling but Asha and Camille take things to a whole new Cain and Abel level with their violent, relentless fighting, bitching and casual cruelty. Even the therapist they hire to help the family mend some fences is a bit at a loss and some things are beyond talking about it.
After their parents spiral off in their own problems, the sisters are left alone, rather unwillingly, and war breaks out. Asha definitely has some serious issues and Camille can’t take the constant abuse anymore. They aren’t children so the violence is all the more shocking, Asha knows exactly what she’s doing when she attacks her sister. The brutal behaviour worsens the longer they’re together and in the end it might just break them.
Shocking, unrelenting and disturbing, this takes sibling squabbles to an extreme beyond the norm and then some. Brilliant writing, jaw dropping stuff.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.