Tuesday, April 23, 2024


Title:   Darling Girls
Author:  Sally Hepworth
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press; Macmillan Audio
Genre:   Psychological Thriller
Format:  Audiobook and Kindle ARC
Narrators:  Jessica Clarke
Audiobook Length:  9 hr 6 min
No. of Pages:   368
Date of Publication:   April 23, 2024
My Rating:   4 Stars


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.


Sisters Jessica, Norah and Alicia. Not sisters by blood, but sisters in every way that matters. As someone with four sisters, I can attest to the fact that there is an unbreakable bond. These three girls have that bond, a bond that was forged after being fostered in a home by a woman known as Miss Fairchild. They were only three of dozens of other fostered children, but as adults, some of the issues that led them to foster care, as well as living in a less than ideal foster home, has brought them even closer together. 

New construction is taking place - in a very old place. It was Wild Meadows, the foster home run by Miss Fairchild. When a body is discovered, the girls are faced with a past none of them want to relive, but they are witnesses to whatever it was that happened that eventually led to that body being discovered. The question is: are they witnesses or or are they suspects in a death that was no doubt a murder?

Darling Girls is the fifth book I have read by Sally Hepworth, and as before, I was really pulled into the drama in this story. Secrets, lies and murders are the fiber of this story, but equally so are love and sisterhood. There is trauma. There is drama. And with four points of view the story moves at a fast pace, especially as it was excellently narrated by Jessica Clarke. I definitely loved her performance. 

Many thanks to Macmillan Audio, St. Martin's Press and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives (2015), The Things We Keep (2016) and The Mother's Promise (2017), and The Family Next Door (Feb 2018). Sally's books have been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.

Sally's novels are available worldwide in English and have been translated into 15 languages.

Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.

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