Keep Her Sweet – Helen Fitzgerald

Desperate to enjoy their empty nest, Penny 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 Penny 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.

Book Information: Print Length: 222 pages. Publisher: Orenda. Publication Date: 26 May 2022

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. 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 review

THANK YOU Helen for proving that even though my own family are a mash up of The Addams vs Modern Family with a splash of The Brady Bunch, compared to Penny, Andeep, Camille and Asha Moloney-Singh we seem positively normal (and if you know me in real life you will know that’s almost impossible!).

Keep Her Sweet is Helen’s latest standalone book which sits firmly between dark humour and family fiction and should also categorized under “how not to raise children” or “how to keep your marriage alive when the kids leave home (or more importantly how to keep your children alive when they return home)”.

This is a very dark book, the humour is dark, the story is dark, the characters are dark and the writing is smart, dark and powerful.

Penny and Andeep Moloney-Singh have downsized now their two adult daughters have left home and are trying to rekindle their marriage and find each other again. However due to circumstances beyond their control, both daughters are back – one under house arrest who can’t leave the house and the other who can leave, but refuses to. Asha and Camille have never seen eye-to-eye – unless it’s a black eye and being stuck in a small house together has definitely brings out the worst in each other. When a violent attack results in a family therapist being brought in, the Moloney-Singh family have no alternative but to face the truths about each other and try to get along as a family.

This book looks at the toxic relationships between the parents, their grown-up daughters and shines a glorious spotlight on dysfunctional families and sibling rivalry at its absolute worst.

Enjoyable is probably the wrong word to use as you watch this family self-destruct, but it’s a case of being unable to look away as each member of the family falls apart and their safe family unit breaks down to a violent point of no return.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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