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Magpie

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She has almost everything. The rest she’ll take. Marisa may have only known Jake a few months, but she has never felt this certain about anyone. When he asks her to move in with him and they start trying for a baby, she knows she has finally found the steadfast love and support she has been looking for all her life. But their relationship is tested when they take in a lodger She has almost everything. The rest she’ll take. Marisa may have only known Jake a few months, but she has never felt this certain about anyone. When he asks her to move in with him and they start trying for a baby, she knows she has finally found the steadfast love and support she has been looking for all her life. But their relationship is tested when they take in a lodger, Kate, who has little regard for personal boundaries and seems to take an uncomfortable interest in Jake – as well as the baby they are hoping to have. Why is Kate so obsessed with the couple? And, more worryingly, why doesn’t Jake share Marisa's concern? In her determination to find the answers, Marisa risks losing everything she holds dear… Magpie is a tense, twisting, brilliantly written novel about mothers and children, envy and possession, and the dangers of getting everything you’ve ever dreamed of.


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She has almost everything. The rest she’ll take. Marisa may have only known Jake a few months, but she has never felt this certain about anyone. When he asks her to move in with him and they start trying for a baby, she knows she has finally found the steadfast love and support she has been looking for all her life. But their relationship is tested when they take in a lodger She has almost everything. The rest she’ll take. Marisa may have only known Jake a few months, but she has never felt this certain about anyone. When he asks her to move in with him and they start trying for a baby, she knows she has finally found the steadfast love and support she has been looking for all her life. But their relationship is tested when they take in a lodger, Kate, who has little regard for personal boundaries and seems to take an uncomfortable interest in Jake – as well as the baby they are hoping to have. Why is Kate so obsessed with the couple? And, more worryingly, why doesn’t Jake share Marisa's concern? In her determination to find the answers, Marisa risks losing everything she holds dear… Magpie is a tense, twisting, brilliantly written novel about mothers and children, envy and possession, and the dangers of getting everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

30 review for Magpie

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    4+ ‘One for sorrow, two for joy ..’ Marissa is viewing a house for her and boyfriend Jake to live in when a magpie flies in through the open doors. A harbinger? Only time will tell. They move in and for financial reasons take in Kate as a lodger and she becomes a firmly affixed limpet on the hull of their relationship. This is a such a clever book which is very well written and is perfectly paced throughout. It has some good twists that take you totally by surprise as they come out of the blue but 4+ ‘One for sorrow, two for joy ..’ Marissa is viewing a house for her and boyfriend Jake to live in when a magpie flies in through the open doors. A harbinger? Only time will tell. They move in and for financial reasons take in Kate as a lodger and she becomes a firmly affixed limpet on the hull of their relationship. This is a such a clever book which is very well written and is perfectly paced throughout. It has some good twists that take you totally by surprise as they come out of the blue but which enable you to make sense of some observed disconnection and frissons of unease in the narrative. In places it’s creepy, tense and claustrophobic in the smothering overstepping of bounds and it becomes quite scary. This leads to a growing antipathy between the three of them which escalates. The characterisation is the standout feature of the book and I’d go so far as to say it’s outstanding. Marissa is a cauldron of various emotions from anger to insecurity and everything in between. She hides things and prefers to paper over the cavernous cracks in her personal life. Kate seems a controlling , manipulative cuckoo in the nest but as the storyline develops it’s clear she’s carrying a huge burden. The prize for ultimate manipulation goes to Jake’s mother, whose passive aggressive barking and biting is fist clenchingly odious. The novel deals with some weighty issues from mental health to fertility problems to trauma of various kinds and all are dealt with sensitively by the author. My only reservation after such a compelling, hard to put down read is the resolution which seems a bit too picture perfect. What unfolds between the three of them is messy and maybe as a consequence it needs a messy end. Overall, this is a very polished, clever, domestic noir/psychological thriller from the talented Elizabeth Day. If you like a read with twists and a multitude of emotions you may enjoy this one! With thanks for NetGalley and 4th Estate for the arc in return for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Pat (currently not accepting new friend requests)

    Um… I’m in the minority here but I wasn’t really sure what the point of the book was. And, it’s a hard one to review without giving spoilers but I’ll do my best. The story starts with Marisa and Jake. They haven’t known each other long but have moved in together and are trying for a baby. Marisa was abandoned by her mother when she was 7 years old and her father pretty much switched off after that. Jake represents stability and solidity and she likes that. But money is a teeny bit tight so they t Um… I’m in the minority here but I wasn’t really sure what the point of the book was. And, it’s a hard one to review without giving spoilers but I’ll do my best. The story starts with Marisa and Jake. They haven’t known each other long but have moved in together and are trying for a baby. Marisa was abandoned by her mother when she was 7 years old and her father pretty much switched off after that. Jake represents stability and solidity and she likes that. But money is a teeny bit tight so they take in a lodger, Kate. Marisa is not comfortable with Kate who seems overly familiar, overly interested in her eventual pregnancy and seems to treat the house as her own. Then the story switches to Kate’s POV and things are quite different. This, folks, is the twist! What the book does well is convey the misery of infertility for women who really, really want a child. There are also some mental health issues covered which I thought was done quite sensitively. What I didn’t like was the evil mother-in-law trope being invoked again. This time it is Jake’s mother, Annabelle, and she really is portrayed as an evil, harradin. But I’ve just recently read books with evil MILs and I’m kind of over it right now. I thought the ending was a bit optimistic but, who knows, it could happen. It was well written and a quick read and I don’t really know what else to say about this book. Thanks to the publisher via Netgalley for the ARC which I have reviewed voluntarily and honestly.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    4.5 stars. So addictive and fast-paced! I was hooked from the very first page.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Margaret M

    The act of collecting and keeping is the backdrop of the story, not as the famous rythm goes, one for sorrow, two for joy that I will use later to structure and write my review. First the plot, Marisa meets Jake and after a whirlwind romance they move in together and decide to start a family, but as money gets tighter, they agree to take in a lodger Kate. But something is not quite right, and Marisa gets a feeling of unease when the closeness of her partner, Jake, and Kate becomes apparent. You m The act of collecting and keeping is the backdrop of the story, not as the famous rythm goes, one for sorrow, two for joy that I will use later to structure and write my review. First the plot, Marisa meets Jake and after a whirlwind romance they move in together and decide to start a family, but as money gets tighter, they agree to take in a lodger Kate. But something is not quite right, and Marisa gets a feeling of unease when the closeness of her partner, Jake, and Kate becomes apparent. You might guess what happens next and I almost put down the book for an unimaginative plot then the whole thing turned on its head as we deal with mental health, fertility, love, and acceptance, with as much anticipation as any thriller. One for sorrow – there is a clever plot but an underlying sadness to the story which is dealt with brilliantly by the author. “… happiness was transient, and she would find this out when the lodger came”. Two for joy – whilst possessing a darkness, the story also possesses one of hope, acceptance, and healing. We see kindness in the characters and joy for this reader !!!! Three for a girl – The character development of the women in the story was excellent. We have the girlfriend Marisa and Kate the lodger who inevitability clash because something is not quite right about how Kate fits into their lives. The way she stands and sits too close to Jake.. the way the two of them stop talking when she enters the room, but they find an accommodation – but over what? Four for a boy – Jake the central male character navigates his way very cleverly through a difficult and distressing period, so hats off to the author for not creating intriguing female characters at the expense of a weak male character. Five for silver, and as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining, and so does the story of the 3 central characters. Six for Gold – this was gold standard story telling. I loved the plot, the characters, the themes of infertility and mental health that was dealt with so sensitively in the story and the writing style of the author. We also have a reference to the "... golden Buddha, shining out from the centre. Peace she thinks." Seven for a secret never to be told. Well, no spoilers by me, but this is a book well worth reading. Highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Magpie, if I was to do a short review I would say ‘In every way, every word, every scene the writing, the characters and the story are delicious, this book is pure reading magic causing reader happiness up to the highest levels, buy it and you are in for a guaranteed treat of a book’ So, I think I will leave it as a short review It’s wonderful 10/10 Never an easier 5 Stars

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Magpie is a compelling, stylish and emotionally resonant psychological thriller ripe with jealousy, obsession, motherhood, power and struggles with fertility into which Day channels her personal pain over her three tragic miscarriages and three rounds of IVF. Marisa, a children's book illustrator, may have only known Jake a few months, but she has never felt this certain about anyone before. When he asks her to move in with him and they start trying for a baby, she knows she has finally found th Magpie is a compelling, stylish and emotionally resonant psychological thriller ripe with jealousy, obsession, motherhood, power and struggles with fertility into which Day channels her personal pain over her three tragic miscarriages and three rounds of IVF. Marisa, a children's book illustrator, may have only known Jake a few months, but she has never felt this certain about anyone before. When he asks her to move in with him and they start trying for a baby, she knows she has finally found the steadfast love and support she has been looking for all her life. Soon, they decide to rent a room out to earn a little extra cash and their relationship is tested when they take in a lodger, Kate, who has little regard for personal boundaries and seems to take an uncomfortable interest in Jake – as well as the baby they are hoping to have together. Her motto appears to be: whatever I want I shall take regardless of who she happens to hurt in the process. Why is Kate so obsessed with the couple? And, more worryingly, why doesn’t Jake share Marisa's concern? In her determination to find the answers, Marisa risks losing everything she holds dear. This is a tense, twisting, brilliantly written novel about mothers and children, envy and possession and the dangers of getting everything you’ve ever dreamed of. It's a domestic-based psychologically astute and cleverly woven, exhilarating tale, and it is remarkably brave and inspirational that Day wrote this during the first national lockdown in a sort of fever-dream. You can tell it came straight from the heart and she has since stated being able to return to fiction to give voice to some of her deeply personal experiences was both freeing and thrilling. It's a knotty and complex story with the relationships becoming more and more toxic and downright dangerous as the book progresses, and I was hoping that the couple’s relationship would ultimately survive. Essentially, the whole premise is based upon an original idea - that fertility goes to the core of who we are as human beings. It’s an interesting lens through which to view how humans operate – and what’s provoked in them when it doesn’t go according to plan. The obsession, the self-inflicted cruelty, the jealousy and mental deterioration – but on the flip side, the compassion and kindness, and that's exactly what we see in Magpie. This is Elizabeth’s finest novel yet, a wickedly twisting, deftly plotted and acutely perceptive literary thriller about motherhood, envy, how dangerous it can be to trust others with your dreams and the truly devastating emotional impact of infertility. Highly recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Marisa may have only known Jake a few months, but she has never felt more certain about anyone. When he asks her to move in with him and they start trying for a baby, she knows she has finally found the steadfast love and support she has been looking for all her life. But their relationship is tested when they take in a lodger, Kate, who has little regard for personal boundaries and seems to take an uncomfortable interest in Jake - as well as the baby they are hoping to have. Marisa has only know Marisa may have only known Jake a few months, but she has never felt more certain about anyone. When he asks her to move in with him and they start trying for a baby, she knows she has finally found the steadfast love and support she has been looking for all her life. But their relationship is tested when they take in a lodger, Kate, who has little regard for personal boundaries and seems to take an uncomfortable interest in Jake - as well as the baby they are hoping to have. Marisa has only known Jake for a few months but she's already moved in with him and trying for a baby. But things are strained when they take in lodger Kate. Marisa thinks Kate's behaviour is a bit weird. The big twist comes around the middle and the story takes on a new edge. This is a well written and gripping read. I was hooked from the first page. An original, clever and twist filled plotline. This is a tense read about fertility motherhood and possession. I would like to thank #NetGalley #4thEstate and the author #ElizabethDay for my ARC of #Magpie in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Zuky the BookBum

    I had such high hopes for this one but ultimately it fell flat for me. I was hoping for a subtle thriller about motherhood that was unsettling but meaningful like The Push was but in the end this just fell on boring thriller tropes and was way longer than it needed to be. This one started out intriguing with a slightly weird, off-kilter budding relationship being strained by the need for a lodger to move in. The first part plays out a reasonably intense scenario with our pregnant main character b I had such high hopes for this one but ultimately it fell flat for me. I was hoping for a subtle thriller about motherhood that was unsettling but meaningful like The Push was but in the end this just fell on boring thriller tropes and was way longer than it needed to be. This one started out intriguing with a slightly weird, off-kilter budding relationship being strained by the need for a lodger to move in. The first part plays out a reasonably intense scenario with our pregnant main character becoming suspicious of the relationship between her partner and their new lodger. This first part ends on a crescendo that leads us to the first twist. The twist which lots of other reviewers loved and didn’t see coming, but that I’d picked up the gist of from only a few pages in. But nevermind, we’re only half way through the book at this point, let’s see what the rest of the book can deliver!!! Oh did I say first twist earlier? I meant *only* twist. The rest of the story (200 pages, or so) eeked out painfully slowly only to judder to a dissatisfying tropey ending that almost made me throw the book across the room. And to make it worse, all the characters were boring and unlikeable so I couldn’t even empathise with the emotional pain infertility has on a woman who really wants a child. There is nothing wrong with Day’s writing, it’s eloquent and easy to read, however this story really did 0 things right for me and I have to say, this has unfortunately been my least favourite read of the year so far. I’ve grown disillusioned with thrillers over recent years, it’s really about time I stop putting so much expectation on them. This one was not for me, clearly, but that’s not to say it’s not for you. I’m in the minority with my review. Don’t let my words be your final decision on whether you pick this book up or not! Ad-gifted by 4th Estate Books.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Dooley

    Well, this was one strange book for me. It was nearly a dnf at one stage but I ended up giving it 4 stars. How so? Well let me explain. I went into this blind(and I thoroughly recommend you do too) so had no real idea what the book was about. The first third of the book is told from the perspective of one of the most annoying characters I can ever remember. The story felt all that bit familiar and I found myself frustrated and not really sure if I wanted to read a whole book of the path the stor Well, this was one strange book for me. It was nearly a dnf at one stage but I ended up giving it 4 stars. How so? Well let me explain. I went into this blind(and I thoroughly recommend you do too) so had no real idea what the book was about. The first third of the book is told from the perspective of one of the most annoying characters I can ever remember. The story felt all that bit familiar and I found myself frustrated and not really sure if I wanted to read a whole book of the path the story was going down. I thought this was going to be drawn out over the whole book….. And then……bang! We change perspective, there is a huge twist, and still two thirds of the book to read. I didn’t see it coming at all. Very cleverly plotted. Some really memorable characters, the author pulled the rug from under my feet more than once. I started off hating this book and ended up loving it. I’m not sure I would have quite enjoyed it as much as I did if I’d read the synopsis or had an idea what it was about. I’m so glad I didn’t. If you start this and aren’t enjoying it, stick with it. It won’t take long before it draws you in. Thanks to the publisher for an ARC through Netgalley.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    This is an entertaining read that focuses on the tension between two women, Marisa and Kate and is told from their perspectives. Kate is the lodger at Marisa and Jake’s house and is a complete opposite to Marisa. Kate is stylish, dark haired, sporty, whereas Marisa is blond, curvy and less concerned about her attire. Marisa had only known Jake for a short time but knew that he was the one for her and a baby was high on her list. Once they take on a lodger the game changes and their relationship s This is an entertaining read that focuses on the tension between two women, Marisa and Kate and is told from their perspectives. Kate is the lodger at Marisa and Jake’s house and is a complete opposite to Marisa. Kate is stylish, dark haired, sporty, whereas Marisa is blond, curvy and less concerned about her attire. Marisa had only known Jake for a short time but knew that he was the one for her and a baby was high on her list. Once they take on a lodger the game changes and their relationship suffers. Marisa feels that Kate is obsessed with her and Jake. Kate acts as if the house is hers and thinks nothing of helping herself to whatever she needs. The stress of trying to get pregnant is telling on Marisa and she becomes suspicious of the relationship between Jake and Kate. . This is a well written novel that wasn’t spoilt for me by guessing some of the twists. Lots of emotions and some great characters make this a very good read. I particularly enjoyed the character Annabelle, the overbearing mother in law.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Natalie M

    I am a little perplexed by this review... Positives - very quick read! Excellent character development. Highly believable infertility experiences and in-depth focus on mental health. Midread twist - totally unexpected. Writing is of an excellent standard. Negatives - unbelievable ending, annoying as all get-out characters, the mother-in-law from hell (but she seems to be 'there' with little plausibility), and my pet-hate - how can you live with someone and not know the basics, e.g. how much they e I am a little perplexed by this review... Positives - very quick read! Excellent character development. Highly believable infertility experiences and in-depth focus on mental health. Midread twist - totally unexpected. Writing is of an excellent standard. Negatives - unbelievable ending, annoying as all get-out characters, the mother-in-law from hell (but she seems to be 'there' with little plausibility), and my pet-hate - how can you live with someone and not know the basics, e.g. how much they earn or what they actually do! All in all - it has a great psychological element, an unforeseeable twist, and I am in the minority with my rating - so worth giving it a go.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meg Mason

    Completely brilliant, a thriller the way John LeCarre novels are spy fiction - meaning literary fiction that just happens to contain a twisting storyline and is cleverly written (in this case SO cleverly) that the readers' perception of what's true and who's the reliable teller keeps changing - sometimes from page to page in this case. The characters utterly believable, the setting is perfectly rendered and the pace is like, whiplash territory - no slow sections you feel could have been cut out Completely brilliant, a thriller the way John LeCarre novels are spy fiction - meaning literary fiction that just happens to contain a twisting storyline and is cleverly written (in this case SO cleverly) that the readers' perception of what's true and who's the reliable teller keeps changing - sometimes from page to page in this case. The characters utterly believable, the setting is perfectly rendered and the pace is like, whiplash territory - no slow sections you feel could have been cut out - and the plot is overall so compelling you can (I did) read it one sitting. What surprised me, and what I loved the most, what I cannot stop thinking about is the novel's deeply feminist heart. Compared to Gone Girl et al., Magpie feels new and revolutionary because Day shows it's possible to write a novel with two female protagonists and not pit them endlessly against each other, painting one as the villain and one as the heroine, and proves that having one woman triumph and the other be destroyed is not the only way a story can end. The closest comparison I can think of is Zoe Heller's Notes on a Scandal, which I loved, but really Magpie isn't like anything else. I wish I could read it again for the first time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sandrine V

    I really enjoyed this new novel by Elizabeth Day and thought the plot twist in the middle of the book was pure genius. This book felt like a thriller in some instances, but it was not scary, just a really good page-turner. It was interesting to see how the author took inspiration from her own fertility journey to explore themes such as wanting to have a baby and not being able to conceive, the pressure it can have on a relationship, and comparison between women. I also loved the symbolism of the I really enjoyed this new novel by Elizabeth Day and thought the plot twist in the middle of the book was pure genius. This book felt like a thriller in some instances, but it was not scary, just a really good page-turner. It was interesting to see how the author took inspiration from her own fertility journey to explore themes such as wanting to have a baby and not being able to conceive, the pressure it can have on a relationship, and comparison between women. I also loved the symbolism of the magpie and how it kept coming back in the story. I’d say the only downfall for me was that the denouement was a bit ‘too good to be true’ considering everything that happened beforehand.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Hall

    Elizabeth Day plays a blinder in this psychologically astute and extraordinarily powerful literary thriller that cuts to the heart of what being a mother means and the lengths that it can drive a woman to. The novel initially begins from the perspective of twenty-eight-year-old Marisa, a children’s book illustrator, as she recounts the story of meeting thirty-nine-year-old Jake and their decision to move in and start trying for a baby after just three months together. There are enough details of Elizabeth Day plays a blinder in this psychologically astute and extraordinarily powerful literary thriller that cuts to the heart of what being a mother means and the lengths that it can drive a woman to. The novel initially begins from the perspective of twenty-eight-year-old Marisa, a children’s book illustrator, as she recounts the story of meeting thirty-nine-year-old Jake and their decision to move in and start trying for a baby after just three months together. There are enough details of Marisa’s past, mentions of how physically and emotionally repressed Jake is and her best friend’s words of caution to suspect things might not be all they appear. Whilst Marisa seems insecure and a tad desperate, it is only when the couple take in lodger Kate that things start to go awry. From the start Kate seems to display a limited understanding of boundaries, inserting herself in between Marisa and Jake, and effectively trying to edge Marisa out. But it is only when Marisa falls pregnant that Kate’s unhealthy interest in the couple, and their pregnancy, goes from irritating to worryingly obsessive, yet easy-going Jake doesn’t seem to share Marisa’s concerns. A third of the way into the novel comes a perspective change that appears to turn everything on its head and when the two stories don’t align it leaves the reader questioning who the reliable narrator is. From here on in, right until a shocking and so, so satisfying second twist, Magpie is a wonderfully tense encounter. Marisa is terrifically well-drawn and whilst it’s obvious that she bears scars from her childhood, it is only with the complication of Kate’s presence and pregnancy that she starts to come apart. Whilst Jake is rather nondescript and this feels fitting in this female-centred thriller, Kate’s emotions and concerns feel just as valid and credible as those of Marisa. Without revealing the details of the twist, the safest thing to say is that Magpie tackles issues of fertility and motherhood and mixes it up with power, obsession and jealousy. Considering everything from how mothers are perceived to the language of failure that surrounds IVF, the ideas broached are not often put under the microscope so overtly. Given Day’s own very public issues with fertility and IVF the writing is, as expected, clear-eyed, perceptive and deeply astute. Admittedly the denouement feels bizarrely neat and the simplicity with which things are tied up somewhat idealistic given the amount of collateral damage along the way. However Day’s eloquence and profound honesty, not just on fertility issues but all things related to motherhood, make for a novel fraught with tension and a disquieting atmosphere that never dissipates throughout. Whilst this novel has two deliciously good twists, with Elizabeth Day drawing the readers attention away from where they should really be looking whilst cleverly setting these up, Magpie is also one of the most penetrating and perspicuous accounts of fertility and motherhood that I have come across.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shona

    This was a book that I found myself intrigued by the synopsis so was interested to read the advanced readers copy I received. The new novel from the best-selling author ‘The Party’ (not that have read this title) is described as a ‘thrilling,stylish and psychologically astute story of jealousy, motherhood and power.’ We are introduced to Marisa who has been seeing Jake for a few months, but when he asks her to move in with him and to start trying for a baby, she believes that he is the one. When t This was a book that I found myself intrigued by the synopsis so was interested to read the advanced readers copy I received. The new novel from the best-selling author ‘The Party’ (not that have read this title) is described as a ‘thrilling,stylish and psychologically astute story of jealousy, motherhood and power.’ We are introduced to Marisa who has been seeing Jake for a few months, but when he asks her to move in with him and to start trying for a baby, she believes that he is the one. When they take in a lodger, Kate, their relationship is put to the test when Kate seems to show an interest in Jake, along with the baby Marisa is carrying. It is hard to review this book without giving away what happens and that would spoil anyone picking this up to read so I won’t go into it further. However, I hate to say it but once the twist has been revealed about halfway through the book, well, nothing really happens and it all feels a bit flat and not heading in any particular direction. Even the ending was a little subdued and uninteresting, unfortunately I found myself not really caring how the book ended or what happened but rather just wanting to have finished it. Not one that I would recommend I’m afraid, quite a forgetful book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    Marisa and Jake take in lodger Kate to earn some extra money and all hell breaks loose. This is a very well written domestic drama that I literally flew through. It was at times creepy and shocking but also dealt with some heavy issues including mental illness and fertility problems and lots and lots of emotional baggage. I especially loved how all the characters were fully fleshed out and I felt everything from pity to hate for them. I felt so bad for Marisa, Kate was a complete basket case but Marisa and Jake take in lodger Kate to earn some extra money and all hell breaks loose. This is a very well written domestic drama that I literally flew through. It was at times creepy and shocking but also dealt with some heavy issues including mental illness and fertility problems and lots and lots of emotional baggage. I especially loved how all the characters were fully fleshed out and I felt everything from pity to hate for them. I felt so bad for Marisa, Kate was a complete basket case but I still managed empathy for her too. The twist really surprised me in the best way possible and Elizabeth Days writing makes for a face paced read. Thanks to Netgalley, Elizabeth Day and Fourth Estate for the ARC.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    After a noticeably short relationship Marisa knows Jake is ‘The One’ So, they take their relationship to the next level and decide to move in together. The pair are blissfully happy and start talking about having kids. But, for now as the new flat is quite expensive, they decide to take in a new lodger to make some money. Jake already has someone in mind, Kate and she moves in. After several attempts to conceive and when Marisa finally becomes pregnant jealousy is running away with her when she t After a noticeably short relationship Marisa knows Jake is ‘The One’ So, they take their relationship to the next level and decide to move in together. The pair are blissfully happy and start talking about having kids. But, for now as the new flat is quite expensive, they decide to take in a new lodger to make some money. Jake already has someone in mind, Kate and she moves in. After several attempts to conceive and when Marisa finally becomes pregnant jealousy is running away with her when she thinks that Jake is spending too much time with Kate and when one night, she finds them together. Her first thought that it is not real it’s just her hormones running away with her. But other things that happen makes her prone to think it is actually true. Thank you, 4th Estate, for a copy The Magpie. This is cleverly written psychological thriller also about fertility, how far someone will go to get a child and also mental health issues. I found it to have a really unique storyline. I have not read something like this before. There were so many twists to this story. I kept thinking what will happen then it changed direction again. The author is a great storyteller keeping to engaged right up to the end. 4 stars from me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hally

    Being a fan of Elizabeth Day's podcasts attracted me to this, but I had no prior knowledge of the plot. Like most reviewers I really didn't like the first third. I found the initial narrator's voice irritatingly judgemental and the story felt all too familiar...I thought I knew where it was going. I'd heard that Day's previous novels were typical domestic dramas and so didn't expect Magpie to become a thriller. When the change of perspective hit, however, I was hooked on the story! For me a 4 st Being a fan of Elizabeth Day's podcasts attracted me to this, but I had no prior knowledge of the plot. Like most reviewers I really didn't like the first third. I found the initial narrator's voice irritatingly judgemental and the story felt all too familiar...I thought I knew where it was going. I'd heard that Day's previous novels were typical domestic dramas and so didn't expect Magpie to become a thriller. When the change of perspective hit, however, I was hooked on the story! For me a 4 star book is one that I'd plan to re-read (and 5 * is 'I want this tattooed upon my body'). This is neither, but it did totally whisk me out of my reading slump. Magpie is one of those commercial books that is a bookseller's (and must be an agent's/publisher's) dream. (view spoiler)[I'm often wary about depictions of mental health by authors who haven't struggled with the particular illness. There is a need for accurate representation of illnesses like schizophrenia that are often shied away from being shown, but severe mental illness as a plot device does put me on edge a bit. Then again Day presents a possible and specific situation that I'd never thought of before. It's an interesting one to look at from both the main women's perspectives and neither is ultimately villainised. We can't only ever write about what we know, and I trust Elizabeth Day to have done some personal research. (hide spoiler)] All in all as a bookseller and for temporary entertainment this is a 5* and as a very particular reader who loves to feel a personal and intimate bond with a book it's a 3* Original and compelling. 3.5 rounded up

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jacki (Julia Flyte)

    Magpie opens with a magpie flying into a house and there are occasional references to them over the course of the book: 1 for sorrow, 2 for joy, 3 for a girl, 4 for a boy etc. But magpies are also birds that are attracted to shiny objects, that steal things that don't belong to them and use them to feather their own nests and that perhaps is a better clue about what might be going on in this unsettling novel. It opens with Marisa moving into a gorgeous house with Jake. She adores him and they are Magpie opens with a magpie flying into a house and there are occasional references to them over the course of the book: 1 for sorrow, 2 for joy, 3 for a girl, 4 for a boy etc. But magpies are also birds that are attracted to shiny objects, that steal things that don't belong to them and use them to feather their own nests and that perhaps is a better clue about what might be going on in this unsettling novel. It opens with Marisa moving into a gorgeous house with Jake. She adores him and they are hoping to start a family together as soon as possible. But Marisa has a complicated past and hasn’t known Jake long. You sense that perhaps she's unwittingly an unreliable narrator and that things may not be as straightforward as they initially seemed. It's a twisting plot that really holds your attention and keeps you guessing where it's going to go and what's going to happen. I would suggest you avoid reading reviews which may contain spoilers and instead approach this knowing that you're in the hands of a very assured writer who knows what she's doing and where she's taking you. Just enjoy the ride. I adored Elizabeth Day's The Party, so I was thrilled to get an advance copy of Magpie to read and it DID NOT DISAPPOINT. Many thanks to Fourth Estate and NetGalley for the ARC.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alice Hawthorne (whatalicereads)

    Fuelled with the fires of motherhood, jealousy and desire, MAGPIE packs a punch. It was instantly compelling and fiercely detailed, which is what I loved so much about it. Every room, mood and character is articulated finely, making for such an immersive reading experience. You feel all the emotions the characters feel - the rage, shock, fear and paranoia encompasses you as it does to the protagonist. When you glance at a magpie, it looks black and white. Peer closer and you’ll find a metallic b Fuelled with the fires of motherhood, jealousy and desire, MAGPIE packs a punch. It was instantly compelling and fiercely detailed, which is what I loved so much about it. Every room, mood and character is articulated finely, making for such an immersive reading experience. You feel all the emotions the characters feel - the rage, shock, fear and paranoia encompasses you as it does to the protagonist. When you glance at a magpie, it looks black and white. Peer closer and you’ll find a metallic blue sheen shimmering from its glossy feathers. Not everything is as it seems with this thieving bird - and this book is no different… MAGPIE has what I like to call a twirly-wirly plot that kept me gripped till the very end. I had NO idea where it was going; the author had an expert way of keeping you guessing and keeping you hooked. This book was stylish, thrilling and seductive - you couldn’t resist but read on. It was really cleverly written as everything is thoughtfully done, every plot thread an intricate piece of the finished woven work. A really excellent piece of psychological fiction that I found so hard to predict: huge thanks to @4thestatebooks for my copy!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hanlie

    I was sitting reading along merrily, enjoying the book immensely. I found myself speaking to the characters out loud and telling them off because how can you treat someone so kind to you so badly when suddenly halfway through woohoo..... headrush what just happened?! That was a plot twist and a half! If it was fly season I would have caught a couple because my mouth was hanging open! What a brilliant read!! It's a story you get involved in and if you have a monster-in-law you will understand how I was sitting reading along merrily, enjoying the book immensely. I found myself speaking to the characters out loud and telling them off because how can you treat someone so kind to you so badly when suddenly halfway through woohoo..... headrush what just happened?! That was a plot twist and a half! If it was fly season I would have caught a couple because my mouth was hanging open! What a brilliant read!! It's a story you get involved in and if you have a monster-in-law you will understand how hard things can get. In hindsight, the clues were all there but cleverly disguised and yes the author got me! This was the 1st time I've read something by Elizabeth Day but it is definitely not the last time! Thank you to NetGalley and 4th Estate for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion

  22. 4 out of 5

    Becki Sims

    This book is well written with solid characters but I failed to relate to them. I tried to become invested in Marisa and her story but I really struggled. Many thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for gifting me this arc in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amarpal

    Glad I binged this book because it probably would have annoyed me over a period of time. An easy read that has a number of ridiculous plot holes.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Waste of paper. Reads like a sixth form writing assignment.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Duncan

    Hmmmm, well this book left me feeling a bit conflicted. I loved the first two parts but, due to the nature of the story, the second part has to repeat itself a lot which was a bit boring and I was also disappointed to see the black friend trope rolled out again (have we learned nothing this past year? 🤷🏻‍♀️) The book includes a character with serious mental health issues which again, made me feel a bit uncomfortable as I’m not sure whether this is a true reflection of someone who comes off their Hmmmm, well this book left me feeling a bit conflicted. I loved the first two parts but, due to the nature of the story, the second part has to repeat itself a lot which was a bit boring and I was also disappointed to see the black friend trope rolled out again (have we learned nothing this past year? 🤷🏻‍♀️) The book includes a character with serious mental health issues which again, made me feel a bit uncomfortable as I’m not sure whether this is a true reflection of someone who comes off their meds, apart from thanking her Dad for medical advice on drug dosages I couldn’t see any acknowledgment of how Elizabeth did her research for this? Oh and there’s evil mother in law trope too. It was good to read a book which covers infertility issues though and anyone who listens to Elizabeth knows this is a subject she knows very well. It was very hard to warm to any of the characters too so I think overall, this one wasn’t for me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jthbooks

    Maggie feels like a tale of two halves, which in this case isn’t a bad thing, the first half feels taut with suspense and wonder, while the second half is an exploration on motherhood, love and forgiveness. Day manages to keep the novel cohesive with a plot twist that moves the story to another level of excellence. Now, let’s talk about the plot twist. I had my ideas of what I thought would happen, and I was desperately trying to guess and I got it wrong! I didn’t see it coming and I was really Maggie feels like a tale of two halves, which in this case isn’t a bad thing, the first half feels taut with suspense and wonder, while the second half is an exploration on motherhood, love and forgiveness. Day manages to keep the novel cohesive with a plot twist that moves the story to another level of excellence. Now, let’s talk about the plot twist. I had my ideas of what I thought would happen, and I was desperately trying to guess and I got it wrong! I didn’t see it coming and I was really shocked! I love it when an author pulls off a good plot twist and Elizabeth does just that!Also the characters were fantastic in this book. I couldn’t help but like Kate. I literally said to myself while reading it that I really like Kate. I liked Marisa too and Jake. For a thriller like this to work you have to have believable, likeable characters and Elizabeth Day has done just that.This is hard to explain without giving any spoilers and I really don’t want to do that, but I love how Elizabeth has connected they story before and after the plot twist. It really made it cohesive and was such a smart decision. It really makes the novel feel whole. Magpie really shows Elizabeth’s talent as writer as she handles both the psychological thriller and the emotional moments phenomenally. And it gives the story and every character such depth. It is a book that deals with mental illness and I was grateful that it wasn’t exploited. Marisa wasn’t made into a villain, or made to be evil. Things that happen (without spoilers) are the consequences of her actions and intentions that were good. I think it’s balanced really well. And let’s be honest we all know who the real villain of this book is. You’ll know who when you read it! Magpie is a fast-paced, thrilling, emotional read that will keep its reading guessing, wanting to know more and is one of the best thrillers I’ve read. It really is a book you won’t be able to forget for a long time. Thanks so much to Liv at 4thestate for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out September 2nd

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aoife McMenamin

    Hmmm. A difficult book to review without giving away any spoilers. It centres around three main characters, Marisa, Jake and Kate. Marisa is pregnant with Jake’s baby, but all is not as it seems. I’ll leave it there because to say anything more would remove any tension at all from your reading of this book. This lives up to its billing as a tense, psychological thriller - but only for the first third of the book. It was as though the author started off writing a particular story but realised (co Hmmm. A difficult book to review without giving away any spoilers. It centres around three main characters, Marisa, Jake and Kate. Marisa is pregnant with Jake’s baby, but all is not as it seems. I’ll leave it there because to say anything more would remove any tension at all from your reading of this book. This lives up to its billing as a tense, psychological thriller - but only for the first third of the book. It was as though the author started off writing a particular story but realised (correctly) it could only be taken so far and changed tack. On the whole, it didn’t work for me. It peters out from that point on, the tension evaporates, and unfortunately it leans on old, tired tropes (the psycho mother, the battleaxe mother in law) to see the story through to its conclusion. The male characters are pretty hapless one-dimensional types (for anyone who has read it, what was with the detailed explanations of Jake’s garden ropes exercise routine 🤷🏼‍♀️😅?). What this book does well: it handles infertility sensitively, keenly portraying the pain of wanting but not being able to have a family. Not so well: mental health and psychiatric issues are oversimplified snd explained away all too easily. I’m benchmarking this against other psychological/domestic thrillers I’ve read this year - The Push, All Her Fault (both great), Greenwich Park - and unfortunately this one just wasn’t as good. 2/5 ⭐️

  28. 4 out of 5

    Federica

    Oh wow!!!! What an unexpected twist! Marisa and Jake move in together soon after having met and they decide to try for a baby almost immediately. Marisa can't believe her luck: Jake seems to be everything she's ever dreamed of. When they decide to take in a lodger, Kate, she makes herself a bit too at home and seems overlyinterested in their plans for the baby. I can't tell a lot about the rest of the plot without giving away too much, but be assured this is a great, creepy read and you'll be hooke Oh wow!!!! What an unexpected twist! Marisa and Jake move in together soon after having met and they decide to try for a baby almost immediately. Marisa can't believe her luck: Jake seems to be everything she's ever dreamed of. When they decide to take in a lodger, Kate, she makes herself a bit too at home and seems overlyinterested in their plans for the baby. I can't tell a lot about the rest of the plot without giving away too much, but be assured this is a great, creepy read and you'll be hooked from start to end. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    Clever read that had been wanting to read on. This book contains a lot about infertility and IVF so read with care. It also contains content about mental health which was sensitively done and thought it was great on manipulation and gaslighting. For me, I loved the clever plot twist and it would have been a four star except for two things. Not sure it really was a psychological thriller - definite sense of unease throughout first part of book that petered out. The ending in particular didn’t fee Clever read that had been wanting to read on. This book contains a lot about infertility and IVF so read with care. It also contains content about mental health which was sensitively done and thought it was great on manipulation and gaslighting. For me, I loved the clever plot twist and it would have been a four star except for two things. Not sure it really was a psychological thriller - definite sense of unease throughout first part of book that petered out. The ending in particular didn’t feel believable and was a little too good to be true.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Hamilton

    This book digs into some crucial areas around mental health and fertility, and tells the story from more than one perspective helping you understand the complicated nature of both these issues. The writing at times is a bit slow and lots of dialogue, but it’s an addictive story that I was completely hooked on in the second half, and different from any other story I’ve read!

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