Cover Image: Magpie

Magpie

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Member Reviews

Full of incredible twists and turns, Magpie is truly addictive. It encapsulates the themes on mental health and love and infertility in a particular way and I'm already looking forward to seeing what Day does next.
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This one sadly really didn’t hold my attention. The twist was ok but nothing else really happens. The writing was ok. The characters were not really memorable. So disappointed I didn’t like this one as the synopsis had me wanting to read it.
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This book was the kind of book that is clever and requires concentration to keep up with the twists, turns and misdirection - this is not a negative, it’s more of a way of letting you know to clear your diary. 
It is hard to say anything about the synopsis of this book without giving away information - what I will say is Magpie is the perfect title. You don’t need to know anything about birds to know that the Magpie is a predator who likes shiny things and  who takes things from others.
Read it when you have a free few days as this is one you won’t be able to put down. 

Thank you to the publisher, author and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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While Magpie starts off incredibly strong and interesting, after the halfway mark it all goes downhill. All the tenseness disappeared and was replaced with a dull and predictable story.
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A truly astonishing book. The characters are Jake, Marisa and Kate. The storyline is very clever, the book covers relationships, surrogacy, mental health  and is a really good read. I felt terrified and with a broken heart at times.
Magpie gets 10/10
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I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  Fantastic twists that really threw me and cleverly written so I couldn’t work out who was the good guy and who was the bad guy.  Highly recommended.
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Loved this book. You thought that you knew what was going on until you heard Kate's story and then the story really became clear. Sensitively written about the infertility journey. Surprised but pleased by the happy ending.  

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in return for an honest review.
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Marisa and Jake appear to be living a perfect life in a beautiful house, and hoping to have a baby.
They take in a lodger, Kate, who starts to act strangely, and treat the house, and Jake, as if they belong to her.
That’s the first section of the book.
What happens next is from Kate’s perspective, it comes from left field, and turns everything upside down.
The story should have been a compelling read, but I found the characters so unlikeable, Kate with her right-on left wing media vibe, Jake, who had no real personality, Marisa, so sweet and vulnerable, Annabelle, Jakes caricature of a controlling mother, and Chris, Jakes weak-willed father.
And the emphasis on their clothes and jewellery all the time.
The book addressed important subjects, infertility, mental health, but I didn’t enjoy it, although I read to the end.

Thanks to Netgalley and 4th Estate for the opportunity to read this book.
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This isn't the type of book I'd typically go for but I gave it a read as I love Elizabeth Day's podcast.

It's hard to say much about this book without giving the whole story away but I did spend the first third of this book being like WHERE THE HELL IS THIS GOING?!?! Once the story began to untangle and reveal itself, I realised what a clever set-up this was and an excellent vehicle for the author to convey her painful experience with fertility treatment.

My only gripe about this story is that it centres around three characters (Marissa, Kate and Jake) but we only hear the perspective of two of them. I found myself really wanting to see things through Jake's eyes, even if only for a short while. There was a section at the end where Jake's relationship with his mother is highlighted and I think this would have been a good section to hear from him for a bit. Otherwise, an enjoyable read.
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This was a captivating read. I liked that the big twist happened halfway through the book so the story became something else entirely, something I wasn't expecting. It's a book that's hard to put down - the characters are interesting and human.
As someone who has gone through the IVF process, I was moved and impressed with the descriptions of the process and the feelings it provokes, it was spot on. 
This is a book that I'll be recommending to friends and library users alike! It would prompt a good discussion in a book group.
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Thanks to publisher 4th estate, author Elizabeth Day and Netgalley for the advance copy of this book which was published recently.. 

I found the subject matter of IVF and mental illness raised in this book are dealt with sensitively.

An enjoyable read overall that kept me turning the pages to find out how it all panned out. 

I would happily recommend this book and give it a well deserved 4 stars.
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Marisa is happy with Jake. When they move into their beautiful new home and she falls pregnant, her joy is complete. But nothing is ever perfect. Lodger Kate threatens Marisa's charmed life in the most terrifying way possible - by striking at the very heart of her home, and her family...

Magpie is a devastating exploration of infertility and mental health, both of which Elizabeth Day handles with the utmost sensitivity. It's also an exhilarating thriller, of the best kind - elegant, spare and literary, with situations and characters the reader finds plausible and easy to empathise with.

The 'culprit', as it were, around whom th familial maelstrom rages, is a something of a hackneyed, over-used trope. But Magpie is so good, so beautifully done, it barely matters. Indeed, the reader is able to understand the motives of all involved, however abhorrent their actions. It's not 'just' a thriller, or a tale of longed-for parenthood, or damaged souls longing for redemption - it's more than the sum of its parts, an examination of human nature, warts and all, with all the flaws and perfection and frustration and love inherent. There are no heroes and villains here, as so often there are in contemporary thrillers. Rather, people, driven to extremes by loss and desperation, by trauma and need.

Magpie is Elizabeth Day's best book yet. Wonderful.

My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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My thanks to Fourth Estate for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Magpie’ by Elizabeth Day in exchange for an honest review. 

I found this an extremely clever psychological thriller/domestic noir. I feel that it is a novel best approached with minimal prior knowledge of the plot and rather allow Elizabeth Day’s words to lead the way into her twisty labyrinthine novel. 

‘Magpie’ has quite a tight focus upon its three main characters: Marisa, Kate, and Jake with each giving their perspective on events. 

In addition, there is a lot of material in it about the desire to have children and the heartbreak of infertility. While it’s not a subject that I particularly relate to, I am sure that many will appreciate Day’s sensitivity in addressing this emotional subject and I understand from an interview that her own experiences informed the narrative.

I certainly found this a riveting tale and hope to explore Elizabeth Day’s other writing.

On a side note, I love its elegant cover art, with the single magpie feather against the aqua background.
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This book has had a lot of hype and has a long list of endorsements from well known writers printed on the first pages e.g. Terrifyingly Brilliant" says Marian Keyes. Touted as "the most gripping psychological thriller of the year." I really wondered if I was reading the book described. The story starts with our heroine, Marisa viewing her ideal house when a Magie flies in through a window and a vase breaks in the ensuing kerfuffle. Is this a portent of doom or just a dull chapter with more similies crammed in than a piece of Engish Language GCSE coursework?  

Marisa has met a partner through online dating and things have moved swiftly so that they are getting a house and planning to have children just a few months into the relationship. When they move into their house their financial situation means they have to look for a lodger, but is all as it seems? I found the narrative style tortuous, every detail broingly and unncessarily (to my mind) described. It really got in the way of the plot. I found it all dull and uninteresting. I just didn't care.
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I found this book to be very unusual and well written.  It was a well plotted story, I have not read anything like it before and found it an interesting concept, if you will excuse the expression,  due to the content of the book.
The details of the IVF proved very informative and interesting.
The characters were great and very well drawn.  The slight confusion of who was who was explained clearly and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Totally unputdownable with so many twists. A truly excellent read. It's the first book by Elizabeth Day that I have read but I will definitely seek out all of her back catalogue.
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A tale of fertility, mental health and the lengths we go to conform for happiness, I had incredibly high hopes for Magpie. With a stunning cover, compelling blurb and written by the lovely Elizabeth Day, I was sure they would be met. And they really were for the first half - and then things start to take a turn...

The tale opens with Marisa, a sweet and unassuming woman, picking out a new home for herself and boyfriend Jake after agreeing to try and conceive a baby. Everything seems to be going well for the pair - aside from Jake's physical distance from Marisa that comes across as emotional distance too - and Marisa is content. That is until Kate appears on the scene. To afford the new home in the wake of Jake's shaky work situation, Kate moves in and makes herself a touch too comfortable around the house; pitches up at Marisa's baby yoga classes, and is caught kissing Jake on the living room sofa. Marisa's life is coming down around her, but she finally falls pregnant - so things might be okay after all?

Unlikely. And here comes the twist, with a perspective shift that sees Kate share her narrative; the woman unable to conceive, trying desperately with partner of many years Jake to have a child together to little avail. So they turn to surrogacy, quickly choosing young and helpful Marisa on their journey. To take care of her, they offer to move her in - not realising Marisa has secrets of her own that change how she perceives the world around her.

For me, this tale was just okay - the plot twist not altogether surprising, the theming a little clunkily handled and in places a touch trope-y. It felt like a novel written in chunks over a period of time where the parts of the novel were distinct but not in harmony with one another. I much preferred part one reading from Marissa's pov and learned about her backstory (content warning for rape in this segment). For me, Kate's tale was too heavily invested in Annabelle, the 'wicked' mother-in-law, and I found her to be a less interesting character overall.

However, it would be wrong not to praise the topics covered and how a story such as this can be so important for women to see their own struggles in mainstream media. Fertility still remains a taboo topic and to have diversity in the stories around motherhood is key for representation and understanding. In that regard, this story triumphs.

Perhaps this was just not the tale I wanted it to be for me!
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Loved the pace of this book as it helped build the suspense and claustrophobic feels in what I would describe as a psychological/domestic thriller. May have made that up but I’m go with it 😜 

The plot twist in the middle was so clever and a proper “what the hell!!!” Obsessed as it completely changed the narrative - I won’t say too much to avoid spoilers! I thought it was a very original storyline that definitely held my attention and kept me wondering how it would all play out in the end…🤓

Many creepy and awkward moments between the three main characters, Marissa, Jake and Kate. My view on all the characters kept changing - I wasn’t sure who was reliable which made for a gripping read. The characterisation was spot on 👌🏻 It explores jealously, obsession, fertility struggles, motherhood - I found it very brave and thought-provoking. 

Magpie was such a rollercoaster for me and I’m glad I jumped on. It went in a different direction to what I thought - in the best way! My advice for you guys is try not to read too much about the book before you dive in so you enjoy the surprises and twists! So good.😉
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Amazing, when the first twist comes it is completely unexpected, but that isn't the only one!! Cleverly written with characters to love and hate in equal measures.

The cliché "a real page turner" certainly applies to Magpie.

I was given a copy by NetGalley and the publishers in return for an unbiased review.
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Twisty and tricky thriller with sharply-drawn characters explored through extreme scenarios. Interesting exploration of the impact of fertility issues on family relationships, and some very dark scenes make parts of the book difficult to read. It's a brave and modern book covering unusual themes, compelling to read.
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