MARIAN KEYES, AUTHOR OF GROWN UPS
'A book that needed to exist in the world. It is the book that was missing’
LISA TADDEO, AUTHOR OF THREE WOMEN AND ANIMAL
‘Magnificent: I read it one sitting’
KATE MOSSE, AUTHOR OF THE CITY OF TEARS
Sometimes Marisa gets the fanciful notion that Kate has visited the house before. She makes herself at home without any self-consciousness. She puts her toothbrush right there in the master bathroom, on the shelf next to theirs.
In Jake, Marisa has found everything she’s ever wanted. Then their new lodger Kate arrives.
Something about Kate isn’t right. Is it the way she looks at Marisa’s boyfriend? Sits too close on the sofa? Constantly asks about the baby they are trying for? Or is it all just in Marisa’s head?
After all, that’s what her Jake keeps telling her. And she trusts him – doesn’t she?
But Marisa knows something is wrong. That the woman sleeping in their house will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
Marisa just doesn’t know why.
How far will she go to find the answer – and how much is she willing to lose?
‘A pacy, stylish thriller in which suspense is accompanied by fist-pumping feminism and, perhaps toughest of all, hope.’
THE SUNDAY TIMES, THRILLER OF THE MONTH
‘A compassionately crafted psychological drama’
‘I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough’
‘A genius twist that left me reeling’
‘Be prepared for a sleight-of-hand-twist that will leave you gasping’
‘Sharp and sinister’
MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘Impossible to put down’
‘A rich plot that also delves into meaty topics’
Sunday Times bestseller 06/09/2021
About the author
Elizabeth Day is the author of four novels and Sunday Times bestselling memoir, How to Fail. Her acclaimed debut Scissors, Paper, Stone won a Betty Trask Award and Home Fires was an Observer book of the year. Her third, Paradise City, was named one of the best novels of 2015 in the Evening Standard, and The Party was an Amazon bestseller and a Richard & Judy bookclub pick. She is also an award-winning journalist and has written extensively for The Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Observer, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. She is currently a columnist for the Mail on Sunday's You magazine and host of the iTunes chart-topping podcast, How To Fail With Elizabeth Day.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Motherhood, fertility, obsession, jealousy: Elizabeth Day tackles so many hefty themes in these pages that Magpie could well have been a multi-part series. Instead, those topics are nimbly woven into a pacey page-turner that has you guessing up until the final chapters. Told initially from the perspective of Marisa, whose happy thirtysomething life is suddenly upended by the arrival of her new lodger Kate, the novel soon takes a dark turn that only gets darker as it progresses. The twist is so well executed that it will have you flicking back to re-read pages you thought you’d digested right the first time.
Day's clever latest (after The Party) delves into the shaky life of a pregnant woman who is further disrupted once a lodger moves into her home. Having survived a rough childhood and sexual assault, Marisa finally finds peace when she moves in with her boyfriend, Jake. But she's only known him for three months, and there's a red flag: his frosty mother, Annabelle, constantly dotes on him and touts their closeness while making clear her dislike for Marisa. Still, Marisa relishes the feeling of safety Jake gives her and chooses not to rock the boat. When money gets tight, the couple agree to lease a room in their house to Kate, who immediately makes herself at home and acts very familiar and affectionate with Jake. Marisa begins to suspect that Jake and Kate are having an affair, possibly with Annabelle's blessing. Day successfully turns the narrative on its head in the second half, which tells the whole story very differently from Kate's point of view. She also cannily subverts a few tired tropes to create a convincing final act, with a twist rooted in clues that were there all along. Readers will thoroughly enjoy this.