Magpie (Hardcover)

Magpie By Elizabeth Day Cover Image
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For fans of The Last Mrs. Parrish comes a twisty psychological suspense about motherhood, obsession, and just how far some will go for the perfect family. “Great, plain and simple” (Stanley Tucci).

Marisa and Jake are a perfect couple. And Kate, their new lodger, is the perfect roommate—and not just because her rent payments will give them the income they need to start trying for the baby of their dreams.

Except—no one is truly perfect. Sure, Kate doesn’t seem to care much about personal boundaries and can occasionally seem overly-familiar with Jake. But Marisa doesn’t let it concern her, knowing that soon Kate will be gone, and it will just be her, Jake, and their future baby.

Conceiving a baby is easier said than done, though, and Jake and Marisa’s perfect relationship is put to the test through months of fertility treatments and false starts. To make matters worse, Kate’s boundary-pushing turns into an all-out obsession—with Jake, with Marisa, and with their future child. Who is this woman? Why does she seem to know everything about Marisa and Jake?

In her quest to find out who Kate really is, Marisa might destroy everything she’s worked so hard to create—her perfect romance, her perfect family, and her perfect self.

Jake doesn’t know the half of what Marisa has created—and what she stands to lose.

For fans of Gone Girl and The Perfect Nanny, Magpie is a tense and twisting novel about mothers and children, envy and possession, and the dangers of getting everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

About the Author

Elizabeth Day is an award-winning author and broadcaster based in the UK. Her chart-topping podcast, How to Fail, is a celebration of the things that haven’t gone right. Guests have included Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Gloria Steinem, Andrew Scott, Lily Allen, Mabel, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Malcolm Gladwell. It won the Rising Star Award at the 2019 British Podcast Awards. Elizabeth is the author of the novel The Party, which was published in the US in 2017.

Praise For…

"Elizabeth Day's Magpie is at once eerie, darkly funny and very touching... It is f***ing great, plain and simple."--STANLEY TUCCI

“Welcome to ‘Single White Female’ With a Maternal Twist as much as countless book jackets in recent years have asserted otherwise, few have approached [Gillian Flynn’s] virtuoso, go-big-or-go-home approach…the narrative matches how it feels to be suffering through pregnancy anxiety, fears of romantic betrayal, in-law strife, body horror … [Magpie] mimics the many shocks of womanhood.”--Megan Abbott, New York Times Book Review

“A taut domestic psychological thriller…. Magpie shocks and distresses in a way that only good psychological thrillers can, but it also provides a catharsis, depicting the frustrations of womanhood in all forms. It shows that, when faced with motherhood, a woman will do absolutely anything in her power to protect what she has… Magpie is sharp, beguiling and dramatic, with a twisting plot that will keep readers guessing until the end.”--Newsweek

 “[A] tense, ultimately cathartic psychological drama…Day’s cleverness lies in fashioning from these ingredients a pacy, stylish thriller in which suspense is accompanied by fist-pumping feminism and, perhaps toughest of all, hope.”--The Guardian

‘A compassionately crafted psychological drama’--Harper’s Bazaar UK

 “Scintillating…a study of four ways of being a mother, and full of poignant evocations of related experiences, from pregnancy to the agony of infertility.”--Sunday Times

“Utterly engrossing, a thick sense of dread unfurling from every page… a celebration of [mothers’] devotion and an examination of what happens when that devotion tips into obsession in the most fascinating way.”--Refinery 29 UK

"This domestic thriller from Day serves up a dramatic plot twist that will leave readers questioning everything.... Highly readable, and fans of the genre will gobble it up."--Booklist

"Day successfully turns the narrative on its head in the second half... 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."--Publishers Weekly

Magpie is a gorgeous thriller-cum-manifesto that I am going to recommend to every single person I know.  Elizabeth Day has written that rare book I always go hunting for, something that will keep me breathless with suspense but also buoyant with good energy. It is both sinister and comforting, outrageous but grounded, with a head-spinning plot twist that makes all the sense in the world, yet will take you completely by surprise. There are so many books in the world, and we are better for most of them, but Magpie is a book that needed to exist in the world. It  is the book that was missing.” --LISA TADDEO, AUTHOR OF ANIMAL and THREE WOMEN 


"Magpie is a clever, suspenseful read with a brilliant central pivot and a keen eye for relationships, including the toxic ones. A compelling, twisting read. Elizabeth Day is a wonderful writer and this Magpie has strong wings."--MATT HAIG, AUTHOR OF THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY

  "Superbly taut and well-written, noirish with a big and beating heart."--JESSIE BURTON, AUTHOR OF THE MINIATURIST AND THE CONFESSION

 "An absorbing exploration of infertility and mental illness combined with the pace and plot of a heart-racing thriller … I literally couldn’t put this down. Sublime."--SARA COLLINS, AUTHOR OF THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON

 "The most mind-blowing book of the year"--JOANNA CANNON, AUTHOR OF THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP

"Deft, thrilling, and merciless, Magpie is a book I raced through trying to guess the next twist and turn of the tightly woven plot Elizabeth has crafted. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough."--LAURA JANE WILLIAMS, AUTHOR OF THE LUCKY ESCAPE AND OUR STOP

"Magpie is tightly plotted, crackling with an uneasy tension, and has an ingenious twist you won’t see coming. Stylish, sinister, and clever, this is a sublime thriller."--LOUISE O’NEILL, AUTHOR OF AFTER THE SILENCE

"I raced through Magpie. A very elegant, tense, literary thriller full of misdirection, unreliable witnesses, motherhood, madness, rage, and the most heartbreaking account of infertility I've read."--SARAH VAUGHAN, AUTHOR OF ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL AND LITTLE DISASTERS

Product Details
ISBN: 9781982187606
ISBN-10: 1982187603
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2022
Pages: 336
Language: English