Magpie by Elizabeth Day – Book Review

Kicking this review off with a shout out to the fantastic cover art for Magpie. Look at it! And yes, the title is highly reflective of the crux of this story. This is actually a tricky review to write as I realise that if I tell you too much about the plot of Magpie, the delicious twist will be given away and I don’t want to do that. But that alone is enticing, no?

A brilliant audiobook choice

Yep, this was an audiobook listen and the narrator, Tanya Reynolds, was fantastic. Her voice was perfect for the lead characters Marisa, Kate and Jake.

What ensues is a story of desire, obsession, motherhood and a tangled web of relationships. The book opens with Marisa and Jake taking in a lodger, Kate. Marisa is pregnant with her first child and things are good until Kate starts taking too much of an interest in Marisa and Jake’s life.

This leads Marisa to take some drastic action to find out what’s really going on, and why her unborn baby is at the centre of it all…

A different story of motherhood

Author Elizabeth Day has been open about her own fertility experiences and the level of detail in Magpie about infertility, IVF and surrogacy, on a practical level, was really interesting. I hadn’t read anything on this topic in the context of a thriller before. (Trying by Emily Phillips is the only other novel about infertility that springs to mind, although that was a comedy.)

This, in fact, is what Magpie does so well. On an emotional level, you really find yourself caring about the characters but all the details are there too.

The ending wasn’t what I was expecting and maybe I did want the story to end on another note (in the direction it had been taking us, really) but – on reflection – it answered all the questions. An essential part of any psychological thriller, I think you’ll agree!

The blend of emotional depth, the wonderful twist up in the middle and a genuine hankering to find out how this story is possibly going to end kept me reading (well, listening!) Highly recommend as your next audiobook!

  • Get your copy of Magpie here;
  • Audiobook narrated by Tanya Reynolds
  • Running time: 11 hrs 34 mins
  • Published by Fourth Estate September 2021;
  • 256 pages;
  • My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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