Magpie is unlike any other book you will ever read.
I am occasionally amazed by the thought that of the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of books ever written, I have never read a book in my life and thought: Wow, that book (story) reminds me so much of _________.
No book has ever been written like Magpie and, in a reverse of the theory above, if someone did attempt to write a Thriller/Mystery about the subject(s) she covers, I would—for the first time—think: Wow, that reminds me so much of Magpie.”
So, Elizabeth Day’s work will always have a unique place in the history of writing, no doubt.
As for writing/literary merit, Ms. Day’s work is exceptional> The description and creativity of thought evident from beginning to end—including attention to human thoughts, actions, and interactions, is outstanding. There are also instances of Laugh-Out-Loud humor sprinkled throughout, Which serves to further the reader’s enjoyment of her literary talents.
As for plot, Magpie bursts out of the starting gate and holds the reader’s attention fully for the first one-third of the book (whenever I had to take a break from the book, I couldn’t wait to get back). You live and breathe the story, and you want more. I thought I might have to stay up all night and into the next day to finish if the story had continued as it had begun.
Unfortunately, at least for me, the main mystery of the story is revealed at the completion of roughly the first one-third of the book.
Don’t get me wrong, the “reveal” was surprising—a true “wow” moment—but the pace slowed considerably when compared to the burn-through-the-pages beginning.
While the pace and breathlessness of the story did slow in the middle third of this book, the topics covered were/are very important: fertility/infertility and mental health. During this portion of the book the writing continues to be excellent. The reader still wishes to continue, just not with the aid of the story’s original dramatic fervor.
The final one-third of the book continues to be superbly written (including intense interpersonal conversations and interactions between the players) and works its way engagingly towards Magpie’s dramatic conclusion.
For final thoughts: While Magpie is not one of those rare books that I would rush out and say to family, friends, acquaintances, “You have to read this!” it is most certainly a work of very talented literary expression with unique and personal storylines that maintain the reader’s attention throughout.