In a world full of glittering descriptions and minimal consequences, a pair of twins engagingly explore questions involving...



Tumultuous, artistic twins struggle with their sameness and their differences in Parrish’s (The Amendment, 2018, etc.) novel.

Maggie and Marta Dugan are identical twin sisters—picture-perfect copies of millennial privilege. They’re financially well-supported as they pursue creative endeavors in New York City, Maggie as a visual artist and Marta as an actress. But neither has experienced the success they’d hoped for at the age of 27. Both operate on impulse, which results in choppy journeys toward self-understanding. Maggie, for instance, knows that Marta has an ongoing professional and personal connection to Josh—but she still allows him to think that she’s Marta until they kiss deeply and passionately. Josh, no stranger to privilege himself, is an aspiring playwright who becomes fascinated by both women, but he pursues only one of them romantically, which leads to conflict. As Maggie and Marta’s relationship has its up and downs, they also interact with their sister Angie, who has a practical job as a social worker and receives no support from their parents. Throughout, Parrish offers dreamy descriptions of the women’s luxurious lifestyles, and much of the book’s humor comes from the straightforward way that Parrish describes the characters’ rather mystifying and capricious behavior. They move out of the city on a whim, take jobs and leave them at the drop of a hat, and treat dates horribly. Through it all, the author shows how the sisters deal with a tense question: When there’s someone in the world who looks just like you, what does that do to your sense of identity? Is that person's sense of self inextricably tied up with your own? Unexpected developments, such as Maggie’s closeness with Leah, a rival artist, often shine, despite their far-fetched nature.

In a world full of glittering descriptions and minimal consequences, a pair of twins engagingly explore questions involving love, career, and family.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947021-90-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Unsolicited Press

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.


A group of strangers who live near each other in London become fast friends after writing their deepest secrets in a shared notebook.

Julian Jessop, a septuagenarian artist, is bone-crushingly lonely when he starts “The Authenticity Project”—as he titles a slim green notebook—and begins its first handwritten entry questioning how well people know each other in his tiny corner of London. After 15 years on his own mourning the loss of his beloved wife, he begins the project with the aim that whoever finds the little volume when he leaves it in a cafe will share their true self with their own entry and then pass the volume on to a stranger. The second person to share their inner selves in the notebook’s pages is Monica, 37, owner of a failing cafe and a former corporate lawyer who desperately wants to have a baby. From there the story unfolds, as the volume travels to Thailand and back to London, seemingly destined to fall only into the hands of people—an alcoholic drug addict, an Australian tourist, a social media influencer/new mother, etc.—who already live clustered together geographically. This is a glossy tale where difficulties and addictions appear and are overcome, where lies are told and then forgiven, where love is sought and found, and where truths, once spoken, can set you free. Secondary characters, including an interracial gay couple, appear with their own nuanced parts in the story. The message is strong, urging readers to get off their smartphones and social media and live in the real, authentic world—no chain stores or brands allowed here—making friends and forming a real-life community and support network. And is that really a bad thing?

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7861-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

Did you like this book?