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MAGGIE'S RUSE

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

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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

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MAGIC HOUR

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

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

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