Unexpectedly Indulgent and Compelling | Blog Tour: Maggie's Ruse by Anne Leigh Parrish

6:30 AM

I'm going to be real, I was intrigued by Maggie's Ruse the second I saw the cover and the synopsis. The cover reminded me of an episode of Doctor Who, but the plotline had a general premise worthy of Sara Shepard. AND, it takes place in New York. So, I was obviously IN from the start.

by Anne Leigh Parrish
Publisher: Unsolicited Press (October 1, 2019) 
Paperback: 272 Pages

Maggie and Marta Dugan, twenty-seven-year-old identical twins, live the good life in New York City on their stepfather’s money. Each has a glamorous calling. Maggie paints; Marta appears onstage. Success, though, eludes them. Marta’s roles are few and far between. Maggie’s endorsements are infrequent at best. When gallery after gallery passes on her work, she begins to doubt her talent. Home alone one afternoon, fueled by frustration, she is seized by a sudden, wild impulse to masquerade as Marta when a friend of hers drops by. The ruse is quickly discovered when Marta returns from another shopping spree, a rift between the sisters ensues, and they go their separate ways. But living apart proves harder than either thought at first. Each carries the other firmly within her, making any true independence nearly impossible. As the weeks pass, the weight of absence sometimes becomes difficult to bear. Both find a surprising degree of success in their respective efforts, due perhaps to their newfound freedom, yet the bond between them remains firm. Can they come back together, and under what circumstances would a reunion be viable? Has the time come for an open discussion of their issues with each other? Unable to fully answer these questions, each knows only that she needs the other to feel whole.

“Skillfully-written and absorbing, Maggie’s Ruse well displays Anne Leigh Parrish’s ample literary talents.”–KARL WENCLAS, Editor, New Pop Lit

Maggie’s Ruse is a highly readable romp of a novel exploring identity, sisterly bonds, and the decisions that both divide and unite us.”–PAM MCGAFFIN, author of The Leaving Year

Purchase: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Maggie's Ruse by Anne Leigh Parrish
Rating: ★★★☆☆

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

If you love dark, highly character driven novels that analyze the differences between two individuals, you're going to eat Maggie's Ruse up. Maggie's Ruse captures something bleak and emotionally gritty in a way that is so deeply indulgent and thought-provoking. Although the novel itself is short, it packs a serious punch that lingers at the back of your mind hours after closing.

It is, primarily, the story of two individuals, Maggie and Marta, trying to live in the shadow of one important fact: they are twins. They are two souls. Two very different people. Forever tied by sisterhood. One remarkably similar appearance.

And one deeply complex bond.

I think I may have jumped into this one blindly but there is something satisfying about having done so. What I expected from the novel vs. what it was is hard to explain. So, I'll feed you guy this: once you start reading Maggie's Ruse, you won't stop. It's as addictive as any substance and you have to believe me when I say that Anne Leigh Parrish's prose is wholly consuming.

Going into Maggie's Ruse I noticed straight away that these were the type of characters I am always drawn most too. They are flawed and morally gray and not at all the types of people that give me the warm and fuzzies. Which I adored. In many ways, it felt like Maggie's Ruse was a call-back to the novels I'd grown up reading in terms of lifestyles of privilege and familial relationships.

Based on synopsis alone, I expected Maggie's Ruse to be inherently spookier. Which is a mistake on my part. The atmosphere lay within the characters, their flawed actions and choices, their struggles in finding who they are, and the relationships we see through the course of the book. In all their life of privilege and luxury, in all their creativity, these twins are about to find out what it means to grow up, make mistakes, and most importantly be themselves. 

Ultimately, I found Maggie's Ruse to be a refreshing read about the life of millennial sisters looking for some way to identify themselves. I felt like it could have benefit from a longer page length, but for the most part I breezed through this and thoroughly enjoyed it!

About the Author
Parrish is the author of five previously published books of fiction: Women Within, a novel (Black Rose Writing, 2017); By The Wayside, stories (Unsolicited Press, 2017); What Is Found, What Is Lost, a novel (She Writes Press, 2014); Our Love Could Light The World, stories (She Writes Press, 2013); and All The Roads That Lead From Home, stories, (Press 53, 2011). She is the author of over forty-five published short stories, and numerous essays on the art and craft of writing. Learn more by visiting her website at www.anneleighparrish.com.

Connect with Anne

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Follow the Tour

Instagram tour:

Monday, November 4th: @girlsinbooks
Tuesday, November 5th: @mermaid_ginger
Tuesday, November 5th: @jessicamap
Wednesday, November 6th: @my_book_journey
Thursday, November 7th: @_ebl_inc_
Friday, November 8th: @theshybooks
Saturday, November 9th: @beccasbookishlife
Monday, November 11th: @bluntscissorsreviews
Tuesday, November 12th: @readwithjamie
Wednesday, November 13th: @owlslittlelibrary
Wednesday, November 13th: @books_with_bethany
Thursday, November 14th: @angelareadsbooks
Friday, November 15th: @jennblogsbooks

Review tour:

Monday, November 4th: Openly Bookish
Tuesday, November 5th: Living My Best Book Life
Wednesday, November 6th: @nurse_bookie
Friday, November 8th: Sincerely, Karen Jo – excerpt
Monday, November 11th: PhDiva Blog and @thephdivabooks
Tuesday, November 12th: Books and Cats and Coffee
Wednesday, November 13th: @compulsivereadersblog
Thursday, November 14th: Kahakai Kitchen
Friday, November 15th: Eliot’s Eats
Friday, November 15th: Treestand Book Reviews
Monday, November 18th: @one_more_paige
Tuesday, November 19th: @libraryinprogress
Wednesday, November 20th: Audio Killed the Bookmark
Thursday, November 21st: Literary Quicksand
Friday, November 22nd: Not in Jersey
Friday, November 22nd: @beritaudiokilledthebookmark
Monday, November 25th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, November 26th: Booked J

Find me on Instagram and/or Twitter.

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