Review of Maggie’s Ruse, Anne Leigh Parrish

Originally published on Reedsy Discovery. 

Parrish’s fourth novel Maggie’s Ruse follows the lives of identical twins, Maggie and Marta, and it is a well-written novel you are unlikely to put down.

Both young women are living together, as they always have done, in New York, attempting to make something of themselves. Maggie is an artist and Marta is a fledging actress. The dynamic between them dramatically shifts, however, when Maggie spontaneously decides not to correct someone when they mistake her for Marta. For the first time, their bond is stretched as Maggie puts a great distance between her, her old life and Marta.

Parrish explores what makes the relationship between twins special but not in the clichéd way which has been done before. The narrative does not linger on whether one feels pain when the other is hurt, nor is there anything sinister about the way they communicate (through texts and missed calls). Instead, she focuses on a connection even thicker than blood and how such a connection can be a hinderance as well as a help.

The distance between Maggie and Marta allows them both much needed room to grow; to make mistakes and suffer the consequences. Parrish celebrates the individual alongside the infamous identical twin relationship. Thus, even though her story begins with twins it ends up being about two women who need each other but most importantly, two women who need themselves too.

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