"The author's astute insight, big characters, a snappy pace, and especially dialog laden with subtle subtexts and zinger truths deliver a memorable, literary trip." -- Eric Hoffer Award Judge
"A fun, sparking book that embraces the wonders of sisterhood in all of its challenges and complexities." --JACOB APPEL, author of Millard Salter's Last Day
"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
"In a world full of glittering descriptions and minimal consequences, a pair of twins engagingly explore questions involving love, career, and family."--Kirkus Review
"This is definitely a book worth recommending to readers who love a good character study. The actions of Maggie and Marta could easily be interpreted a multitude of ways, and it would make for a great book club discussion. Also? Is that not one of the best covers you've ever seen?" -- AMBER SHEMANSKI, book blogger
"Parrish is an accomplished writer who imbues her characters not only with idiosyncratic behavioral traits but also with physical and emotional muscle and bone....[her] prose is easy to read and keeps the pace of her tale moving along smartly. Her dialogue is crisp and relevant, never lapsing into mere plot exposition. She is particularly adept at translating emotional revelation...one comes away from this novel with a heightened sense of empathy for the intellectual and spiritual ties that make identical twins seem identical on the outside yet truly individual on the inside...." -- JOE KILGORE, US Review of Books
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 workerand 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.