Elizabeth Day’s new novel is a gripping thriller about fertility, jealousy and obsession
She might have found fame as the spokesperson for things going wrong, but there’s no denying Elizabeth Day has a way of tapping into the zeitgeist. Today, the author and host of the chart-topping podcast How to Fail publishes her fifth novel, Magpie (HarperCollins), a psychological thriller exploring jealousy, motherhood and power. It follows Marisa, who’s finally found the steadfast love and support she’s been looking for her whole life with new boyfriend Jake. Before long, they move in together and start trying for a baby; but their relationship is tested when a new lodger, Kate, begins to take an unhealthy interest in the happy couple’s personal lives.
“At first, I thought Magpie would be a stereotypical domestic thriller in the vein of The Woman in the Window or The Girl on The Train; but it’s a deft portrayal of the crippling anxiety and fear that so many women experience in relation to their biological clock,” says Stylist’s Lucy Robson. “Where Day absolutely excels is that she manages to craft what can feel like an all-consuming panic around fertility into a domestic noir, with a jaw-dropping twist which keeps you guessing as to the motives of the main characters until the very last chapter. This is a heartbreaking but incredibly important read for women about the path to motherhood – however it may (or may not) come to them.” £14.99, bookshop.org
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Feast on Middle Eastern-inspired sharing plates while helping others at this social enterprise
If you like your dinner served with a side helping of heart, you’ll want to visit Ebury by Fat Macy’s, a socially-minded Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant that’s popped up 10 minutes from London’s Pimlico station. A self-described mission-driven business, the company takes on trainees currently living in temporary accommodation and sets them up on a 200-hour program of invaluable work experience. Learning the tricks of the restaurant trade alongside professional chefs and front-of-house roles, they’re able to earn a deposit for a rented home by the end as well as gain new skills.
But it’s not just the mission that’s great – so is the food. “We started our meal dipping shards of flatbread into a generous bowl of chilli butter-smothered labneh and fighting over who would get the last bite of the smoked cheese-filled doughnuts – do yourself a favour and order two rounds,” advises Stylist’s beauty director Shannon Peter. Save space for the mains though: “We shared a plate of lamb chops drenched in anchovy butter, a tower of chunky fried halloumi fingers and a bowl of aubergine maghmour (Lebanon’s answer to moussaka) but my favourite dish was the fresh and crunchy kohlrabi salad, speckled with cubes of pickled apple.” Socially conscious and delicious? We’ll see you there. 43 Ebury Bridge Road, London, SW1W
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