‘The Third Magpie’is the latest book by MS Clements.
Caring teacher and loving husband, Finn tolerates daily humiliation to be with Sophie, the woman he loves. Fragile & naturally compliant he must summon all his courage to survive the system. Despite the injustice, they dream of a normal life, where liberty and identity are not subverted by ever tightening restrictions. When a powerful politician requests that Finn tutor his daughter, it seems like a change of fortune. Soon Finn’s new found optimism is crushed by manipulative abuse, and a flu-like epidemic that threatens his life. It is left to Sophie to pick up the pieces and save her husband. In New Albany, every opportunity comes at price.
If you’re a fan of dystopian stories, then this book is for you. A bleak story of forbidden love in a controlling world, this book made for a gripping story.
The story is seen through the narrative of husband and wife, Finn and Sophie, a couple who are madly in love but their lives are controlled by the government. Finn is a DIA and is seen as a lowly servant with no rights whereas Sophie’s father is a commander and she has a more privileged life. Finn is a teacher and one day, a teenage girl organises for him to be her tutor and exposes him to harsh ridicule and abuse. Sophie can see that Finn is unhappy and will try anything that she can, to make Finn happy and return to his family.
This story is an atmospheric story from the first page. Right from the beginning you can read the desperation and sadness that has consumed Finn preventing him from the life that he wants to lead. On a regular basis, he’s mistreated by guards, students and even Sophie’s family and it does make for sad reading as he battles with his mental health. The relationship between him and Sophie is a turbulent one, he tries to push her away but she’s constantly moving closer wanting to provide a better life for him.
The story is equally terrifying in how realistic it is and you could imagine somewhere in a not so distant future this happening for real. The treatment of people and classes was equally upsetting as people were killed and tortured for no good reasons and women were mainly seen as sexual objects and breeding machines.
Essentially a love story set in a controlled society, this book is a dark and gripping story that really hooked my attention but one thing that I would have liked included in the story, is how the world became that way. I believe it’s part of a series so I might look into the previous for an explanation.
A story of love, happiness and control, ‘The Third Magpie’ is an emotional rollercoaster that pulls the reader in with its multilayer and dysfunctional characters and a sublimely darkly written plot.
You can buy ‘The Third Magpie’ from Amazon.