The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

The Water Cure

Imagine a world very close to our own: where women are not safe in their bodies, where desperate measures are required to raise a daughter. This is the story of Grace, Lia, and Sky kept apart from the world for their own good and taught the terrible things that every woman must learn about love. And it is the story of the men who come to find them - three strangers washed up by the sea, their gazes hungry and insistent, trailing desire and destru...

Details The Water Cure

TitleThe Water Cure
Release DateMay 31st, 2018
PublisherHamish Hamilton
GenreFiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Feminism, Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Fantasy, Adult Fiction, Novels, Magical Realism

Reviews The Water Cure

  • Hannah
    This book.It is so very difficult to describe this book, which is I think one of the reasons why the blurb is so vague. This is the story of three sisters, growing up on an island with their parents where something is obviously not quite right but many things remain vague for the whole book. It is never clear whether the stories their parents tell them of the rest of the world are true or not. I personally adored this vagueness and the hypnotic a...
  • Dannii Elle
    This is a dystopian unlike any other I have read before. The world reaches to the very horizon and yet is contained to the interior of one house. The landscape is sparse on concrete detail yet the feel of the forest ferns or the gentle pull and release of the tides is portrayed in startling clarity. The characters are incredibly nuanced and yet my mind can fail to properly depict them. This is a book of juxtapositions that is as uncomfortable to ...
  • Sara
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Water Cure tells the story of three sisters; Lia, Grace and Sky as they live a reclusive island life with Mother and the 'King'. Here they learn that the outside world will harm them, although what that is never known. But then things begin to unravel in a way that the sisters can't control. Is everything, and everyone, really as it seems?This was deeply atmospheric and strange....
  • Tiffany PSquared
    "We sisters have always been cruel in our own way, but I believe our cruelty is allowable. It kept us alive, it helps us to put things right."Grace, Lia, and Sky live with their parents in a house beside a sandy beach. That sounds like the beginning of a wonderful story, doesn't it? Who would have thought that such a benign beginning could result in such a tangled web of disappearances, deceit, and danger?King rescued his family by secluding them...
  • Eric Anderson
    Part of me has always felt a simmering sense of panic, that some unknown danger or threat could be lurking around every corner. Fear can be such a powerful impetus in our lives both for motivating us to keep ourselves safe and hindering us from fully engaging with the world. It feels essential that children should be nurtured in a way that allows them to be cautious without being so panicked they seal themselves off from experience. So I was real...
  • Melanie (Perpetually Reading)
    Mackintosh writes in absolutely beautiful and unflinching prose about the desolation and destruction of a family. The book is set in a remote, seaside home of a family of a father (King), a mother (Mother), and three sisters (Lia, Grace, and Sky). The sisters are raised in isolation and are taught by their parents to fear, hate, and avoid men. They're told that interacting with men would make them physically sick, and it is unclear throughout the...
  • Hollis
    I feel like this week is conspiring against me reads-wise.The pitch for THE WATER CURE was THE HANDMAID'S TALE meets THE VIRGIN SUICIDES in this dystopic feminist revenge fantasy about three sisters on an isolated island, raised to fear men and while that concept drew me in.. I think, in practice, it's exactly what failed me because in some ways it lived upto the pitch too well, whilst simultaneously not delivering in the way I expected.The narra...
  • Lucy Banks
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.Elusive, haunting - expertly crafted, but slightly too hard to grasp in places.I always appreciate authors who dare to try something different - and The Water Cure certainly falls into that category. It's one of the most atmospheric and ungraspable books I've ever read, which for the most part, was very rewarding to read; but occasionally veered into the realm of 'fru...
  • Marjorie
    Grace, Lia and Sky have been taught by their parents to fear men. Their father, King, has taken them to an isolated location and has surrounded the area with barbed wire and has put buoys out in the water. He doesn’t want anyone to enter, nor does he want his daughters to leave. The world outside of their safe haven has become a violent one, with men turning against women. The women in the outside world are growing ill from the toxins of that w...
  • Neil
    The thing I liked most about this book is that the author does not feel the need to explain everything to the reader: there are plenty of gaps for your own imagination to work with. The thing I liked least about this book is that the author does not explain enough to the reader.It’s a tricky balance to hit in a book like this. Normally, I am great fan of book with loose ends and open-ended story lines. I like to be left with something to think ...
  • Anne HS
    Three sisters take turn to narrate this coming of age tale, with its gothic influence reminiscent of elemental folk tales and Shakespearian plots (King Lear is the obvious one that springs to mind). The disturbingly ambiguous atmosphere surrounding the girls situation – segregated from the world by their parents and compelled to take part in weird rituals and ‘therapies’ for their protection against men – can be seen as an allegory about ...
  • Callum McLaughlin
    I adore the concept of this book, and it ticks a lot of boxes in terms of what I look for from my favourite reads. Three sisters have been raised in isolation by their parents. They have been taught to fear men and the toxins that now plague the outside world, exposure to which would mean certain death. To protect their vulnerable bodies from this poison, they must undergo regular water-based cleansing.There is an unsettling and almost ethereal q...
  • Seroxx83
    This was such an atmospheric,strange read!
  • Nina
    This book is very ambiguous, and I really don’t like novels where I have to read between the lines in order to find any story. It’s an interesting concept, but I didn’t feel satisfied once I’d finished it, and already I can tell that in a years time, I will struggle to remember what even happened.(view spoiler)[Here’s my understanding: the world isn’t great, but it isn’t great in a way that it is today. Maybe there’s more violence...
  • Vikki Patis
    I've seen a lot of reviews about this book, and so I started reading with some trepidation. But it is not the confusing mess it has been made out to be. It is a beautiful, lyrical story of women, women who know intimately the violence of men. The bond between women, the sisterhood, is a powerful force. In The Water Cure, we have three sisters who are bonded so tightly they are almost one. The author delves into important feminist themes, and one ...
  • Katherine
    A mystical debut of somber love and lethal control. Three sisters live on an island with their Mother. Their father has just disappeared and is assumed dead. They know this because he left their island to gather supplies from the toxic world that surrounds their haven. But it is not so simple. There is a certain relief in his departure due to his harshly devised and ever present "cures" to keep his family safe. But in his wake, their Mother takes...
  • Jennifer
    Psychologically disturbing and dark. What starts as a dystopian type of new Handmaid's Tale soon turns into a suspenseful thriller that slowly builds. This is a debut novel written in a lyrical literary prose which differentiates itself from the usual stylised writing for this type of subject matter.When King, the patriarch, of the family passes, the girls recall his and Mother's ruthless exercises in tough love meant to prepare and protect them ...
  • Joanna Halpin
    This book is unlike anything else. Reading it I often felt like I was holding something incendiary and dangerous in my hands. The end chapters are incredible. It is a novel laced with raw pain, cinematic, sun bleached and dreamy. A powerful new voice in Sophie. Wow.
  • Janel
    The Water Cure was an interesting read, certain parts of it I really enjoyed but I feel like I didn’t fully grasp the meaning behind much of what occurred. It all felt a bit abstract to me, it reminded me a lot of Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin for two reasons: firstly, it has an eco-theme, the dystopia here is that the world is literally toxic to women and so these sisters must live apart from the rest of society.And secondly, it reads a bit...
  • Clair Sharpe
    The Water Cure tells the story of 3 sisters, Grace, Lia & Sky who live on a remote island alone with their parents. Their parents took them from the mainland because the world has become toxic to women and men are dangerous to them. They endure cruel therapies which are supposed to keep them safe – sometimes they are sewn in fainting sacks and put in a hot room until they pass out. Sometimes they play the drowning game where their dresses are w...
  • Karen
    In looking through the reviews of The Water Cure, I can understand why many reviewers loved this book. The prose is very hypnotic. I wasn't one of those who enjoyed it, however. The type of writing and the book style is just not really my cup of tea.I was really intrigued by the synopsis of this book where three sisters are kept apart from the world. I assumed that it was because of some kind of apocalypse as the girls were told the world and the...
  • Isobel
    Grace, Lia and Sky are sisters living alone with their parents in a huge falling down house on an isolated island, far from what King (their father) tells them is the toxic mainland. The girls are taught they are breakable, put through cruel ‘therapies’ to make them strong enough to survive; when their father disappears and three strange men wash up on their shore, all their survival skills are finally put to the test. This book was harrowing...
  • Dorothea Brooke
    I really loved this! The writer perfectly sustains an atmosphere of dread, makes the relatable strange while never diminishing our empathy for the characters. The story starts with the disappearance of a patriarch called King, from a largely deserted island. He leaves the mother of his children, the three daughters who narrate chapters separately and collectively. They have been raised to believe that the mainland is toxic, mainly through the pre...
  • Emma
    Stunning. Heartbreaking. Searing. A gift. I live for books like this. It’s beautifully written, deeply uncomfortable in parts and weird af. But all the great stuff is weird and confounding, right? You don't need to understand it all for it to resonate. Something bad has happened on the mainland but we don't know what. Three sisters live on what seems to be an island, adrift with their abusive mother and father and the women who come to them to ...
  • MacKenzie
    The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh“King has tenderly staked out a territory for his wife and three daughters, Grace, Lia, and Sky. He has lain the barbed wire; he has anchored the buoys in the water; he has marked out a clear message: Do not enter. Or, viewed from another angle: Not safe to leave."I’ve waited weeks to write this review, because when I finished I wasn’t even sure how I felt about the book. I don’t mean that I was unsure i...
  • Marie Rutland
    I had such high hopes for this book and for me I felt it was lacking.I was so conflicted with this book as when I think about it now I can't say I disliked it but I also didn't love it so to be fair it is more of a 2.5 star rating.First of all I will say that there were parts of this book that I thought were brilliant and the whole book was incredibly well written but the plot itself was a bit...meh. When I got to the end of the book I was left w...
  • Lydia Barnes
    I honestly have no idea how to summarise this book - it's weird and lethargic, kind of vague in places, extremely stifling in others. Well good stuff. Gonna be thinking about this for a while.
  • Lizzie (Littlehux) Huxley-Jones
    I am blown away by this secretive, intense novel.Lia, Sky and Grace all live on the island with their Mother and father, King. There were other women before, but no longer. Now it is just their family and their cures, rituals, the water — the only things that can keep them safe from the toxic world, and the men.But when King leaves and two men and a boy arrive on their beach, the girls’ lives turn upside down.Mackintosh is a supreme talent, c...
  • Rose
    This book was different. I thought I would give it a try for something new. It had an interesting premise and reminded me somewhat of "The Handmaid's Tale". It was good and an enjoyable read. I would recommend it to fans of Margaret Atwood. I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of it.