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

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...
  • 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....
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • Lucy
    I can’t remember seeing a more perfect cover for a book in a while. Everything you need to know about The Water Cure is there. The obscure water hiding all manner of unknowable things. The girl vulnerable, head lifted, neck exposed. The fleshiness, with the female body at the centre of everything. The unanswered questions. The spare and stark simplicity of it.This is a book of atmosphere, rather than action. It reminds me a lot of Deborah Levy...
  • Jenea Whittington
    The Water Cure tells the story of three young women, they’ve grown up away from people and believe they live in a world that is filled with sickness and men are never to be trusted.Sky, Grace Lia, their mother, their father who they call King, have lived in as reclusives, with the occasional woman who come for their help. They have these rituals that are meant to cleanse them, give them a new start. These tasks are grueling and self harming and...
  • Melanie (Perpetually Reading)
    Review to follow!
  • 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 ...
  • Rachael
    A 3.5 star review. A book that should not be entered lightly, The Water Cure isn't one that you storm through in one day, it's a book that takes thought, insight, an open mind, and the ability to go with the author, even if you're not sure where she's taking you. Sophie Mackintosh does not spoon feed her readers, we are expected to do some of the work ourselves, but that's a wonderful thing, a chance for your imagination to interpret the story in...
  • Sophie Eminson
    The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh is a feminist fantasy novel set in a dystopian world where women can get ill from the atmosphere. Mackintosh describes a unique world with interesting characters and a twisting plot. The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh will be published on 24 May 2018 by Penguin UK.The StoryThe Water Cure focuses on the lives of three sisters who are all teenagers or young adults, with the oldest reaching 30. Lia is the main na...
  • Victoria's Book Reviews
    Wow. I absolutely adored this book. I ADORED it. At times, potently political, at other times haunting, even gothic, The Water Cure is a radical exploration of female insecurity and power that follows three daughters brought up in an isolated compound away from men. But then men arrive…Grace, Lia and Sky are three sisters in their late teens and early twenties who, it quickly transpires, have been raised on an unidentified island by their mothe...
  • Shahna Seal
    I received a copy of The Water Cure from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This review can also be seen on my blog at After looking back at this story, I can't help to think of this more as a love-hate relationship.Without giving away too many spoilers, I find the story to be ironic. What the girls think of as saving them ultimately leads to be their demise, or at least what I think is their traditi...
  • McKenzie Allyshia
    The Water Cure tells the story of three sisters who live a secluded, and strange, life on a perceived island. On this island, the sisters are educated by their father and mother on the abusive and toxic life that women are forced to live on the mainland. That if they were not careful they would become sick with disease from the radicals in the air or if touched by someone other than themselves. Lastly men, especially, are to be feared as they are...
  • Community Disco
    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...
  • Ali
    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.The Water Cure is about three sisters living on an island with Mother and "King", isolated from the rest of the world. They grow up learning the mainland is toxic, making women physically ill, and that men are not to be trusted. They perform rituals, or therapies, to rid their bodies of possible toxins and as prevention from any they may encounter. They grow up enclose...
  • Nidhi Srivastava
    This is not an easy book to read. I think I made a mistake in rushing to finish it. It is better savoured in small sips rather than devoured whole.I was drawn to this book because of the narrative voice it starts off with. First person plural - the collective voice of three sisters - Grace, Lia, Sky - who belong to a strange, dysfunctional family, living in a dystopian world. The voices switches to the individual perspectives of each of the siste...
  • Julia A
    I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.This was such a strange yet brilliant book. It hooked me in from the beginning because it was so different from anything I recall reading. It felt like a novel I’d be assigned to read for an English Literature class, filled with symbolism and a dystopian feminist theme. At first it seemed almost cult-like — they’re extremely paranoid about pretty much everything includi...
  • Eliza
    This book was unlike any other book I've read, at least recently. Sophie does a wonderful job on immersing you into the story of 3 young women discovering their themselves while tucked away from the rest of society. Growing up in a world unlike any other with the threat of what men are capable of, Lia, Sky, and Grace uncover the truths of their parents and the lies they were told to keep them right where they are. Maybe when the plan was in its i...
  • Patricia Romero
    Three girls and their parents live alone on a supposed island. Taught that men are disease ridden things to be avoided at all costs.There are drills, treatments and oh, yeah...the are all crazy as loons. We are left to figure out how they got there, why they are here and who knocked one of them up???Honestly we are given no details. No questions were answered and you are left to interpret what is going on. And there is something going on and sinc...
  • Authentikate
    I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The Water Cure is billed as a mystery and I would safely say that that is true, though maybe not in the way the author intended. It follows three sisters, with three separate voices and perspectives as the reader is taken on a journey of exploration. Some books are snacks. Some are desserts. This is a seven-course meal. The language is at times very beautiful and poetic. Pieces ...
  • Victoria
    This book is odd. There are a lot of things I like about it. The way the story is told is poetic and really feels lyrical as the book goes. How the story is told through the narration of three sisters makes for an unreliable (which I quite enjoy) narrative and it makes for a haunting read. You as the reader are involved in the process as you try to fill in the holes of the story the three tell you. It is however a tiny bit predictable when it com...
  • Katherine Sunderland
    This felt like a short read at 240 pages but because of the lyrical prose and the immersive feel of the writing, it felt like the perfect length. This is a book with an unusual and imaginative premise that is well executed and convincingly sustained throughout the whole novel. The language is poetic, mesmerising and fluid, cascading over the page and swirling around the reader's head in a way that is both beautiful, haunting, impressive and power...
  • Hazel Shade
    I absolutely devoured this book. Sophie Mackintosh's slow burning, beautiful writing perfectly captured the world of Lia, Grace, and Sky, which is both wide open (days that seem endless, often filled with nothing but lounging and knocking around the huge house and grounds), and claustrophobic (crushing rules and rituals, lives spent under the thumb of King and Mother, while constantly watched and policed by each other). I especially loved Mackint...
  • Oryx
    I've reluctantly rounded this up. Really, it's probably a two star book but the concept and vision of it deserve that extra half and so that extra star. But does it? I'm not sure. I really enjoyed what she trying to do and actually what she did with the narrative; what I didn't enjoy was the writing. I absolutely cannot forgive this kind of writing. No. Sorry. There is no world where I would allow this. What's the fucking deal with it? Why does e...