The reading bug bit me hard last week. I managed to get through a steady flow of books; This Is Going To Hurt, The End We Start From and The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh.
Compared to the works of Shirley Jackson and Han Kang, The Water Cure is going to be the literary debut to take the book market by storm this summer.
Sisters Grace, Lia and Sky live a life disconnected from the rest the world, they are pure, they are safe and they are protected by Mother and King. They know of the toxic air that consumes the women across the sea and when three men come across their secluded home their world begins to crack.
I started reading The Water Cure on a train up to London. It was a hot, stuffy day and the heat in the Quiet Carriage mirrored the sweltering land the sisters resided. Grace, Lia and Sky’s relationships with each other was harrowing, spiteful and petty but not for one moment did you doubt their bonds as sisters. The Water Cure is a story of isolation, the seclusion the girls live breeds curiosity and destruction amongst them.
Mackintosh’s writing style is ominous, she places subtle sentences that will leave you cold. Her characters are so emotionally damaged it was hard to gage and sympathise at first but the story draws you in quickly. The themes of femininity, growth and love are so warped by the characters you question their every action, every glance is sultry or dangerous.
I have a few reservations about the very last page of this novel, it took nothing away from the enjoyment of this hazy and provocative story of sisterhood but I yearned for a little more clarity. I’d become so invested in these bizarre girls I just wanted to know a little more, there you have it, I actually wanted the book to be a little longer.
I can’t recommend The Water Cure enough, this book is an outstanding debut. If you read The Girls, Ponti or The Virgin Suicides you need to put The Water Cure on you list right now.
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh published 24th May 2018