ARC Book Review: The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
ashley | I had really high hopes for The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh. I was really drawn to the description and it was marketed as The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Virgin Suicides, which only fed my intrigue.
The book is made up of many short and quick chapters told from different characters’ perspectives. I liked the writing, especially in the chapters from the perspective of the three girls together; they speak as ‘we’ and it gives them this aura of being bigger, something otherworldly, something dreamier and untouchable, which I enjoyed and thought was very fitting.
But the details of this story were very vague. We didn’t really know what is happening, what the current climate of this world was, what the limitations and rules of this dystonpian place was, just that a family isolated themselves from the outside world to protect their daughters. I like a little mystery in that sense, I don’t need it all laid out for me in black and while, but as I read on, I kind of expected some clarity to these situations and a little bit of context. I found that answers were a bit hard to come by in this book.
What I do know is that the overall vibe of this was very cult-like, with awful rituals done to the women and girls, to cleanse them of toxins from the outside world, with fear being instilled in them in every lesson. There are definite trigger warnings and some upsetting subplots involving consent and pregnancy ,which are hard to read about sometimes, especially considering the girls know no better and believe everything is being done in their best interest. These details were unsettling and confusing and left me with a bunch of different feelings that I can’t quite articulate, mostly because I’m not entirely sure what I think about it. I might need some more time to let this sit with me.
I read this compulsively because it’s quick to get through and the story is interesting enough to want to know more, but I felt like I never really reached a satisfying point. The messaging was designed around “men are evil”, and certainly evil things happened in this book, but I’m not quite sure I understand the be all and end all of what the story was driving at. I did enjoy how things ended up, but I’m still undecided about whether I enjoyed the book as a whole.
january 8, 2019