The Water Cure
British Vogue ‘Star of the Future’ for 2020
Independent Best Books of the Decade
‘A gripping, sinister fable’ Margaret Atwood (via Twitter)
‘An extraordinary debut – otherworldly, luminous, precise’ Guardian
‘Bold, inventive, haunting… With shades of Margaret Atwood and Eimear McBride, you’ll be bowled over by it’ Stylist
Grace, Lia and Sky live in an abandoned hotel, on a sun-bleached island, beside a poisoned sea. Their parents raised them there to keep them safe, to make them good. The world beyond the water is contaminated and men are the contamination. But one day three strangers wash ashore – men who stare at the sisters hungrily, helplessly. Men who bring trouble.
‘Visceral, hypnotic . . . with one of my favourite endings I’ve read in a long while’ The Pool
‘An unsettling dark fantasy… [It] lingers long after the final page’ Daily Telegraph
‘Otherworldly, brutal and poetic: a feminist fable set by the sea, a female Lord of the Flies. It felt like a book I’d been waiting to read for a long time’ Emma Jane Unsworth
The Water Cure deserves a Sofia Coppola-style big-screen treatment, although its cultish overtones and sinister denouement are as reminiscent of The Wicker Man as The Virgin Suicides * The Literary Review * A superb debut * i * Eerie and unsettling, the novel exerts a hypnotic grip as the tension builds * Daily Mail * Powerful, mythic, seductively sinister... Her alternative world is as carefully imagined as one of Margaret Atwood's... [Sophie Mackintosh] is a writer to be reckoned with * Book Oxygen * Creepy and delightful, a portrayal of post-apocalyptic puberty, intermingling desire and despair. It has a pinch of Shirley Jackson, a dash of chlorine, and an essence all of its own -- Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of 'Harmless Like You' Eerie, electric, beautiful. It rushes you through to the end on a tide of tension and closely held panic. I loved this book -- Daisy Johnson, author of 'Fen' [A] lyrical debut, original and very atmospheric * Good Housekeeping * Otherworldly, brutal and poetic: a feminist fable set by the sea, a utopia gone awry, a female Lord of the Flies. It transported me, savaged me, filled me with hope and fear. It felt like a book I'd been waiting to read for a long time -- Emma Jane Unsworth, author of 'Animals' Uneasy, mythic, lawless... The atmospheric landscapes cloak trauma and violence in wisps of uncertainty, where bad feelings coalesce as both presciently felt and strangely unknowable * Frieze * A work of cool, claustrophobic beauty. Sophie Mackintosh writes devastatingly well about the complexities that women face in loving men, and in loving each other -- Eli Goldstone, author of 'Strange Heart Beating' A hypnotic read... This extraordinary debut is a feminist, quasi-dystopian read - great for fans of Hot Milk, The Girls and The Vegetarian * Elle * Electric [and] beautifully strange... Her novel is an exercise in minimalism * Times Literary Supplement * Powerfully unsettling, immensely assured, calmly devastating. It conjures a world both alien and familiar, exploring the physical and psychological cruelties enacted on women, by men, in the name of their protection, and the noble and ignoble uses to which anger can be put in a perverse world. This is a gem of a novel, and I was bowled over by it -- Katherine Angel, author of 'Unmastered' The Water Cure is eerily still and pure - with saline bite... Mackintosh asks if it is the traumas of our pasts that ultimately pose the greatest threat to our futures * New Statesman * [A] wildly confident debut... Take the strange social ceremonies of The Lobster and the pheromone-rich claustrophobia of The Beguiled and you come close to the world Sophie Mackintosh conjures * AnOther Magazine * Elemental... [A] utopia portrayed in spectral, organic prose... Mackintosh is a wonderful stylist; the full scope of her imagination, as well as the cohesion of her vision, is evident on every page... A seriously impressive feat * Irish Times * Searing, richly drawn, eerily compelling... As foreboding in what it holds back as in what it reveals * Stylist * Darkly gratifying, dreamy, primal, and arresting [as] a fairy tale... The overgrown grounds, with their perimeter of rusty barbed wire and shark-infested waters, resemble Sleeping Beauty's castle * New Yorker * Eerily beautiful, this strange, unsettling novel creeps up and grabs hold of you -- Paula Hawkins, author of 'The Girl on the Train' Stunning... A haunting story of abuse, death, and desire... Chilling and topical, a breathtaking debut * Dazed * In raw, visceral prose, Mackintosh probes at ideas of the threat of male violence, the ways women are told to protect ourselves, love and sisterhood and survival. A hypnotic, stormy book, with one of my favourite endings I've read in a long while * The Pool * Bewitching... [An] ambiguous utopia * Guardian * [An] eerie, uncanny literary debut... Beautifully written, pared down and hypnotic * Sunday Times Culture * A feminist dystopian fairy tale, a sexual coming-of-age story and a survival-of-the-fittest tale. Evocative, suspenseful and bleak - in short, everything this age seems to be demanding * NPR * Compulsive, eerily gorgeous, [it] will have you gripped until the end... A film adaptation feels inevitable... As far as debuts go, this is superb * Irish News *
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