The Water Cure is the debut novel by Sophie Mackintosh. It is an eerie and thought-provoking novel that is sure to get under your skin and stay there. It centres around the lives of three sisters, Lia, Grace and Sky, who have been isolated from society at their parents' command. The sisters are raised to believe that men and the outside world will only bring them harm and ultimately death, an idea which is reinforced by the troubled women that have stayed with them in the past to be "cured".
Ritualistic violence and mental cruelty are seemingly part of their everyday lives. At the instruction of their parents, they are often forced to inflict pain (both physical and emotional) on each other or themselves as a way to protect and prepare them against the future. As a result of their experiences, a deeply complex but powerful bond of love binds the sisters together as they are forced to adapt to a changing environment.
Comparisons have been drawn to the Handmaid's Tale and the book certainly speaks to similar issues: men and the use or misuse of the female body is interwoven into the tale and the mother is both victim and abuser. It also has a flavour of The Virgin Suicides as Sophie Mackintosh skillfully creates dreamlike scenes with the girls lounging around a pool, sun-kissed and vibrant; this sexual imagery portends disaster and sexual confrontation. However, the vulnerability of the sisters and their own desires for love and physical contact have made them dangerous. Whilst the men are mainly portrayed as being duplicitous and violent, the deeper darkness and perhaps power resonates from the sisters and we are left with the feeling that the men are never really in control.
"It will always be a woman who saves us, we know that now. The protections of men are only ever flimsy and self-serving".
To buy our October Book Club and Tea subscription box which features The Water Cure and our Premium Grade Matcha then click here.
The Water Cure is your book choice as voted for via social media polls. If you would like to help us choose November's book, follow us on Instagram and Twitter and keep an eye out for more info.
We have once again teamed up with wordery.com books for 10% off your purchase when you buy 2 books for more. Just use the code TAIKITEA10.