[Ebook] The Water Cure By Sophie Mackintosh – Pmgtest.info
The Handmaid S Tale Meets The Virgin Suicides In This Dystopic Feminist Revenge Fantasy About Three Sisters On An Isolated Island, Raised To Fear MenKing Has Tenderly Staked Out A Territory For His Wife And Three Daughters He Has Lain The Barbed Wire He Has Anchored The Buoys In The Water He Has Marked Out A Clear Message Do Not Enter Or Viewed From Another Angle Not Safe To Leave Here Women Are Protected From The Chaos And Violence Of Men On The Mainland The Cult Like Rituals And Therapies They Endure Fortify Them From The Spreading Toxicity Of A Degrading WorldBut When Their Father, The Only Man They Ve Ever Seen, Disappears, The Sisters Retreat Further Inward Until The Day Two Men And A Boy Wash Ashore Over The Span Of One Blistering Hot Week, A Psychological Cat And Mouse Game Plays Out Sexual Tensions And Sibling Rivalries Flare As The Sisters Confront The Amorphous Threat The Strangers Represent Can They Survive This Invasion And Will The Male Intruders A Haunting, Riveting Debut About The Capacity For Violence And The Potency Of Female Desire, The Water Cure Both Devastates And Astonishes As It Reflects Our Own World Back At Us The Water Cure is the first book I selected to read from the recently released 2018 Booker longlist I chose this one simply as it ended up being the first one I came across in the local bookshop I went into this blind not even aware it was a female dystopia.The writing is initially compelling, told in a sort of dreamy languid prose, the surroundings could be some sort of abandoned, decrepit, beachside resort if not for the unsettling cures You are never entirely sure if this family are survivors of some global apocalypse or the remnants of a cult The story is told briefly from the changing viewpoints of three sisters, but then almost entirely from one sister, Lia I am pleased the multi voice was dropped early on as I couldn t distinguish clearly between each sister in the beginning I have come to the conclusion that I am not the right reader for feminist dystopia I didn t enjoyThe PowerorThe Natural Way of Things , both books that seem to me to explore a world view that boils down to, if you let them, men will drift to their base instincts and try to kill you I always hope for nuance in these ideas but I didn t particularly find it here The inevitable appearance of men inThe Water Curedoesn t end well in ways that are unsurprising What I did admire was the prose, lyrical and lush with some some interesting ideas and a determination not to tell you everything you might wish to know I enjoyed playing the game of creating my own backstory to fill in some of the gaps left by the story, in which case this will make for a great book club book But ultimately I found The Water Cure emotionally cold and it made me feel a little miserable actually One could argue that this means the writer is doing their job, giving you some kind of emotional response This is a stunning debut novel that is deeply affecting and atmospheric but there is no getting away from the basic fact I didn t get much pleasure from it. Of course you can slap the label feminist dystopia on a book in order to sell copies, alas, it doesn t make the book a feminist dystopia Mackintosh s writing is languid and evocative, but there is nothing below the surface no one will drown in the depths of this story In the novel, we meet three sisters, Lia, Grace and Sky, who live in almost complete isolation at a remote beach with their mother who is reduced to her role and consequently referred to only as mother Their father, not so subtly named King, recently left to get some supplies, but hasn t returned He was the one who decided to take the family away from civilization, claiming he wants to protect the women from male violence and the toxic outside world it remains unclear whether some environmental catastrophe has occurred or whether the meaning is purely metaphorical, hinting at toxic values or the toxic system of patriarchy Whatever might be the case, King s rule clearly is a patriarchy as well, and a particularly vicious one To toughen the kids and under the guise of teaching them survival techniques, both mother and King have severely abused the sisters, both physically and mentally Their disturbance becomes obvious to the reader as the book is told from the sisters perspectives The narrative also tells us that there used to be female visitors who sought shelter from male violence, insinuating that we are dealing with a kind of cult At the time the narrative sets in, none of these women are still there though the reaons for this remaining unclear When mother and the sisters are visited by three men, wellthings happen, don t even ask there s also King Lear somewhere in there but whatever So let me get this straight King is not saving women, he is torturing his female kids with the help of a woman their mother, who is described as particularly sadistic As a consequence, the sisters have numerous mental health issues, to put it mildly The fact that you can hardly tell them apart by their respective narrative voices doesn t help either these characters are nothing but dolls, carved out by their manipulative father On top of that, the women who visit the family fled from their tormentors to give up their agency again, subjugating themselves to dangerous and, let s face it, idiotic, pseudo religious cures, because they are fragile and weak and also morons who long for someone who tells them what to do torture or be tortured, is this the feminist message here Or that women are always looking for a savior Or that all women are victims of men, because all men try to manipulate them, even their fathers This brings us directly to the next issue I have with this book The total number of men you can take seriously in this text is zero, and when I read sentences liket here were men who naturally caused great harm It was built into them , I want to scream because the stupidity of it is so obvious Granted, one of the nutty sisters says it, but when you sell this as feminism, you have to be held to that standard Do you know why misogynists are so morally despicable Because they don t have to oppress women, there is no biological determinism at work, they decide to act like that If they had no choice, if the monolithic entity of all men existed, you couldn t even blame them Sigh I would be way less upset if they didn t force a non existent feminist angle upon this surreal tale, I guess This book is all about its cold and detached language, an unsettling atmosphere and lofty allusions the problem is that in the end, the story alludes to nothing This water is very, very shallow, and if I was Jeffrey Eugenides, I d be pretty upset that the marketing team has the audacity to compare this mess to The Virgin Suicides Whoever has the chance to read the latter instead of this do it. 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 and introspective way this story unfolds.Sophie Mackintosh s prose is lush and evocative her sentences are breathtakingly beautiful and she spins her metaphors in such a brilliant way Imagery of water is threaded through the whole book, changing meaning and implication depending on the narrator and the context I adored that.The author plays with voices and perspectives in a way that I obviously loved I am a big fan of stories told, at least in parts, in a we perspective and Mackintosh wields that difficult voice expertly She switches perspectives in just the right moments and allows her narrators to be unreliable without loosing authenticity.At the heart, this is a story about sisters nobody is surprised that I love that and their disfunctional relationship The way in which flashbacks into their childhoods were integrated is brilliant and effortless and left me always wanting while being able to fill in some blanks myself I love it when authors trust me enough to do just that I found the parts that examined their love and the way their parents broke them to be by far the strongest, whereas the storyline with the men washed ashore did not always work for me.I thought that the pacing in the middle dragged a little, but the beginning and the ending were pitch perfect I cannot wait to see what Sophie Mackintosh does next, because I will definitely reading it.First sentence First we have a father, but our father dies without us noticing I received an arc of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Hamish Hamilton in exchange for an honest review. All the monsters in this book are women.