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The Water Cure

A Novel
Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)
Regular price: $24.50
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Publisher's Summary

"A gripping, sinister fable!" (Margaret Atwood, via Twitter)

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE

A dystopic feminist revenge fantasy about three sisters on an isolated island, raised to fear men

King has tenderly staked out a territory for his wife and three daughters, Grace, Lia, and Sky. 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 world.

But when their father, the only man they've ever seen, disappears, they 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 the men?

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.

©2019 Sophie Mackintosh (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Eerily beautiful, this strange, unsettling novel creeps up and grabs hold of you.” (Paula Hawkins, New York Times best-selling author of Girl on the Train)

"Ingenious and incendiary" (The New Yorker)

“An extraordinary otherworldly debut...[Mackintosh] is writing the way that Sofia Coppola would shoot the end of the world: Everything is luminous.” (The Guardian)

“Sensational…Mackintosh’s taut novel turns a keen, unsparing eye on violence, patriarchy, and desire.” (Esquire, 25 Most Anticipated Books of 2019)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unique, strange, beautiful

I heard about this book through an NPR review and was quite interested in it. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect other than a post-apocalyptic sort of world (admittedly not my favorite genre). However, I listened to the novel in one day. It’s a truly unique story, with beautiful, fully developed characters. It’s surprising, impossible to predict, and beautifully read.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Outright weird!

I wouldn't say don't listen... but then again I wouldn't say do... it is a quirky and bizarre story. A bit confusing in the beginning... but stick in there and you'll start to figure it all out. If weird is what the author was going for, she attained it. It's hard to say really what I felt about this book.. I didn't love it... but I found it curious.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

What the...?

I sped the reading up to 2X because I am too tied to finishing what I start. Oh, how I wish I’d just thrown in the towel and skipped this one altogether. I can’t remember what compelled me to order this book, but I must have had a momentary lapse of reason. The writing was fine, but the story was awful, hard to follow at first and then fine to understand but with no redeeming qualities. This was not a feminist novel. In my view, feminism does not equate to man-hating, violent, or abusive — all of which describe the characters and sentiments in this book. Horrible. DO NOT waste your time.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A depressing story told with competent prose.

Depressing and drags on. Interestig ending but not worth the slow middle. better as a short story.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • sunday
  • RENTON, WA, United States
  • 01-13-19

Story lacking

I read the whole book - waiting for the story to start. It never did. I rarely review books - never have I submitted a one star. Maybe I missed something but I was not entertained.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Running fool

This book was painful to listen to it was not my cup of tea. The story drug and left me exhausted.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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disappointed

I thought the book would have more I'm a mystery to it. I was a little disappointed glad I finally got to the end and nothing special was revealed. You can figure everything out from the beginning.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Wendi
  • Houston, TX
  • 01-16-19

This is the Worst Book I've Ever Listened To.

Sophie Mackintosh can have her story back, and while she's at it she should give every person who said it was good a gift card so they can buy a book that IS good. Because this one is NOT. In no way, shape or form.

We are presented with a hum-drum family of daughters and their mother who live on what we think is an island. Their father who they called 'King' has died and they are living through his ideologies. They hate men, find men evil, and they find other species (birds, frogs, rats) to be disease spreaders which must face immediate death.

The story (not that there IS a story) is told by several different points of view. We're really lucky if we can figure out who's talking or who's viewpoint we're hearing. And, it's the same sentence, over and over.

The characters are beyond boring, the situation is just stupid-bizarre, and there is NO WAY one can picture the book in 'the mind's eye' so to speak because there isn't enough to imagine- we don't know what the heck is going on. And quite frankly, we don't care.

I don't know if this was set in today's time, in a post-apocalyptic world, or in a fairy tale land. If Mackintosh was trying to imitate the writing style of the beautiful 'Circe,' she has failed tremendously.

I tried hard to listen to this all the way through and I almost finished it. By the time I decided I wanted my credit back, I was literally disgusted by the fact I had wasted so much time and energy trying to find out what the hoopla was about. Because, there is no hoopla.

Do yourself a favour and stay away from this. It's more awful than terrible.

-Wendi

1 of 5 people found this review helpful