The Water Cure

Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018 

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh, read by Hannah Murray, Gemma Whelan and Morfydd Clark. 

Once upon a time, damaged women came here to be cured. We took them in, fed them glasses of our clean, good water, let them scream at the waves till their lips split like ripe fruit. Now no one is left but my sisters and me. King died a year ago, quite suddenly. Mother has vanished, no one knows where. And the safe compound they built around us, far away from the toxic world, has finally been breached.

Three men arrived last week, washed up by the sea, their gazes hungry and insistent. We remember now what our father taught us. 'If the men come to you, show yourself some mercy. Don't stick around and wait for them to put you out of your misery.'

©2018 Sophie Mackintosh (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Immensely assured, calmly devastating. This is a gem of a novel and I was bowled over by it." (Katherine Angel, author of Unmastered)

"I loved this book. It rushes you through to the end on a tide of tension and closely held panic. Eerie, electric, beautiful." (Daisy Johnson, author of Fen)

"Creepy and delightful - 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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-31-18

Extraordinary story

I can still hear the sea roaring in the background having finished the audio. Seldom have I felt swept away by the ethereal nature of a story (the last time was the Annihilation trilogy) and similarly I am still not sure what happened. was this story about the after effects of abuse, the fear of desire or about the power of patriarchy? Are the sisters three aspects of one girl or does the relationship between the girls transcend nature. I love this book and will buy it on kindle so I can ponder better and make notes. the author is a genius and one to follow throughout her career.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs A S Collins
  • 07-05-18

intriguing

Beautifully narrated. Great story which really makes you think about the fragility of both sexes. I was completely hooked.

5 people found this helpful

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  • M.E. Rolle
  • 11-04-18

A uniquely female dystopia

The Water Cure is one of the best books of 2018. The story is unlike anything I've ever read before, and it's told in a literary voice that's somehow modern and old fashioned at the same time. Evocative and powerful, this book joins a small but growing collection of dystopian novels that create a uniquely female view of the future. I can't recommend it highly enough.

2 people found this helpful

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  • RT
  • 10-21-18

Fantastic

Absolutely loved it. Absorbing, original story perfectly narrated with an unexpected ending. I thoroughly recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Isobel Ayres
  • 08-24-18

Bleak, depressing, with nothing original to say.

Please bear in mind that I write this as a staunch feminist, who has come across some pretty awful men in her time (and some wonderful ones, and lots and lots of in-between normal ones, y'know, because men are people and we're not one dimensional). This book is so anti-men. The book at some point says that all men want to kill women, even the ones who think they don't. I get that it's from the perspective of three isolated, abused girls, but still - it seems to be the authorial voice saying this, that this novel exposes the truth of relationships. The women are horrible, too - the author embraces some pretty boring cliches about women, as well. It's just an awful book with nothing to say. Men are horrible, women need to murder them and be sisters in solidarity, and escape, except we can't because men are bad and will hunt us all down. OK. Ugh.

It's a shame, though, as the author has a very intriguing style and I enjoyed that. I just hated what she had to say.

As for the narrators, the woman who narrated Lia's passages was great. The woman who narrated Grace's section was fine - not outstanding, but not objectionable. The woman who read the passages through all three women's perspective was really very bad - completely monotone and expressionless. It seems to be a thing with Audible recently - narrators so robotic that it's actually difficult to ascertain the meaning of what they're saying because it's so divorced from normal human speech patterns and intonation. Is Audible experimenting with machine narration? I find it hard to believe an actual human being can get a job reading this badly. I could honestly do a far better job myself.

6 people found this helpful

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  • miss z tribello
  • 10-10-18

Menacing

A super debut. Haunting dystopian tale of 3 sisters living with parents on an island. They are made to do unconscionable things and live as if in a cult-style nightmare. No doubt, comparisons will be made to Atwood.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-23-20

Intriguing

I loved the idea of this book, the first half is brilliant, setting the scene for what I hoped would be a brilliant tale but I felt it lacked quite significantly in the second half and there was so more that could have been done.
Narration was slightly confusing too and I genuinely found it quite slow paced and boring.
Great idea, not a great story.

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  • Maddy
  • 01-04-20

Not for me

I think this book is a marmite book you will either like it, maybe even love it or like me not like it at all. It is possible that it doesn’t work as an audible book. Definitely recommend you get a sample first, which I didn’t and regret.

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  • A customer
  • 12-20-19

Beautiful written and performed

A wonderfully written book, gripping and thrilling. The performances were perfect for the story.
I wanted more from the story, however, but I still enjoyed every moment.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-05-19

A bit dull

It just never really got off the ground. I really liked the concept but the story never really went anywhere or gave any answers. Bit of a frustrating read really.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-02-19

A beautiful dream

This book transported me to the strangest world, where I recognised all the parts, but not the way it was put together. The perfect solo road trip book.

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  • christiana O
  • 05-06-19

Great read

Really loved the characters and the metaphors of female vulnerability and strength. Would highly recommend a read