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  • Beautifully written, worth the read.

    The Water Cure is the debut novel of Sophie Mackintosh and has, at the time of my writing, been long listed for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, and deservedly so. It is the story of…I don’t know. A sect? Refuge? Retreat? Cult? Fantasy? A failed utopia in a supposedly dystopian world? All of the above and then some…I think. I do not know what genre fits it…mystery mixed with philosophy perhaps. It is definitely the story of three sisters raised in isolation from the toxic outside world with rituals to protect, cleanse and heal. Anymore detail and I will spoil it for you. Told in the voices of Grace, Lia and Sky (a device I especially love), it is written in the present tense, which I find always heightens the reader’s awareness of a character’s emotions and creates a sense of urgency. It also makes the reader feel involved. This is not a quick “beach book” though I did read it quickly as I did not want to be away from it. The prose is beautiful, atmospheric with not a single word wasted. It is highly evocative; I held my breath at times to be silent. Light, ethereal, ghostly yet oh, so dark and menacing. Beautiful yet violent. Calm yet seething. Ms Mackintosh’s writing will hold you spellbound and leave you bereft, hopeful, defeated…just as the sisters felt. She is a skilled wordsmith indeed. A small aside…after reading the book and then re-reading the publisher’s blurb I wondered if they had read the same book!

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