The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh [in Booklist]
The eerie chill factor proves unrelenting throughout Sophie Mackintosh’s 2018 debut, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and is further intensified by three formidable narrators who take turns revealing the dissolution of an isolated, splintered family. Grace, Lia, and Sky are three daughters – their combined triumvirate chapters read with steely control by Hannah Murray – whose father, King, is missing.
In a dystopic future ruined by gender violence and environmental destruction, the sisters have been cruelly manipulated to rely only on each other. When two men and a boy wash up on their shore, Mother keeps the sisters separate and safe … until she, too, disappears. Lia’s curiosity – made viscerally desperate by Gemma Whelan – leads her to embrace the forbidden. Eldest Grace – her gravitas underscored by Morfydd Clark – knows from her own wrenching past what happens next.
An unidentified man’s voice briefly disrupts the women’s narration, as if in warning of the impending male threat, as three words break the female flow three times to announce the book’s three parts: “Part One: Father,” “Part Two: Men,” “Part Three: Sisters.” Father, Men, pass – the sisters will survive.
Published: 2019 (audio); 2018 (print)