Karen's Reviews > The Water Cure

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
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's review

it was ok

Not even sure where to begin...

Here's another book that is blurbed with labels that have nothing to do with the book. I don't know what the marketers are thinking when they try to compare a book to a classic. I understand it might have initial appeal and might cause me to pickup the book but then the let down after reading it and, finding out that you have completely lied to me, makes me so mad that I am now skeptical of anything and everything that comes after this. I can't imagine the one single sale based on a lie is so much better than all the sales you're now not getting because of the lie.

Ok rant done. This book is nothing like Handmaid's Tale. Nothing. So I want to set that expectation first and foremost.

The only reason I gave this book two stars is because the author's lyrical language is powerful and it was, for me, the best part of the book. I don't usually prioritize paying attention to the language because if I am prioritizing the plot, it means your characters don't have the depth I need and if I am prioritizing the language, well it means there isn't much else that's getting my attention enough. But in some rare cases, the language is beautiful and really adds to the story. This was one of those cases. Especially in the beginning and the ending.

This is where my positive feelings about the book stop. I have so many questions and so many complaints. If you're going to have three narrators, they need to be distinctly different from each other so as to have a reason that the constant switching helps the story (instead of just giving the reader whiplash.) While there are small differences between the sisters, there is really not enough distinction (besides their plot of course) to make the rotating narration worthwhile.

The plot is convoluted and there are so many holes in the story that at some point I just gave up. I didn't even care what was going on in the outside world, why they were here, where the others were, and on and on. This wasn't a slow building story where you can understand the background of the characters and see how they ended up in the completely messed up places they ended up. I am not sure if the author's goal is for me to conclude "men are evil" and "don't mess with women" but those are not lessons. This is not a valuable take away. This is not feminist. It's just another way of stereotyping. These topics are so complicated and so layered that writing a story like this and then selling it as feminist dystopia does it a disservice.

I was confused, horrified, angry and frustrated for most of this story. Maybe that was the intent. But to me, a book that makes me feel those things and doesn't teach me anything or give me some questions to grapple with is just there to mess with my emotions. And, that makes me mad. I don't think this is a powerful story. I think this is a missed opportunity.

I did love the author's lyrical prose, however, so I'll give her that.

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Reading Progress

January 13, 2019 – Started Reading
January 13, 2019 – Shelved
January 13, 2019 – Finished Reading

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