The Water Cure

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What to expect

*COMING SOON: the second novel from Booker-longlisted Sophie Mackintosh*

*Blue Ticket, a chilling new novel about freedom, fate and motherhood – out 7 May 2020*

The Water Cure

British Vogue ‘Star of the Future’ for 2020

Independent Best Books of the Decade

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.’

‘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

‘Devastating. A work of cool, claustrophobic beauty’ Eli Goldstone, author of Strange Heart Beating

Critics Review

  • Compulsive, eerily gorgeous, [it] will have you gripped until the end… A film adaptation feels inevitable… As far as debuts go, this is superb

    Irish News
  • A feminist dystopian fairy tale, a sexual coming-of-age story and a survival-of-the-fittest tale. Evocative, suspenseful and bleak – in short, everything this age seems to be demanding

    NPR
  • [An] eerie, uncanny literary debutBeautifully written, pared down and hypnotic

    Sunday Times Culture
  • Bewitching… [An] ambiguous utopia

    Guardian
  • In raw, visceral prose, Mackintosh probes at ideas of the threat of male violence, the ways women are told to protect ourselves, love and sisterhood and survival. A hypnotic, stormy book, with one of my favourite endings I’ve read in a long while

    The Pool
  • Stunning… A haunting story of abuse, death, and desire… Chilling and topical, a breathtaking debut

    Dazed

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