A Gripping, Sinister Fable Margaret Atwood, Via Twitter ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR NPR GLAMOUR GOOD HOUSEKEEPING LIT HUB THRILLISTKing Has Tenderly Staked Out A Territory For His Wife And Three Daughters, Grace, Lia, And Sky Here On His Island, Women Are Protected From The Chaos And Violence Of Men On The Mainland The Cult Like Rituals And Therapies They Endure Fortify Them From The Spreading Toxicity Of A Degrading WorldBut When King Disappears And Two Men And A Boy Wash Ashore, The Sisters Safe World Begins To Unravel Over The Span Of One Blistering Hot Week, A Psychological Cat And Mouse Game Plays Out Sexual Tensions And Sibling Rivalries Flare As The Sisters Are Forced To Confront The Amorphous Threat The Strangers RepresentA Haunting, Riveting Debut, The Water Cure Is A Fiercely Poetic Feminist Revenge Fantasy That S A Startling Reflection Of Our Time


10 thoughts on “The Water Cure

  1. Meike Meike says:

    Of course you can slap the label feminist dystopia on a book in order to sellcopies, alas, it doesn t make the book a feminist dystopia Mackintosh s writing is languid and evocative, but there is nothing below the surface no one will drown in the depths of this story In the novel, we meet three sisters, Lia, Grace and Sky, who live in almost complete isolation at a remote beach with their mother who is reduced to her role and consequently referred to only as mother Their father, Of course you can slap the label feminist dystopia on a book in order to sellcopies, alas, it doesn t make the book a feminist dystopia Mackintosh s writing is languid and evocative, but there is nothing below the surface no one will drown in the depths of this story In the novel, we meet three sisters, Lia, Grace and Sky, who live in almost complete isolation at a remote beach with their mother who is reduced to her role and consequently referred to only as mother Their father, not so subtly named King, recently left to get some supplies, but hasn t returned He was the one who decided to take the family away from civilization, claiming he wants to protect the women from male violence and the toxic outside world it remains unclear whether some environmental catastrophe has occurred or whether the meaning is purely metaphorical, hinting at toxic values or the toxic system of patriarchy Whatever might be the case, King s rule clearly is a patriarchy as well, and a particularly vicious one To toughen the kids and under the guise of teaching them survival techniques, both mother and King have severely abused the sisters, both physically and mentally Their disturbance becomes obvious to the reader as the book is told from the sisters perspectives The narrative also tells us that there used to be female visitors who sought shelter from male violence, insinuating that we are dealing with a kind of cult At the time the narrative sets in, none of these women are still there though the reaons for this remaining unclear When mother and the sisters are visited by three men, wellthings happen, don t even ask there s also King Lear somewhere in there but whatever So let me get this straight King is not saving women, he is torturing his female kids with the help of a woman their mother, who is described as particularly sadistic As a consequence, the sisters have numerous mental health issues, to put it mildly The fact that you can hardly tell them apart by their respective narrative voices doesn t help either these characters are nothing but dolls, carved out by their manipulative father On top of that, the women who visit the family fled from their tormentors to give up their agency again, subjugating themselves to dangerous and, let s face it, idiotic, pseudo religious cures, because they are fragile and weak and also morons who long for someone who tells them what to do torture or be tortured, is this the feminist message here Or that women are always looking for a savior Or that all women are victims of men, because all men try to manipulate them, even their fathers This brings us directly to the next issue I have with this book The total number of men you can take seriously in this text is zero, and when I read sentences liket here were men who naturally caused great harm It was built into them , I want to scream because the stupidity of it is so obvious Granted, one of the nutty sisters says it, but when you sell this as feminism, you have to be held to that standard Do you know why misogynists are so morally despicable Because they don t have to oppress women, there is no biological determinism at work, they decide to act like that If they had no choice, if the monolithic entity of all men existed, you couldn t even blame them Sigh I would be way less upset if they didn t force a non existent feminist angle upon this surreal tale, I guess This book is all about its cold and detached language, an unsettling atmosphere and lofty allusions the problem is that in the end, the story alludes to nothing This water is very, very shallow, and if I was Jeffrey Eugenides, I d be pretty upset that the marketing team has the audacity to compare this mess to The Virgin Suicides Whoever has the chance to read the latter instead of this do it


  2. Hannah Hannah says:

    This book.It is so very difficult to describe this book, which is I think one of the reasons why the blurb is so vague This is the story of three sisters, growing up on an island with their parents where something is obviously not quite right but many things remain vague for the whole book It is never clear whether the stories their parents tell them of the rest of the world are true or not I personally adored this vagueness and the hypnotic and introspective way this story unfolds.Sophie Mac This book.It is so very difficult to describe this book, which is I think one of the reasons why the blurb is so vague This is the story of three sisters, growing up on an island with their parents where something is obviously not quite right but many things remain vague for the whole book It is never clear whether the stories their parents tell them of the rest of the world are true or not I personally adored this vagueness and the hypnotic and introspective way this story unfolds.Sophie Mackintosh s prose is lush and evocative her sentences are breathtakingly beautiful and she spins her metaphors in such a brilliant way Imagery of water is threaded through the whole book, changing meaning and implication depending on the narrator and the context I adored that.The author plays with voices and perspectives in a way that I obviously loved I am a big fan of stories told, at least in parts, in a we perspective and Mackintosh wields that difficult voice expertly She switches perspectives in just the right moments and allows her narrators to be unreliable without loosing authenticity.At the heart, this is a story about sisters nobody is surprised that I love that and their disfunctional relationship The way in which flashbacks into their childhoods were integrated is brilliant and effortless and left me always wantingwhile being able to fill in some blanks myself I love it when authors trust me enough to do just that I found the parts that examined their love and the way their parents broke them to be by far the strongest, whereas the storyline with the men washed ashore did not always work for me.I thought that the pacing in the middle dragged a little, but the beginning and the ending were pitch perfect I cannot wait to see what Sophie Mackintosh does next, because I will definitely reading it.First sentence First we have a father, but our father dies without us noticing I received an arc of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Hamish Hamilton in exchange for an honest review


  3. Hannah Greendale Hannah Greendale says:

    All the monsters in this book are women.


  4. Amalia Gavea Amalia Gavea says:

    We would all still love each other, but what it meant was if there was a burning fire, if two sisters were stuck in the inferno and they were screaming a name, the only right thing would be to pick the one the iron dictated to save It is important to ignore any contrary instinct of your traitor heart We were quite used to that Had this been a fairytale, it would have started like this There once was a couple who had three daughters and they lived on an isolated island King was theWe would all still love each other, but what it meant was if there was a burning fire, if two sisters were stuck in the inferno and they were screaming a name, the only right thing would be to pick the one the iron dictated to save It is important to ignore any contrary instinct of your traitor heart We were quite used to that Had this been a fairytale, it would have started like this There once was a couple who had three daughters and they lived on an isolated island King was the father s name and Grace, Lia and Sky were taught that he was their only protection from creatures that wanted to harm them The creatures were called men and he was a man but it didn t matter He alone knew what was good for the family Because the girls were weak, fragile, easy to fall ill from the sickness carried by the outside world However, women were welcomed to the island Women who were frightened and wounded Women who should accept rebirth through fear and water But they weren t there when the master of the house died They weren t there when three men were washed ashore They weren t there when the daughters had to choose But this is not a fairytale This is a story of isolation, exploitation, intentional fear and violence And what about the Mother, one may ask A mother is not a mother when she oppresses her children and obeys a madman obsessively, violently, in a household where iron determines who is to be loved most When she doesn t protect her children from paranoia, when she blatantly, maliciously threatens them, the mother becomes a worse danger than all the men in the world She becomes a monster Terror doesn t come from women or men It comes from therapies initiated by disturbed people who exploit the ordeal of women to serve their Messiah complex and their heinous inclinations Terror comes from ignorance when a young girl falls for the handsome stranger.Mackintosh plays well with stereotypes and the themes of uncertainty and a vague external threat The extracts from the Welcome Book of one of the guests of the island, a woman who has suffered abuse, talk of an invisible threat coming from a man Who is he The answer will be found at the end of the book She is haunted by his presence, abused by his shadow Who are the other women who refuse to support her And then, two men and a young boy are washed ashore, their intentions suspicious from the start In these pages, you will find an array of some of the most hate worthy characters you ll ever meet I wanted to murder half of the cast and I suppose this is a token of the writer s powerful writingI collect a long fingertip of dust from the lip of a vase, a solitary object on the mantelpiece in the hall It is empty except for a wasp dying in its own sound, vibrating dully against the porcelain Suffer, I mouth at it Mackintosh s prose is like a suffocating summer afternoon that carries the anticipation of an almost metaphysical terror Lies, deceit, delusion create a claustrophobic environment At times, the writing is so raw and violent that even I started feeling extremely uncomfortable and this doesn t happen often The violence between the two older sisters touches the boundaries of madness, a result of their abnormal upbringing This is the only way for me to explain Lia s hysterics that bothered me quite a lot throughout the story I suppose this is an example of the animal instincts we all carry inside, intensified by isolation and lack of education Another issue I faced was the dialogue which came in contrast with the exquisite prose Especially the interactions between Lia and Llew were so bad it was an actual physical torture for me to read Thankfully, dialogue is limited in the novel and I wasn t tempted to subtract a star because of it.No, this isn t mind blowing Literature We have read similar books andwill come out in the future But it is a marvelous novel, beautiful in its bleakness and desperation, the prose exquisite and mysterious like a sultry summer evening, the last chapters are ferocious and devastating, worthy of 5 stars alone It balances Dystopian Fiction elements although the novel has nothing to do with the genre and it is wrong to be marketed like that and a very realistic, in depth study of the harm we can do to ourselves and to others.Even if it is a candidate for the most insufferable cast of characters, The Water Cure shows that monsters can be found in both sexes Women and men can become oppressive, dangerous, destructive There are no saviours but ourselves in these troubled times Trusting in our strength, aided by education and companionship, are the ways to distance ourselves from populists and tyrants Building fortresses against imaginary threats that possibly serve twisted purposes only leads to destruction and we have two World Wars and countless hostilities to prove thisOne day they will overwhelm us, water molding our carpets and warping the parquet, leaving tidemarks on the wallpapers But I hope to be long gone by then My reviews can also be found on


  5. Britta Böhler Britta Böhler says:

    I m a bit tired of publicists and or reviewers telling me that a certain book is the 21st century s version of The Handmaid s Tale, and also of the fact that feminist dystopian novels are so hip and hyped at the moment I read quite a few of them, some good, like Red Clocks by Leni Zumas, The Power by Naomi Alderman and The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood but often not, like by Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich, The End We Start From by Megan Hunter, Genesis Girl by Jenni I m a bit tired of publicists and or reviewers telling me that a certain book is the 21st century s version of The Handmaid s Tale, and also of the fact that feminist dystopian novels are so hip and hyped at the moment I read quite a few of them, some good, like Red Clocks by Leni Zumas, The Power by Naomi Alderman and The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood but often not, like by Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich, The End We Start From by Megan Hunter, Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley, The Last One by Alexandra Oliva and Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed And you cant help but wonder whether publishers just didn t want to miss the hype But I had quite high hopes for this one, mainly because of some very favorable reviews by people I admire But sadly, the book was quite a disappointment.First of all the premise family life on a remote island, far away from the polluted and dangerous mainland, and only the Father travels to the mainland from time to time for supplies was in many respects a rehash of the premise in Gather the Daughters which came out in July 2017 So, not very inventive And it didn t help that I thought Gather the Daughters was quite bad The main weak point for me was the story, which was too predictable to be interesting especially after the arrival of the two men but also the part in which the truth about Father and Mother is revealed almost every plot development or twist you could see coming from a mile away, which at least for me, doesnt make for an engaging read And although I liked that Mackintosh left things unexplained, there were quite some parts that didnt make sense to me at all especially the rationale behind the various exercises and treatments And what was the deal with the salt Mackintosh tried to raise interesting points about family dynamics and gender but in the end, the execution didn t convince me.1.5


  6. Yun Yun says:

    In The Water Cure, three sisters live with their mother and father on an island cut off from the rest of the world They are taught from a young age that women must be protected from the terror and violence of men, and that the real world is filled with toxins that would degrade and sicken them When their father disappears and two men and a boy show up on their island, their lives upend What follows for the sisters is the slow disintegration of their lives that they have always feared.The stor In The Water Cure, three sisters live with their mother and father on an island cut off from the rest of the world They are taught from a young age that women must be protected from the terror and violence of men, and that the real world is filled with toxins that would degrade and sicken them When their father disappears and two men and a boy show up on their island, their lives upend What follows for the sisters is the slow disintegration of their lives that they have always feared.The story is divided into three parts, and I found the first two to be decent, though not great The prose is dreamlike and evocative, filled with lots of feelings and thoughts We spend a lot of time getting to know the cruel punishments and rituals their parents subject them to in order to cleanse their bodies and minds and be rid of the world s toxins But then I got to the third part, and it completely fell apart for me This book has an extremely simplistic and pessimistic view of the genders Women are universally awesome and filled with the spirit of love and sisterhood men are irredeemably bad from the moment of their births It completely disregards individuality Every person fits in one or the other gender, and they surely must act in accordance with that, without any ability to think for themselves It s an extremely tribalistic view of us versus them , and in our world today, we need less of that thinking, not .Though it s laid out as a story of redemption, it doesn t feel that way to me Rather, the message seems to be that you are what your parents teach you, and you can never grow to bethan that There s no hope of figuring out your own mind or your own wishes And that translates to not having to take responsibility for one s own actions The book essentially says that their parents and their circumstances made the sisters into who they are, and as a result, they are not responsible for the bad things they do onto others Just no.I m appalled by the violence and complete disregard that the three women have for others, which is disguised as righteousness In the end, what are the men s heinous crimes Well, it s to love and leave Sure, that is unkind, but it s not deserving of death or torture It s also not deserving of the women living in constant fear or acting so hysterical throughout.If the gender roles in this book were reversed, I can t imagine this book would be allowed to be published Women would be up in arms over the misogyny This book is marked as feminist, but it isn t It s making mountains out of molehills and being as purposefully hurt as possible over small slights It s being cruel to a group of people, to those you would label as others who are different from yourself And that s not ok.In the end, I strongly disagree with the message of this book As someone who, like almost everyone out there, has had the painful experience of being lumped into a group and seen as a stereotype rather than an individual, I just don t understand or agree with the spirit of this story


  7. Lucy Langford Lucy Langford says:

    Absorbing the guilt and the sorrow is something the world expects of women.Haunting and thought provoking.This story focuses on 3 sisters Grace, Lia and Sky who live with their mother and their father, King, in a very isolated place They are told that they are kept apart from others for their own good.There were other women living there with them before, but they no longer live there now Now it is just their small family who stick to their own rituals and cures to prevent the daughters from Absorbing the guilt and the sorrow is something the world expects of women.Haunting and thought provoking.This story focuses on 3 sisters Grace, Lia and Sky who live with their mother and their father, King, in a very isolated place They are told that they are kept apart from others for their own good.There were other women living there with them before, but they no longer live there now Now it is just their small family who stick to their own rituals and cures to prevent the daughters from themselves, toxicity, the fearful outside world, and men One day King leaves and is feared to never come back to the Island Soon two men and one boy are washed by the sea onto the shore bringing desire and destruction to this family s routinely schedules This book was very introspective, with thoughts focusing on the point of views from the two eldest daughters Lia and Grace While not much action happens through out the book, we are witness to how the girls believe they are getting sick and the punishments and treatments they give themselves to avoid this toxicity.The cures, rituals, punishments and treatments are all learned from their parents They are also highly abusive, not only physically but also emotionally, often rendering the girls into danger From the novel it is suspected that these are done often maliciously and the parents will often try to turn the girls against each other to see how far they will go It also shows the love that transpires between the girls and their parents, as the girls have no idea that these abuses are wrong and still only want to please and receive approval and love from their parents Some of this story has been characterised as dystopian however it does eerily mirror the reality of many girls and women They are taught to fear men and the outside world as they will only use and abuse you It shows how desperate measures are taken to raise a daughter


  8. Felice Laverne Felice Laverne says:

    Sudden love, when gifted to a habitually unloved person, can induce nausea It can become a thing you would claw and debase yourself for It is necessary to wean yourself onto it, small portions. Sophie Mackintosh s debut novel, The Water Cure, is the story of three sisters living an occult existence on an island off the mainland one fateful summer when they have their first experience with men other than their father Yep, that pretty much sums this one up Grace, Lia and Sky have been raised Sudden love, when gifted to a habitually unloved person, can induce nausea It can become a thing you would claw and debase yourself for It is necessary to wean yourself onto it, small portions. Sophie Mackintosh s debut novel, The Water Cure, is the story of three sisters living an occult existence on an island off the mainland one fateful summer when they have their first experience with men other than their father Yep, that pretty much sums this one up Grace, Lia and Sky have been raised on an island away from civilization for their entire lives view spoiler For the entire novel, I pictured them as being two teenagers and an elementary aged girl Imagine my surprise when, near the end of the novel, we find out that the two eldest are around 30 years old and the youngest is around 18 hide spoiler Grace is pregnant, though she s only ever even seen one man her entire life, her father Lia is in the middle of a summer without love the summer that the men arrive, she s been chosen in one of the family s rituals to be the person who goes without love until names are picked out of the bag again Sky is childlike and innocent, wholly dependent on their family unit and unwilling to stray from its teachings So, when King, their father dies, and the mother and three daughters are left alone on the island, anything can happen.There are two aesthetic items that really stood out to me about this book the title, which is perfectly harmonious with the content, and the beautiful imagery of the cover, which accurately ties it all together Both of these are fantastic representations of the bedrock of this book Admittedly, The Water Cure started out rough, and I was tempted to put it down Part one is a series of vignettes short, broken glimpses into their world that failed to satisfy There was not enough to fully hold on to I found the first part of this three part the novel to be yet another example of a narrative full of frilly words and curlicue phrases that all amounted to nothing exposition that skirted the truth of their reality, trying to veil it or twirl around it in a way that was annoyingly and often confusingly evasive I wished no YEARNED for Mackintosh to write head on instead of in a mass of purple prose nothingness Luckily, I was offered some reprieve in Part Two, where the narrative style switches up a bit, though it never wanders too far from its narrative foundation of swirly prose writing.ENTER JAMES, LLEW AND GWIL.James and Llew are brothers who wash up on shore with Llew s young son, Gwil They seek refuge until rescuers come to bring them home from the island, and they endure extreme measures on the part of the girls mother who has not been around men, other than her now deceased husband, in years Once she deems them safe enough to inhabit their land until they are rescued, this novel starts to unwind and make a littlesense.Part two centers around Lia, the middle daughter who cuts her thighs to feel something, the sister who has not been assigned love in one of their ritualistic ceremoniesHurt Grace, or Sky will have to You know I have no choice She showed no reaction at first, but by the end she was biting viciously through the cloth I knew it was involuntary She let out a high noise from between her teeth, a constant pitch, like a stinging insect It was unbearable. It is, in part, this lack of love that drives her into the arms of Llew But Lia has no romantic experience with men Imagine the playfulness, the flirtation, the mixed signals and the desire that we ve all experienced in our youths now imagine that happening in an occult setting where men are the enemy to a girl who is starved of love You can see how this would be a recipe for insert any number of words here James finds me crying in the garden, where I thought nobody would look Somehow I am a child again and nobody wants to go near me, nobody can cope with how badly I want to be held, or touched, or listened to, and there is nothing I can ever do about it.Each chapter in part two starts with an excerpt, presumably from an entry in the Welcome Book left behind by a woman who has sought out their occult home in search of refuge from the destruction of men in the past The thing is, without context and with the author still clinging to the evasive narrative techniques of part one a lot of the excerpts made little sense to me and failed to move the story forward in any meaningful way, not even by adding atmosphere Also, this novel likely would have been better off written completely in 3rd person Lia s chapters bothered me, because she speaks in first person using words like surreptitiously, though there s never a word written about these girls, living isolated from all other civilization aside from their five person family and the occasional female traveler, ever going to school They learned to read on their own from books lying around the house that were eventually taken away before the third sister could even learn to read, so that just came off as weird and inaccurate.The blurb praises The Water Cure as The Handmaid s Tale meets The Virgin Suicides Ummmm, The Handmaid s Tale, not so much The Virgin Suicides, maybeeeeee Really, it reminded me of Gather the Daughters , a novel I THOROUGHLY enjoyed, meets Lord of the Flies If that description appeals to you, you ll definitely want to pick up Sophie Mackintosh s The Water Cure view spoiler I also didn t find this book to be dystopic since it s not really set post end of the world The family is just self isolated hide spoiler While I was put off by the evasiveness of the first part of the novel, the narrative came together much better as the novel progressed It was a quick read that I gobbled up in 24 hours, and it managed to put its own spin on a narrative that s been done before For that, I thought it fitting to give this book 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 FOLLOW ME HERE Goodreads Twitter Instagram Get a Copy of My Book Book Editing, Author Coaching, Submit Your Book to Me


  9. Marchpane Marchpane says:

    In this debut novel, three daughters live in seclusion from the world because their parents have told them that men are evil and somehow also literally toxic.The dystopian premise is just a pretext for their isolation, because what The Water Cure is really concerned with is the psychological effects of isolation and abuse, and the complicated relationship between the sisters who have had to endure it Forced by their parents to play cruel mind games and withhold love from one another, thei In this debut novel, three daughters live in seclusion from the world because their parents have told them that men are evil and somehow also literally toxic.The dystopian premise is just a pretext for their isolation, because what The Water Cure is really concerned with is the psychological effects of isolation and abuse, and the complicated relationship between the sisters who have had to endure it Forced by their parents to play cruel mind games and withhold love from one another, their notions of love are screwed up to say the least Lia s ideas about love are tested when some strange men arrive, while Grace, who is pregnant at the start of the book, has already had a defining experience of her own This theme of misdirected love wasn t explored in sufficient depth though I found myself thinking of The Water Cure as a sort of gothic romance updated to a millennial colour palette The tropes are there enforced isolation, abusive spouse parent, repressed female sexuality, an unseen menace and tragic consequences There s even a large but mostly empty building, in this case it s a disused hotel rather than a castle or mansion This particular gothic formula has been updated before, in Rebecca, Wide Sargasso Sea, even Flowers in the Attic It used to be that the women confined in these stories were mostly the wives, nowadays it seems they are usually the daughters Make of that what you will, I guess.The girls are pale, underfed, bruised, always with dark circles under the eyes a depiction that disappointingly glamourises them, especially considering that one of them self harms The men are neither sufficiently menacing as threats, nor believable as real people, leaving them to exist only as plot devices.As one of the visitors, James, attempts to convince Grace that she s been brainwashed, he is unable to deny that men can be malevolent The world is not what you have been told, he says after the second glass He is reckless now, as if the water has triggered something in him, strengthened his resolve somehow He speaks as if from a long way away I mean, the world is very terrible, but you have been told a number of things that are untrue But you can t deny that men are killing women I say Well, no, I can t But it s not like you think It s a neat inversion of the Not All Men argument which leaves us no closer to determining whether this is a futuristic invented world or the same one as our own This is probably the closest that the book gets to a feminist comment, if an oblique one.The third sister, Sky, is very much in the background This is kind of baffling until a blink and you ll miss it twist towards the end view spoiler reveals that she is not a young child as we are led to believe, but 18 years old Grace is 30 and Lia 28, much older than the petulant teen she appears to be hide spoiler a twist that would have been impossible had Sky been given her own POV chapters Again, clever, but ultimately not adding up to much.The final resolution plays out with few surprises excepting the reveal mentioned above , and it lacks a real sense of a reckoning With one crucial event occurring off stage , and others largely skimmed over, it felt like the opportunities for emotional impact were rather wasted Even the most dramatic moments retain the same languid, slow motion feeling that pervades the whole book.With a foot in each camp, The Water Cure doesn t totally succeed in being either a topical feminist dystopia or a modern take on the Gothic tradition To me, it was mostly atmosphere with not quite enough substance


  10. Umut Rados Umut Rados says:

    For full review, please visit my blog stars I haven t read such a weird novel since long time I read the reviews and there are lovers and there are people who dislike it a lot I think I can say, it wasn t a pleasant read that blew my mind, but I didn t hate it as well I think I can see some people will feelcomfortable with the book than others because of its style.First of all, it s said that the book is dystopian This created an expectatio For full review, please visit my blog stars I haven t read such a weird novel since long time I read the reviews and there are lovers and there are people who dislike it a lot I think I can say, it wasn t a pleasant read that blew my mind, but I didn t hate it as well I think I can see some people will feelcomfortable with the book than others because of its style.First of all, it s said that the book is dystopian This created an expectation for me, thinking it ll be a whole world building with its set up, reasons, energy It s not at all Everything is very vague with this book, very abstract We never learn the reasons behind this set up and what s actually happening So, to like this book, you need to be OK with an abstract setting The fact that the book is set up in a world that s not our world, doesn t make it exactly dystopian, as there s not anything else behind it.The writing style is very fluid, atmospheric, metaphorical and strange It s one of those you re expected to read between the lines a lot It starts with a lot of suspense build up We get chapters of half a page, a page at the beginning Long time, you won t understand anything If you ask me, this went on for an unnecessarily long time So, I m guessing there will be lots of people giving up at this point I think after around 40 50% of the book, we get to have proper long chapters with writing that feelslike a plot or at least a story It was not easy to get through, and at times I ll be honest, I was bored.The book is mainly told from Lia s main character perspective I can say that one was well developed throughout the book But, we didn t get to know the others much, which may be intentional by the author anyway.In summary, it was a strange read that s not for everyone If you enjoy abstract writing, with no clear plot or set up, and like trying to make sense of the metaphorical style, you might like it I m a reader, who likes a solid plot with a good set up, reasons explained I also like to have stronger character development, which will make you care for them That s why it wasn t my cup of tea Also, the idea of a dystopia where women are in trouble is an overused concept if you ask me So, I didn t find the content so creative as well