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The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

dy Once we have a father, but our father dies without us noticing. – Opening sentence I remember the hype around The Water Cure when it was first released last year, and although I grabbed a copy (and had it signed!) I didn’t get around to reading it until it was chosen for my work’s book club in January. Let me start by saying this book is dark, and in places very disturbing. It follows three sisters who live in isolation from the rest of the world with their parents. In a toxic and dangerous world, King (their father) and their mother have put the girls through a number of extreme exercises and therapies in order to survive. But survive what? It’s clear from the beginning that things are not as they seem. The routine training exercises regularly performed by and forced upon the girls are nothing less than abusive, and as…

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. – Opening sentence I first read The Handmaid’s Tale when I was a teenager, but it didn’t leave much of a lasting impression. I think a lot if it went over my head; I was too young to fully comprehend it. So, after the release its much anticipated sequel, The Testaments, I decided to re-read The Handmaid’s Tale. And I’m so glad I did. I was blown away by how powerful it is, I can’t BELIEVE how much I had forgotten, and not appreciated, from my first reading (especially as I love the dystopia genre, and The Handmaid’s Tale is definitely dystopian in its theme). Devastatingly sad, The Handmaid’s Tale follows the story of a women known as Offred. This name has been given to her as she is the property of her commander; we never discover her true name. Offred was a normal woman before the…