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The Water Cure

by Sophie Mackintosh

Three sisters take turn to narrate this coming of age tale with its strong gothic influence, reminiscent of elemental folk tales. The ambiguous atmosphere surrounding the girls' situation, segregated from the world and compelled to undergo weird rituals and ‘therapies’ for their protection against men, can be seen as a metaphor for male control of female sexuality. Lots of material in this feminist dystopian novel for discussion groups.

Extract

'There is a fluidity to his movements,' Lia observes of one, 'despite his size, that tells me he has never had to justify his existence, has never had to fold himself into a hidden thing, and I wonder what it must be like, to know that your body is irreproachable.'

Parallels

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
 

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