The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

Three sisters, Grace, Lia and Sky live in a large house that used to be a retreat for suffering women seeking to heal themselves from the wrongs of men. The sisters live there with their father and mother. They undergo treatments and cures, they prepare themselves for the fight against the contaminated world outside the parameters of the house. They survive on goods their father brings from the mainland. He sails away for three days, trading talismans that the women sew, wearing a white suit to deflect contamination.

The rituals and treatments, the cures, are cruel, designed to test obedience and strength, to keep their womanly and dangerous feelings in check.

Then their father is gone with one of the boats. A blood stained shoe washes up on the shore. What will they do now he is gone? Continue reading

Circe by Madeline Miller

I enjoyed reading The Song of Achilles and was excited about turning the pages of Circe. I was not disappointed.

The more I read, the more I thought about the nature of storytelling, the enjoyment it takes in reflecting upon narrative tropes, upon stories of the past, about how it turns life and truth into narrative by retelling those old tropes and stories in new guises. In a way, Circe is the Odyssey newly told, or perhaps the battle between gods and their relationship to mortals newly told. The female perspective is the most delicious of changes and the choice of Circe, banished to her island, her voice weak as a mortals, her beauty dim for a goddess, makes the story more interesting. We see old tales from a perspective that is both divine and at the outskirts of that divinity, able to see it from the outside and judge its flaws. Continue reading

Kudos by Rachel Cusk

I’d been looking forward to reading this novel for such a number of weeks that perhaps my longing to read led to an unnecessary level of anticipation which was undoubtedly going to cause disappointment. It isn’t that I didn’t like this novel, or enjoy the writing in the same way that I enjoyed the writing of the other two novels in the trilogy, I think it’s that I expected more, I wanted it to go further than it did. Continue reading