Alone on an island with their parents, three girls live a life of poverty and abuse. They are taught that men are toxic, and their family must help the sick women who come to the island recover from the violence inflicted on them by men. The girls are psychologically tortured, given “love tests” to prove how much they care for one another.
Early in the book their father dies, and soon after two men and a boy arrive on the island, claiming they were lost at sea. Things escalate when the girls are left alone with the men.
This story was unusual and disturbing. It reads like an allegory or a Greek myth, with a dystopian feel. There is an ethereal quality with undercurrents of constant violence. I would not recommend it for the sensitive reader, but I found the story riveting. The Water Cure is gritty and original, and not something I’m soon to forget.
Many thanks to Read it Forward for the advance copy.