... clever and arresting ... Mackintosh is up to something far more interesting than a celebration of female dysfunction. Still, I sometimes longed for the narrative reins to be returned to the more hardheaded and clear-eyed Grace ... [The book's] insularity gives The Water Cure the cloistered, ahistorical atmosphere of a fairy tale, where elemental dramas play out much as they have since humanity first began telling stories ... Ingenious and incendiary, The Water Cure is less a warning about the way we live now, the hazardous path society is careering down, than it is about the way we have always lived, parents and children, fathers and daughters, men and women.
Extraordinary ... [Mackintosh] is writing the way that Sofia Coppola would shoot the end of the world: everything is luminous, precise, slow to the point of dread ... The Water Cure isn’t just otherworldly. Doesn’t every dark fantasy expose the parts of real life we’d rather not confront?