Sophie Mackintosh’s first novel, The Water Cure, announced an assured and confident voice in literary fiction and was deservedly longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018.
Her second novel, Blue Ticket, revisits a similar dystopian world where all the usual facets of normal life are turned upside down. Calla, like all girls knows that when her first period comes she’ll take part in the Lottery: if she gets a white ticket she is suitable for motherhood; if her ticket is blue then she escapes this future and can make her own decisions. Only she can’t choose to be a mother. But what if she feels the overwhelming biological urge to have a child? This chilling novel follows Calla as she comes to terms with what her body is telling her, and follows her on a journey that takes her far away from safety and comfort.
Blue Ticket is not a lengthy novel but it packs a huge emotional punch and makes the reader question free will, a woman’s right to choose and the tyranny of patriarchy. Sophie Mackintosh uses a pared-down language that is utterly convincing and often very beautiful. This is a haunting novel with overtones of The Handmaid’s Tale or Brave New World but, as in The Water Cure, the reader is left with a sense of the strength of the human spirit. I recommend this novel without reservation.
It will be published at the end of August 2020.