The figurative language of Sophie Mackintosh…

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of metaphors from Sophie Mackintosh…

I don’t normally read Sci Fi or fantasy because neither of these genres has never appealed to me. Yet, somehow, I found myself reading a strange amalgam of the two, The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh (pictured above).

The word dystopic features in most reviews of the book, but somehow I’d missed that clue. Expecting a nice light piece of chick lit, I was shocked to discover myself deep in a dark fable involving cult-like rituals. Not my cup of tea!

Nevertheless, I was duly impressed by the remarkable figurative language that Sophie Mackintosh was able to employ. Here are my favourite examples:

  • I have bitten my tongue, and it swells and moves in my mouth like a grub against dry earth.
  • The woman had bare feet and her hair was the bloom of a dandelion, whipping in the sea wind as she moved her head from side to side.
  • Heartburn leaves a tidemark at the back of my throat every time I eat.
  • By the time he came back down for dinner he was a little livelier, although with deep circles under his eyes, like someone had taken a chisel to his face.
  • And even during the bleaker nights I can hear how the baby inside me sings, or seems to. Popping and amniotic, like the calls of dolphins.
  • I think about the things that have washed up to us on previous high tides. Squat catfish the size of my arm, rotten as a blister.
  • Muddy seaweed moves on the water’s surface like wet hair.
  • He touches my hair. My heart swells like a broken hand to twice its size.
  • New dangers, though, coming to the surface like the bubbles of soap.
  • Perhaps she will plant some [human hair] in the garden and a new tree will push soft claws through the ground.
  • I say a prayer for Mother, for her hoarse voice and hands which never stopped moving, for her scented oils and eyeliner and insomnia, the menthol lozenges she held in her mouth like a bad word.

An earlier version of this post first appeared on my blog on March 21/19.

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