Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh #bookreview

Blue Ticket Sophie Mackintosh

From the Man Booker Prize longlisted author of The Water Cure – discover this chilling new novel about motherhood, free will and fate, human longing and animal instinct

‘The cool intensity and strange beauty of Blue Ticket is a wonder – be sure to read everything Sophie Mackintosh writes’ Deborah Levy, author of Hot Milk

‘A gripping, sinister fable’ Margaret Atwood on The Water Cure

Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you children. A blue ticket grants you freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And, once you’ve taken your ticket, there is no going back.

But what if the life you’re given is the wrong one?

Blue Ticket is a devastating enquiry into free will and the fraught space of motherhood. Bold and chilling, it pushes beneath the skin of female identity and patriarchal violence, to the point where human longing meets our animal bodies.

My thoughts on Blue Ticket

I remember reading the Water Cure a year or so ago and being blown away. It was one of those books that grabs you from the beginning (always good!) and keeps you wondering what will happen next because it isn’t like anything else you’ve read. In many ways, the same can be said of Blue Ticket, a dystopian novel that looks at what happens when we let society decide who we are…and then disagree.

As with many of these novels, the focus is very much on the way women are viewed in society and how men seem to have a very big say in how we behave and how our bodies are treated. Here, Sophie Mackintosh looks at motherhood, and who gets to decide what makes a good mother. Calla, her central character, gets a blue ticket in the lottery, the day after she has her first period.

At first, she’s relieved. It means freedom (as long as she can make it to the city). As she grows older, however, she starts to realise maybe freedom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She wants things she isn’t allowed to have, and starts to ask who decided just what type of person, and what type of mother, she would be. The question then becomes what she is going to do about it. And what the authorities will do in response.

It’s hard to say more without spoilers. What I will say is that I became totally engrossed in Calla’s journey and desperate for her to succeed.  Blue Ticket is well written with a compelling story. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can highly recommend it.



Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own. 

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