Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh
Discover this chilling new novel about motherhood and personhood, free will and fate, human longing and animal instinct
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.
It all began with the allocating of luck, our bodies pinballs inside a machine.
Sophie Mackintosh’s debut novel, The Water Cure, was met with mixed reviews, and I have a feeling that her sophomore novel will receive the same treatment. That said, much like The Water Cure, I absolutely loved Blue Ticket. There is something special about the way that Mackintosh writes and it is obvious that every word is intentional.
The atmosphere of Blue Ticket is so heavy and I felt tense the entire time I was reading it. What is terrifying about Mackintosh’s novels is that the premises are not so far fetched. It is easy to imagine a not so distance future where this is a reality. Once again, the comparisons to The Handmaid’s Tale does this book a disservice. Other than the fact that they are both feminist dystopian novels that focus on reproductive rights, there are very few similarities.
Blue Ticket is a book that could have easily been over 500 pages, but instead the reader is kept at a distance and given little information about the lottery itself and its history. You are left with many questions, which was clearly the author’s intention. I personally appreciated this, but I can understand why that it could be frustrating for others who are looking for more world building. I normally recommend books that I rate over four stars, but I think I would have to have a good understanding of your reading tastes before telling you that this is a must read. I will say though that if you enjoyed The Water Cure, I don’t think you will be disappointed by Blue Ticket.
At only 250 pages, I read Blue Ticket is one sitting, which is how I would recommend reading it. I was completely immersed in Calla’s journey and was mesmerized by Sophie Mackintosh’s writing. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!
Thank you Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada for sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.