A Real Life Raft
After a Covid year and a nasty hateful election I read constantly to maintain my sanity. I came across this book and knew it was going to help me regain my perspective on life. Humor, tenderness, irony, anger, hopelessness, love and pure joy literally flooded into this novel. I recommend it to anyone, especially if you are looking for escape.
home is where the heart is
What looked like an ordinary novel of 2 castaways on a deserted island in French Polynesia turned out to be anything but. Barry Bleecker, a frustrated artist and former Wall Street financier has left NYC to follow the path of Gauguin and derive inspiration. Sophie Ducel, newly married, is flying with her new husband to visit the land of Jacques Brel for her honeymoon. However, their prop plane crashes way off course with no flight plan filed and thus begins the most amazing adventure. Part of the story is told from above as if a reporter was elucidating their life ; the other part is direct conversation between the participants. But oh the prose, oh the lessons learned of struggle, cooperation and love elevate this from a simple story to something divine. Poignant and thoughtful it elucidates the real meaning of home.
Sherrill B. (Columbia City, IN)
Castle of Water
Very good book.There was a solution for every situation. The story takes place on a remote island in the south pacific after a plane crash. Two survivors, Sophie and Barry, must get along if they are to survive; they do, and they fall in love. They face many perilous situations but get through them. There is a surprise ending.
Mary W. (Altadena, CA)
Another Castaway Story
I totally enjoyed this book because although using the premise of castaways on an off the map small island as many other stories and movie scripts have used the author’s approach was interesting and kept my interest throughout. The relationship between our castaways was like watching a marriage’s beginning. How so? Learning about each others characteristics resulted in anger, criticisms, but eventually compromising and learning to enjoy each other despite imperfections. Working together to survive on this deserted island forced the give and take relationship to blossom. I am almost certain this will be made into a movie.
Christopher R. (Brooklyn, NY)
Not your typical castaway story
Wow. I am grateful to have received this book from Bookbrowse. It manages to do the impossible: transcend its seemingly generic premise of two people stuck in an island. It’s far deeper than that. The book deals with stereotypes that we all have of other cultures and countries and how we can break these notions and even learn to see our differences as attributes. There is also the theme of expectations, like that of employment, that one is expected to fulfill in society. It tackles the notion that in a society, the happiness of the individual comes second to duty and finding long term stability. Here you have an island, separated from civilization and modern comforts but free of these expectations. I think that is where the two protagonists find common ground. In this island, they can be whatever they want–devoid of both society’s expectations of who they should be, what occupation they should pursue, and their own misconceptions of what people from these two parts of the world are like. I found myself laughing, giggling, and smiling at multiple points in the story. Dane Huckelbridge’s prose is refreshing as he offers so many great lines and funny jokes, but also dramatic and contemplative moments. This is a great read and I highly recommend it.
Jan T. (Leona Valley, CA)
Castle of Water
Castle of Water is ultimately a love story. It is also about survival and loss. The two main characters are stranded on an island for most of the book. As their love enfolds, the reader roots for this very unique but dear couple. It is a compelling novel about what it means to be forgotten and what it means to be rescued. It is truly a heartwarming read. The characters follow me weeks after I read this – I didn’t want it to end! It is hard to categorize this book but I don’t know a reader who wouldn’t enjoy it.
Maureen S. (Huntington Station, NY)
Castle of Water
Castle of Water is a novel about survival and so much more.
The novel’s two characters are on their way to their dream island when disaster strikes and the two are stranded on a small, unknown Pacific island. Two very different personalities, Sophie Ducel, on her honeymoon, watches as her new husband is torn from her arms by sharks and Barry Bleeker, determine to leave his old life is washed ashore by luck. All their hopes and dreams are washed away – survival becomes the only goal.
More than just another castaway story, Castle of Water is the story of differences. Sophie and Barry are forced to overlook their differences and to work together in order to survive. From that comes hope and love.
The story is simply written in short chapters describing various episodes in their lives. I enjoyed this book and looked forward to the next chapter to know more about the two characters who had become my friends.
Elizabeth P. (Lake Elmo, MN)
One of my 2016 favorites
Castle of Water was a truly wonderful reading experience & everything I look for in a novel! There are only 2 characters (we really don’t hear from anyone else who is mentioned by name in the book) and yet I wasn’t bored for one moment & was completely absorbed in the story & island Barry & Sophie inhabited. Great for book clubs, romance novel lovers, & anyone just wanting a wonderful & engaging story.