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Castle of Water: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 287 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
The incredible character development is the foundation of this story. The reader gets a glimpse of dreams outside the castaway life- and you’re really invested in the realization of these dreams. I couldn’t get enough of this novel and look forward to the next release from Huckelbridge, whatever it may be.
This was Castle of Water by Dane Hucklebridge for me. Not my usual read, but one that was well worth the journey. From the opening lines until the end, this novel provides a wild mouse ride on a wooden roller coaster at 100 miles an hour for your poor strapped in emotions. The WILL dip and they WILL soar, so be ready.
The castaway theme is one that you think runs in the predictable family, and in some ways it is, but only if you enter this world with blinders on. The subtle messages about life, humanity, and love are the real buried treasures in this repository of wisdom.
"...not subtracting from the great sum of humanity but quietly adding to it? Love, hope, renewal- such things all spring eternal...."
"Ba-bump. Ba-bump. Ba-bump . . .
And so on and so on goes the cardiac beat in this polka called life."
It is the story of Barry and Sophie, both victims of the poor choices of a rum-loving pilot and a well-placed lightning strike. Washed ashore on an island that didn't even exist on a map. A French and American forced alliance.
"Surely an unremarkable moment for most, but for the man, it is a parting tinged with a tender sadness- he has noticed over the years that even the briefest and most incidental interactions can, with the appreciation of time, take on a far richer meaning."
Castaways on the same island. Forgotten. Days turn into months, that turn into years. that turn into disappointments and saving graces.
"...a place where ships did not pass in the night but actually took heed of your lonesome flares."
Hucklebridge creates a tale so wondrous that it is truly a gift. Don't be marooned on the island of "I let this pass me by." Grab Castle of Water and ride the rising and ebbing tides of this heart-wrenching read. You won't be sorry you did.
There isn’t much I can say about the plot of Castle of Water without giving away too much. On the surface, this is a book about two people who wash up on the same deserted island after their charter plane is struck by lightning and crashes into the ocean. Barry is a banker from New York who has quit his job to pursue his dreams of being a painter, and Sophie is a French architect on her honeymoon. The book follows their journey as they learn how to survive, mentally and physically, alongside one another. Beneath that surface, however, is a massive tidal pool of emotions.
This book does something that always equals magic for me, in terms of writing–it provides the perfect balance of humor, heart, heartbreak, and creative writing decisions that worked. The plot summary of this book might make some readers think it’s a serious survival story; however, make no mistake–this book is funny. From Barry’s constant forgetfulness in regard to his contact lenses (to which anyone who wears contacts can relate) to the sarcastic quips Sophie delivers to him, I found myself chuckling throughout the book. Barry’s sense of humor and near-constant joking not only helped provide a nice break from the constant underlying tension that exists in any survival tale, but they were also perfectly contrasted against Sophie’s critical and aloof personality. As for Sophie, her initial coldness toward Barry, although a bit understandable after what she experienced during the crash, had me feeling very frustrated with her in the first part of the book. I really believed that I was going to hate her character, but just as Barry goes through an emotional journey and becomes much more than a jokester, so does Sophie. Having a front-row seat to witness that journey is absolutely the best part of this book.
However beautiful the heart of this book is, the writing is just as beautiful. Dane Huckelbridge has a way of writing that doesn’t feel cliché or overdone in any way. Balanced against the humor and sarcasm lie statements such as “He recalled the night skies above his grandparents’ farm in Illinois; the way the Milky Way made a shimmering ribbon above the frozen prairie had been more than enough to stir a boy’s wonder and put an ache in his soul.” Immediately after funny quips, there were lines like “The fact that they loved each other ceased to be an improbable oddity and instead became as natural and reliable as the rains.” And spread throughout the book are second-person interjections that help explain any possible plot holes, such as why search parties never came near Barry and Sophie. Those interjections tend to come across as cheesy attempts at creativity in other books, but there is nothing cheesy about Dane Huckelbridge’s mastery of the technique in Castle of Water.
Dane Huckelbridge has crafted more than a simple castaway story. By the time I finished Castle of Water, I was absolutely in love with Barry and Sophie, and I was genuinely heartbroken that there was not more of their story to read.
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