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Castle of Water: Book summary and reviews of Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge

Castle of Water

A Novel

by Dane Huckelbridge

Castle of Water
  • Readers' rating:

  • Publishes in USA 
    Apr 4, 2017
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

Two very different people, one very small island.

For Sophie Ducel, her honeymoon in French Polynesia was intended as a celebration of life. The proud owner of a thriving Parisian architecture firm, co-founded with her brilliant new husband, Sophie had much to look forward to--including a visit to the island home of her favorite singer, Jacques Brel.

For Barry Bleecker, the same trip was meant to mark a new beginning. Turning away from his dreary existence in Manhattan finance, Barry had set his sights on fine art, seeking creative inspiration on the other side of the world--just like his idol, Paul Gauguin.

But when their small plane is downed in the middle of the South Pacific, the sole survivors of the wreck are left with one common goal: to survive. Stranded hundreds of miles from civilization, on an island the size of a large city block, the two castaways must reconcile their differences and learn to draw on one another's strengths if they are to have any hope of making it home.

Told in mesmerizing prose, with charm and rhythm entirely its own, Castle of Water is more than just a reimagining of the classic castaway story. It is a stirring reflection on love's restorative potential, as well as a poignant reminder that home--be it a flat in Paris, a New York apartment, or a desolate atoll a world away--is where the heart is.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Castle of Water is a unique, inventive exploration of love, loss, and survival. The novel's two characters, lost and alone on a Polynesian island, must rely on each other when the world has forgotten all about them. Castle of Water is a compelling portrait of what it means to be rescued--both literally and figuratively--by hope, ingenuity, and love." - Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale

The information about Castle of Water shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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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.

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.

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.

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.

...21 more reader reviews

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More Information

Dane Huckelbridge hails from the American Middle West. He graduated from Princeton University in 2001; since then, his fiction and essays have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Tin House, The New Republic, and The New Delta Review. His first book, a cultural history of bourbon, was published in 2014, and he has a second historical work scheduled for 2016. Castle of Water is his first novel. He is married and lives in New York City, although he travels to France with his wife whenever he can.

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