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BookBrowse Reviews Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge

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Castle of Water

A Novel

by Dane Huckelbridge

Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge X
Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge
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  • Published:
    Apr 2017, 288 pages

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Castle of Water is more than just a reimagining of the classic castaway story. It's a reminder that home is where the heart is.

When a whopping 24 out of 27 readers give a book 4 or 5 stars, you know you have a winner on your hands. Here's why our First Impression book reviewers enjoyed Castle of Water.

Readers were delighted by the story of two castaways
Dane Huckelbridge has written a captivating book about two people stranded on a miniscule island after a plane crash, who slowly go from being antagonists whose sole thoughts are survival, to caring helpmates who establish a "home" under the most primitive conditions possible (Arlene M).

How [two unlikely castaways] manage to survive, physically, emotionally and mentally in total isolation on an island small enough to walk around on an evening stroll is an absorbing story. It is full of all the stages of a developing relationship—getting to know each other, disagreements, compromise, thoughtful gifts, humor, teasing, insults—culminating in a partnership with depth and caring. As the reader looking in, you are sensitive to their fears, frustrations, hopes and love and you root for their survival (Katherine P).

...and appreciated that the story went beyond familiar tropes
Castle of Water does 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 positive 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 (Christopher R).

More than just another castaway story, Castle of Water is the story of differences. Sophie and Barry are forced to overlook theirs and to work together in order to survive (Maureen S).

Many thought the writing was stellar
This is one of the most well written and engaging novels by a first-time novel writer I have read. It is not simply a usual castaway story with a predictable plot and ending. The characters are engaging, intelligent and have a depth of personality you can imagine very distinctly (Carolyn S). Although it is a novel, the book has many well researched areas that will keep the reader turning the pages and in the end wishing for more (Arlene M).

...but a few thought the story was watered down
Castle Of Water is a good beach read. There is nothing too deep about it. I know the author was writing a castaway story but in my opinion it was a little too unbelievable (Maggie S). Castle of Water is a pastiche with a tongue-in-cheek tone. It gives a nod and a wink to previous castaway stories but never delves deeply enough into the tradition to truly come into dialogue with them. This may have proved charming and fresh if Barry and Sophie were less self-absorbed and more likable characters (Sarah M).

The general consensus was that Castle of Water is a winner...
From the minute I read the first few pages I was in love with the writing style and luxuriated in reading each page. Yes, the storyline was good, but the writing...now that was to die for (Terri C).

Great for book clubs, romance novel lovers and anyone just wanting a wonderful and engaging story (Elizabeth P).

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in April 2017, and has been updated for the December 2017 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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