Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge: A Review
Barry Bleecker is a New Yorker who works in finance but he longs to be an artist. He wants to follow in the footsteps of Gauguin who escaped to Tahiti in order to paint. Sophie Ducel and her husband, Etienne, have been holding off on a honeymoon until they can get their architectural firm off the ground but Sophie wants to visit the home of a singer, Jacques Brel. There separate desires lead to the trio allowing a twice terminated pilot nicknamed "Ding Dong" to fly them to the Marquesas. When the inebriated pilot is unable to avoid a lightening storm, the plane goes down, Etienne passes, and Sophie and Barry wash up onto a deserted island. In order to survive, the two must learn how to get along and work together.
Castle of Water was such a sweet little book. I am not usually a fan of romance novels but this book was recommended to me and I thought that I should give it a chance. Fortunately for me, this book had more to love than just romance. I loved reading about how the couple make the island their home. Some of Sophie and Barry's creations seemed a bit fantastical (it is unlikely that an architect and a someone who works in finance would know how to create coconut vinegar and where were all the nails to build the furniture and structures?) but it was a interesting, nonetheless. While one would think that a story about just two people on a deserted island would be boring, that person would be wrong. The island provides many exciting adventures (and terrifying realities) for the couple and it was a fun book to read. I also enjoyed the very short history lesson on the Polynesians use of the island that the book provided. The characters were very engaging. Both Barry and Sophie were very likeable and interesting. Sophie started off as pretty prickly but softened towards the end and Barry came off as an oaf in the beginning but turned out to be built for the castaway life. Overall, I think this was a really fun read and I would recommend it to those who enjoy romance novels or castaway stories. It would be a great beach read for this spring and summer.
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