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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Endurance, Compromise and Love in The Castle of Water

Castle of Water: A NovelCastle of Water: A Novel by Dane Huckelbridge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Two young people heading into the next phase of their lives with no idea of what the future will bring. Not unusual. Hopeful, nervous with a touch of joy. The human condition. One, a young woman, not yet 30, with her new husband. Leaving Tahiti in a small plane for a couple of days to explore the final resting place of a favorite singer, Jacques Brel. The other, a man, mid-thirties, in a business suit, having rushed right to the airport from the office he has decided to escape. He wanted to be an artist, he followed a safer path to Wall Street. Now, he, too is taking a side trip to explore the final resting place of Gauguin.
During the flight they encounter stormy weather, the pilot decides to skirt around it, the plane is struck by lightening and goes down. The pilot is killed instantly. The would-be artist, Barry Bleecker finds himself swimming distance from a small island, which he manages to reach. It would seem he is the only survivor and though he is at first at a loss, he soon decides to make shelter and hope for rescue by a passing boat or an overhead plane.
In the meantime, the bride, Sophie Ducel, holds her dying husband in her arms in the fuselage of the plane, until he is wrenched from her arms by a shark and taken deep into the sea. She finds an inflatable raft with a bag of survival materials and pulls herself out of the sinking plane. Within days, delirious, she washes ashore and is found by Barry.
And so begins the true story of these unlikely castaways. How they 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 you, disagreements, compromise, thoughtful gifts, humor, teasing, insults--culminating in a partnership of depth and caring. As the reader looking in you are sensitive to their fear, frustration, hope and love and you care deeply for them and root for their survival and ultimate rescue.
I read the book in one day and at the end, understood the title and was content with the final result. Though a bit sad.
This is a review of an Advance Uncorrected Proof provided for that purpose by Book Browse.

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