Cori’s Pick: Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge
Castle of Water is Dane Huckelbridge’s debut novel. Originally published in April 2017, somehow this unassuming little book didn’t cross my radar until August, and I was immediately intrigued.
If I had to categorize this book, it would be adventure meets drama, meets romance, meets comedy…perhaps this is why I loved it so much??? There is nothing terribly original about the book’s premise – think of it as a reimagined castaway story. But there is something incredibly original about how the author presents and meticulously weaves this story.
Two completely different people tragically end up stranded on a tiny island somewhere between Tahiti and the Marquesas. Sophie, a French architect, had been enjoying her honeymoon with new husband Etienne. Barry, a Manhattan bond broker, is trying to escape his dreary existence in search of creative inspiration on the other side of the world. One thing I’ll say, is if you’re looking for a true and simple ‘survival’ story, there are hundreds of those floating around on library shelves – so don’t get hung up on the unrealistic survival details or inconsistencies. This book is so much more than a survival tale. Huckelbridge focuses on the characters themselves, how they interact, how their relationship progresses, how they embrace love, loss, and survival. He weaves such a beautiful story in such a concise manner, I’m still trying to figure out how I became so emotionally involved with the characters and their life together on that 5 acre island. Sophie and Barry meet as two bickering strangers, but by the end of the story they are so much more.
Huckelbridge’s prose is hard to describe, but once again, I’m in love with a debut novel and I can’t wait to see what else he offers us.