Review: CASTLE OF WATER by Dane Huckelbridge

Janelle Book Reviews, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, St. Martin's Press Leave a Comment

I read this novel SO incredibly fast. It was so beautiful and the writing was EXQUISITE.

“And there, amid the blue honey water and white sugar sands and wide-open smiles, of the native Polynesians, he knows he has finally found the place- not where he wants to die, but, rather, where he wants to live.”


Sophie Ducel, a French architect, is on her honeymoon in French Polynesia with her brilliant new husband, Etienne. Sophie wants to visit the island home of her favorite singer, Jacques Brel. The newly married couple ventures off to stay for a couple of days.

Barry Bleecker takes the same trip for a new beginning. He quit his Manhattan job in finance and decides to move to a place where he could find inspiration to be an artist. He decides on an adventure just like his idol, Paul Gauguin.

Barry boards the small plane with two strangers, Sophie and Etienne, then set off to start his new life. But complications during the flight cause their tiny plane to crash in the middle of the South Pacific and the survivors make their way to an isolated island where they must find a way to persevere.

“Just like Gauguin before him, he had been searching for a land that was gentler on his spirit, only to discover an island that set fire to his soul.”

My Review:

I absolutely loved reading about Barry, Sophie, and their journey together. It’s strange because I’m not sure if it’s a realistic story or not, but I never questioned it. Barry and Sophie are SO real to me, I feel like I know them. I felt their love, happiness, sadness, and pain. I couldn’t help it. I got chills, not in the sad or gushy moments, but in the most vulnerable. There are points in the story that made me laugh, smile, and I even got teary eyed which is a rarity for me. Now THAT MY FRIENDS, is AMAZING writing!

Dane Huckelbridge is a genius storyteller! I really adored the island setting, the vivid descriptions made me see everything through the eyes of the characters. I could actually hear Sophie’s French accent in my head, and see her vignettes of Paris. If you can’t tell, I fell in love with this novel!

I even thought the dedication to his wife was beautiful…

“I’d like to thank my wife, who deserves far more than a dedication or acknowledgement for the innumerable ways in which she has saved me. She is my compass and she is my home.”

Also, I recommend going over to Top Shelf Text to read Madeleine’s fantastic interview with Dane Huckelbridge – check it out!

I rate this GORGEOUS book 5 / 5 stars!

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