This was a 5 out of 5 stars novel for me; as near a perfect emotional ride as you can take.
How do you review something that blew you away? How do you add words to someone’s creation that has prose that should be considered illegal? So beautiful that it drips like honey- thick and sweet- teasing and tempting all at once. A beatific message that you want to rush into and away from all at once, like a whitecap on a tortuous sea. One that sends your emotions simultaneously soaring with the eagles and careening over a cliff.
This was Castle of Water by Dane Hucklebridge for me. Not my usual read, but one that was well worth the journey. From the opening lines until the end, this novel provides a wild mouse ride on a wooden roller coaster at 100 miles an hour for your poor strapped in emotions. The WILL dip and they WILL soar, so be ready.
The castaway theme is one that you think runs in the predictable family, and in some ways it is, but only if you enter this world with blinders on. The subtle messages about life, humanity, and love are the real buried treasures in this repository of wisdom.
“…not subtracting from the great sum of humanity but quietly adding to it? Love, hope, renewal- such things all spring eternal….”
“Ba-bump. Ba-bump. Ba-bump . . .
And so on and so on goes the cardiac beat in this polka called life.”
It is the story of Barry and Sophie, both victims of the poor choices of a rum-loving pilot and a well-placed lightning strike. Washed ashore on an island that didn’t even exist on a map. A French and American forced alliance.
“Surely an unremarkable moment for most, but for the man, it is a parting tinged with a tender sadness- he has noticed over the years that even the briefest and most incidental interactions can, with the appreciation of time, take on a far richer meaning.”
Castaways on the same island. Forgotten. Days turn into months, that turn into years. that turn into disappointments and saving graces.
“…a place where ships did not pass in the night but actually took heed of your lonesome flares.”
Hucklebridge creates a tale so wondrous that it is truly a gift. Don’t be marooned on the island of “I let this pass me by.” Grab Castle of Water and ride the rising and ebbing tides of this heart-wrenching read. You won’t be sorry you did.