Genres: Historical Romance, YA Historical Romance
Published by Dover Publications
Released on November 12, 2013
Source: Free Book
When I watched a movie adaption and even years afterward, I had no idea The Blue Lagoon was based on a book originally published in 1908 by a man who had experienced travel through the South Seas in his own adventures as a doctor aboard ship. This made me eager to give this classic a try when I needed one for the COYER Classic Readathon.
Stacpoole’s description of setting and life aboard ship and the island was captivating and drew me into that world. His poetic writing style was partly lovely, but also distracting. He explored a what if with his story. What if two innocent children were marooned on an island alone? How would they survive? What would form their education in all matters? I thought he drew this portrait well.
Em is something of a thinker and dreamer. Not a very practical person and somewhat nervy. Alone, her survival would have been impossible. But, her cousin Dick was there with her and Dick was an adventurous, bold, practical-minded personality and he more than thrived in primitive island life.
The story establishes them on the island with an old sailor after they were separated from the rest of their ship party. Paddy is prone to yarns and drinking, but he guided the children early on. The rest of the book moved forward in time to two young teens who are at the cusp of adulthood. They can only wonder at a deadly battle of islanders from another island that took place there, a stone idol from days gone by, and the push-pull feelings inside them toward each other. They were innocents and had no idea especially when they started to have feelings for each other.
For those wondering about the sexual side since these were younger teens. The author was gentle with this and didn’t dwell on or detail out. It was part of their awakening around the usual time people get sexually active and they were both willing.
This was a quick read and had a romantic and realistic balance in how survivors would make out on a deserted South Seas island and how children would grow into adults when left alone not long after their eighth year. The ending was bittersweet and a little mysterious. There are further books in a trilogy that carry the story past that open-ended point. Incidentally, I would equate it with other classics that tend to fall in the group that could be read by young adults or adults because of the writing style and topics.
So, I enjoyed this old-fashioned romantic island survival story and will definitely read more of Stacpoole’s work to see what comes next in the Blue Lagoon trilogy. If you’re looking for a classic that is easy reading and has an exotic location, try this one.
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