Robinson by Muriel Spark is a story about a woman who gets stranded on a small private island near the Azores with three strangers. The first imagery this story brings to mind is, of course, the iconic desert island sort: palm trees, the ocean, perhaps the plane that crashed.
But this seemed a little too obvious. The desert island is the setting, but what actually propels the action? The castaways do not need to work toward their rescue, as the owner of the island has assured them they will be saved when the workers arrive to harvest his pomegranates in the first half of August.
The phrase “the pomegranate boat” repeated throughout the book came to represent to me the major conflict: surviving the months of waiting together until rescue came.