This is indeed a Robinsonade in every possible aspect. The characters in this book even speaks of Robinson Crusoe, and use the novel as a 'guide book' in their own quest. I thought that was kinda funny; I always love that kind of intertextuality.
However the book itself was a struggle.. It was too descriptive on all the wrong subjects - it almost read like a how-to-manual on how to build a house, enslave wild animals or bake bread. The feelings of the stranded characters was hardly mentioned or dwelled upon; they apparently felt no despair what so ever on being abandoned on a desert island with no other human beings in sight.
Also at some points it becomes almost too 'preachy' or self-righteous to bear. The family's need to hang on to civilization in the middle of nowhere, seems highly illogical.
And that is another problem with this novel; the need for cultivating everything
. The father once observes that 'Everything can be improved by cultivation', making me question why they need to adapt the island, instead of adapting themselves? It is exactly that kind of human arrogance that I just can't stand.
Of course there were some cute passages in the book. The small things, like how the youngest boy Francis would do just about anything for something sweet to eat, or how the pig kept running away causing anxiety and fear every time. But these are minor things; the rest was completely destroyed by the horrible tone of the writing style.
Perhaps you just need to be younger in order to appreciate this.