Review: One Night on the Island by Josie Silver

Josie Silver
Publication date: February 15, 2022
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
4.5 Stars

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December . . . When a double-booking at a remote one-room cabin accidentally throws two solace seekers together, it feels like a cruel twist of fate. But what if it’s fate of a different kind?

Spending her thirtieth birthday alone is the last thing that dating columnist Cleo wanted, but she is going on a self-coupling quasi-sabbatical--at the insistence of her boss--in the name of re-energizing herself and adding a new perspective to her column. The remote Irish island she's booked is a far cry from London, but at least it's a chance to hunker down in a luxury cabin and indulge in some quiet, solitary self-care while she figures out her next steps in her love life and her career.

Mac is also looking forward to some time to himself. With his life in Boston deteriorating in ways he can't bring himself to acknowledge, his soul searching has brought him to the same Irish island in search of his roots and some clarity. Unfortunately, a mix-up with the bookings means both solitude seekers have reserved the same one-bedroom hideaway on exactly the same dates.

Instantly at odds with each other, Cleo and Mac don't know how they're going to manage until the next weekly ferry arrives. But as the days go by, they no longer seem to mind each other's company quite as much as they thought they would...

Written with Josie Silver's signature warmth, charm and insights into the human heart, One Night on the Island explores the meaning of home, the joys of escape and how the things we think we want are never the things we really need.


Cleo Wilder is at a crossroads. The dating columnist for an online magazine is sent on assignment to Salvation Island, a remote location on the Irish coat, to “self-couple” (aka marry herself) and document the experience for her column. Feeling a mild sense of discontent, and weeks away from turning thirty, she takes the opportunity to indulge in some solitude and self-reflection. Except she’s not alone. A booking mishap means the one room cabin has also been reserved for Mack, a thirty-something American who is exploring his roots on Salvation Island while also escaping his marriage-in-shambles. Initially they demand the other leave, with neither of them willing to budge. Eventually an uneasy alliance is formed and when a storm hits the island and ferry service is suspended, their forced togetherness leads to a growing connection that neither of them ever expected.

One Night on the Island is one of those novels that makes me feel thoroughly inadequate when attempting to explain its power, its message, and the way it resonated with me. I admit that I was unsure of Cleo at first. Her initial interactions with Mack were filled with snarky barbs and a total unwillingness to make the best of the situation – as if their predicament was Mack’s fault. But the combination of some solitude (where she could find it), time spent with Mack, and with the island’s quirky yet welcoming residents, softened Cleo’s demeanor. Silver slowly developed these characters, adding layer upon layer, making them feel fully authentic and completely sympathetic. I loved the way Cleo, in particular, made a place for herself on Salvation Island, basking in the acceptance that was so freely given by the group of women she bonded with. 
 
The romance was handled with such care, and in such a realistic way; it felt like my heart was on the line as much as Cleo’s and Mack’s. They entered into a relationship with their eyes wide open, knowing what it was – and what it wasn’t. Cleo had a life in London (albeit one she was no longer sure she wanted to return to), Mack lived in Boston, and he had yet to come to terms with the dissolution of his marriage. It was messy, and complicated, and I ached for these characters who seemed to find the right person at the wrong time in their lives.

Straddling the line between women’s fiction and contemporary romance, One Night on the Island was a one of a kind story. Beautiful, introspective, funny, romantic, and uplifting – and sure to be one of my favorites of the year. 4.5 stars

ABOUT JOSIE SILVER

Josie Silver
 is an unashamed romantic who met her husband when she stepped on his foot on his twenty-first birthday. She lives with him, their two young sons, and their cats in a little town in England called Wolverhampton. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December and The Two Lives of Lydia Bird.

18 comments

  1. This is the second good review I've read for this book. It sounds very emotional. The more reviews I read, the more I am leaning towards reading it. Great review!

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    1. I was definitely emotionally invested. Silver seems to do that to me. :)

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  2. Omigosh, this sounds so good, Tanya! I do enjoy JSilver's writing so naturally I will go immediately, after hitting publish here, to pick up this book! LOL Seriously though, I'm intrigued by where both Cleo and Mack are in their lives and how they're brought together. A romance blossoming seems impossible and yet one does. That JSilver can make it genuine and emotionally-gripping... *sigh* That's good stuff. Great review! Have a great weekend. :)

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    1. Josie Silver just continues to impress me, Brandee! And you're so right about Cleo and Mac being brought together like they were. At seemingly the perfectly right (and perfectly wrong) time in their lives.

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  3. Oh wow - that a really awesome review Tanya. I'll have to add it to my list.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. Thanks Karen. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

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  4. Ha damn with such a review how can I resist??? And I too lack words to express the beauty of some books.

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  5. No rating? I thought you did rate. Sounds like you enjoyed this, and yes, it was uplifting. That's something I love a book to be

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    1. I can't believe I forgot the rating. *facepalm* Fixed now... and it was 4.5 for me. :)

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  6. I don't ever read women’s fiction but this sounds like something I would actually enjoy.

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    1. I'd call this one a cross between romance and women's fic (and just general fiction) and was so worth the read.

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  7. I've been seeing some great reviews for this one, and I'm so excited for it!

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  8. I just requested and was approved for this one last week, so I'm thrilled to see how much you loved it!

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  9. Sounds like Silver has another winner on her hands. I can't wait to read this one!

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