Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Island” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  272 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
From one of Britain’s best-kept secrets, the novelist whom the Independent said “writes better than almost anyone of her generation,” comes this brooding tale of the murderous ties that bind a mother and daughter. Abandoned at birth and shuttled among foster homes, Nikki Black decides at twenty-eight to seek out her birth mother, intent on killing her. Nikki’s vengeance ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 14th 2001 by Mariner Books (first published July 6th 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Island, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Island

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 26, 2016 Andrew rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I don't know- I tried, and I really, really wanted to like it but it didn't happen. I couldn't get into the writing style, I couldn't get into the story. Sorry-
Dec 18, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
I had almost zero interest in reading this book. That was until I saw the movie and suddenly my interest was piqued. I am quite glad that I watched the movie first though, otherwise Jane Rogers' lack of the use of commas probably would have driven me insane before I'd even gotten into the story.

Jane writes quite mysteriously and the lines between reality and fairy tale do become a little blurred - I spent the greater portion of this novel trying to decide whether Nikki was just crazy/paranoid o
Jen Show
Dec 29, 2010 Jen Show rated it really liked it
I have to say that I honestly only read this book because actor Colin Morgan is performing one of the lead characters in the film adaptation. I feel it is important to note that this colored my reading heavily. I found myself growing quite fond of the character in question (Calum) almost immediately, and I am not sure if I would have enjoyed it as much had I not been filling the character in with the fabulous Mr. Morgan.

Overall I really enjoyed the read, and in fact finished the book in one sitt
Pamela Huxtable
Profoundly disturbing, Island hooked me from the first pages. Nikki Black is a disaster of a woman, and she knows it. Her twisted personality decides that her troubles all stem from her mother, who abandoned her as an infant. Nikki locates her mother, and travels to the island where she lives in order to kill her.

Folk tales of the little people, vikings, and other legends punctuate the despair and cruel nature of Nikki's world.

Stylistically, Nikki's voice is one of a kind. Abrupt, sometimes bru
Kristin E.
"if you'll never leave me, I'll never leave you."

My interest in this first emerged from being a fan of Irish actor Colin Morgan who portrays a main character in the film adaption from 2011; I thought I would do the film proper justice by reading the book first. And I'm glad I did. It's an intriguing story about how obsession can swallow you up... The narrator nikki takes us along on her bitter and determined quest to kill her mother for abandoning her as an infant and leaving her to a life of
Milou Lilly
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The first time I got introduced to this story was when I watched the movie with the brilliant Colin Morgan who portrays an adorable and sublime Calum. You can only fall in love with Calum. I had the urge to hug him through the entire movie and I was curious if that would be the same if I chose to read the book. I can assure you that it is not only Colin. Calum just has the adorable factor and I'm glad that I read this book.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'm not a big fan of Nikki's character and I got annoyed whenever she a
Jan 11, 2012 Katie rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who want to feel sick and depressed
Island is a creepy, depressing, cloudy day of a book. A girl is shuffled through foster homes and the social service system, until she is old enough to take care of herself. She was abandoned by her mother for reasons unbeknownst to her, and subsequently hates everyone and everything. She decides to kill her mother, hoping this will bring her the peace she dreams of.
The mother is not a witch as the description would have you believe. She's a homeopath. The daughter is hateful: an unsympathetic
Sep 21, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it
Loved this book but I have to say more for the characters and style then the actual story. Unfortunately about 3/4 through I figured out how it would end. But I wouldn't have missed reading it at all and plan to read her other novels. The narrator is truly disturbed but absolutely fascinating. She's the human equivalent of that car wreck you can't look away from. The other character are fairly well developed also. The novel takes place on a remote island off the coast of Scotland and Rogers ...more
Naddie M
Oct 04, 2016 Naddie M rated it it was amazing
This was amazing. I really enjoyed feeling like I was trapped in Nikki's skin and understanding her way of thinking.
Jan 13, 2013 Emrys rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, adult
I loved this book. The best thing about it is the voice and writing style, so vibrant and striking, so unapologetically itself, so like Nikki. Nikki is so unapologetically the person who she wants to be that she opens the story telling us of her three different names and how they shaped her while she had them. The name given to her by her mother who abandoned her, the name given to her by the first family who tried to raise her, and the one she gave herself as an adult: cold and sharp, Nikki ...more
Jun 23, 2014 KimberlyRose rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal. Suspenseful. All the characters had depth. The pacing, the slow revelations--riveting. A book I won't soon forget. This one had me Googling like the crazed folklorist I am! The hebrides (an archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland) has never fascinated me--not until the power of story set its sights on it! Interspersing folklore stories with present day scenes made them both bang into my mind and heart with more "oomph" than either would have alone.

The narrator's voice is
Natasha Borton
Oct 01, 2010 Natasha Borton rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Comtemporary readers who enjoyed Engelby - Sebastian Faulks
I began reading this book becasue it is part of my uni reading list. Firsty it is a nightmare to get hold of becasue it is inbetween printing at the moment, so I've had to borrow a copy.
Firsty this isn't a book for the faint hearted with frequent "fucking" and excrement to take over the themes, but sometimes it just has to be said bluntly... and in this book it is always said bluntly. I enjoyed the plot line and the descriptions throughout are breathtaking. The huge let down for me was the po
May 13, 2012 Cat rated it really liked it

"When I was twenty-eight, I decided to kill my mother."
(Rogers 1)

And so begins the treacherous story of Nikki.

Twenty-eight-year-old Nikki Black, emotionally and psychologically damaged from years of foster homes, is fed up with being scared. She blames her mother for abandoning her at birth and as she grows up, anger and hate boil inside her. In her rage, she sets out for a small island off the coast of Scotland to find her mother, and to kill her. Once there, however, she becomes immersed
Cheryl (Bored in Vernal)
I have heard that you can heal yourself by finding the myth or archetype behind your story and releasing the power it contains. This book is about that type of healing. The smart and psychologically injured Nikki is introduced to her brother Calum when she finds her birth mother. He is less than her intellectual equal, and slow of speech, but he has stories to tell her which are a legacy he has been given from his father. Let the reader ponder these simple stories, for they have archetypal ...more
Sep 20, 2010 A rated it it was amazing
Jane Rogers' Island was originally suggested to me by a friend. I'll admit, my interest in it being a movie first got my attention but as I've learned details of the book, I had to read it for myself.

Rogers paints a portrait of Nikki Black. At first, I would think most are turned off by the fact that it's told from someone like her's point of view. She's got one thing on her mind: matricide. But the book explains her reasonings and experiences and why she's become the way she's become. If she ha
Allie Stark
Aug 16, 2011 Allie Stark rated it really liked it
I knew about this novel because Colin Morgan is in the movie adaptation, I'm not gonna lie. But I read the argument and it attracted me, so I didn't want to missed the story from the original source.

I loved it. The story is predictable but it doesn't mean you can't get into it.

It's angsty and claustrophobic. Twisted and bitter. But it's fascinating. You feel trapped in the fog that Rogers sets for us, and you only feel a bit of relief on the tales told by Calum. But Nikki always comes back, with
Mar 12, 2011 Adrian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read
The book is narrated by Nikki, a woman who decides that the blame for all the horrid things that have happened in her life can be laid completely at the feet of the birth mother who abandoned her as an infant. She decides the best way to lead a normal life is to kill her mother. Obviously, this is not a stable woman, which is what makes this such a fascinating read. (In fact, with all her talk of “soaring” and “falling” I’d say she’s bipolar, but it’s not really clear if that is the case or ...more
Megan Leanne
Oct 23, 2014 Megan Leanne rated it really liked it
As soon as I began to read this book, it was practically impossible for me to put it down. Rogers entices you with her style of writing; making it seem more like thoughts, so you can relate to the character and her experiences more.

This character being, Nikki Black. Nikki is an interesting character, leading a tortured life from the moment she was born. Passed from foster home to foster home, Nikki quickly develops a hatred towards the world (and people) around her. One person in particular: her
May 01, 2009 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stories tell lies. That's what they're good for. Someone's made it up. You start to read and it's full of lies, the ugly duckling turns into a swan, the goodies beat the baddies! Justice prevails! Hooray for lies.

To me this book is first and foremost about fiction and reality, the differences between stories and Nikki Black's (the main character's) real life.
Her life, given away at birth, unwanted, contrasts drastically with the things she's heard in fairy tales. She goes on in search of her mo
Nov 07, 2010 Arron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The lie is a temporary measure. Until the facts come around a bit." Having been first introduced to this work of Ms Rogers during my undergraduate degree - Once I begun reading I could not stop, my eyes alike the protaginist Nikki fell - page after page, down through a plenthora of emotions toward the seemingly fairytale conclusion. Jane Rogers uses a hybrid - a breathtakingly realistic raw premise of one girls quest for revenge intertwined with interpolated tales that give this tale various ...more
Jul 07, 2012 Elisa rated it it was amazing
This relentlessly tragic novel is about the self-christened Nikki Black. Abandoned the day after she was born, Nikki got the full brunt of an incredibly flawed foster care system. Despite her keen intelligence, Nikki is relentlessly plagued by feelings of abandonment and deep bitterness about her life. So at the age of 28, she tracks down her birth mother to a remote island in Scotland where she intends to kill her. Rogers has written a story where just about every character is a victim of ...more
Apr 07, 2010 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: nikkiling
Recommended to Kimberly by: Francesca
Shelves: fiction
Haunting book that looks at deep the psychological issues of a young woman who grew up in the foster system and never found a true family, or someone to love her. Fear at times of an unknown force imprisons her until she tracks down her birth-mother who lives on a secluded island, with the sole intent of killing her. She finds out she has a slow brother, who ironically teaches her so much about life. At times, I felt empathy for Nikki and at times she infuriated me.

Things aren't always what one
Ayten Elyakan
Jan 08, 2013 Ayten Elyakan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled upon Island in the 75% off section in an independent book shop. Thought it would be an ok read and yes I was judgemental. Started reading and couldn’t put it down. This s not your average read about an abandoned child seeking her family to be reunited. This about a 29 year old woman (Nikki) seeking revenge. All the anger and hostility builds up and she finds her mother on an island. She learns that she has a brother. She plans on killing them both. However after spending time with ...more
Sep 03, 2016 Alison rated it liked it
I bought this book because I loved the Colin Morgan movie so much. It starts out a little slow, but after about 4 chapters the story finally starts. It was an interesting book, but I honestly can’t say whether I would have enjoyed it or not without having seen the movie first. As a sort of companion to the movie it was great; you understood a little more about the characters and why the actors made some of the choices they did. I really can’t say if it stands on its own, though.
Apr 21, 2009 Svenja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other
This is a really beautiful and disturbing book. It is about a women, Nikki who decideds to kill her mother who abandoned her as a child. When she arrives at the small scottish island where her mother lives now, she discovers she has a brother, Calum (who is mentally disabled).
The book is a lot about stories, different sides of them maybe and a lonely women who never really loved or was loved.

Even though it was a short read (just about 200 pages), it was really thrilling and i read through it ve
Meaka Kyel
Feb 28, 2013 Meaka Kyel rated it it was amazing
I have to say that the book is so much better than the movie (as in most cases). I actually had never heard of this story until I looked up the movies that Colin Morgan was in. The movie was good, but I found myself a bit confused at times. That's when I decided to read the book and man, was I happy I did.
The storyline was so much clearer, the characters so much more intense. I absolutely love the stories Callum tells Nikki.
This book is dark, disturbing, and chilling. Don't read this if you wa
Feb 19, 2013 Elise rated it did not like it
"When I was twenty-eight I decided to kill my mother."

I saw the movie before I read the book, the movie itself was a bit weird but interesting enough (although not my favourite storyline) so I was interested enough to read the book.

This book was boring as hell. I really couldn't get into it or enjoy the story. How it was written was not very engaging to me.

I can't even write a proper review because I have nothing more to say.

Ali Bottorff
Feb 12, 2016 Ali Bottorff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I am one of those brought to this book by Colin Morgan and the movie. I found the movie compelling and engrossing, but the book more so. I finished it in one sitting, sleep be damned. I like it better then the movie as it has an actual ending, but they go well together. I was able to imagine Colin Morgan as Calum which was just perfect. I don't give out 5 stars easily, so that should tell you something. It is a very emotional read but beautifully done.
May 08, 2009 Montana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, mainstream
A fable, a fairytale, the ultimate example of an unreliable narrator...I don't really know how to define this book. It was gorgeously written and a fascinating psychological study, and the fact that I could see where it was headed didn't lessen the impact at all. Because it's a fable, a fairytale, and we all know how those go, right? The ending isn't the important part; it's the journey that really matters.
Aug 11, 2009 Marvin rated it it was ok
After several odd books, I turned to an author whose 2 previous books I read were favorites. But this one was much more narrowly personal than her two previous ones, and the main character who is the almost exclusive focus & narrator of the book, is not likable. Still, the narrative builds in power, suspense, & empathy that made it a worthwhile read, even though it doesn't correspond closely to my tastes.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Before Scotland: The Story of Scotland Before History
  • At the Loch of the Green Corrie
  • Beside the Ocean of Time
  • Selected Poems
  • The Seas
  • Buddha Da
  • The Books of Magic, Volume 2: Summonings
  • Hearts and Minds
  • The Dissident
  • Everything You Need
  • Doctor Who: Human Resources, Part Two
  • The Essential Pinter: Selections from the Work of Harold Pinter
  • Das große Los
  • Sea Room: An Island Life in the Hebrides
  • Journeyman: 1 Mann, 5 Kontinente und jede Menge Jobs
  • Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men: Searching through Scotland for a Border Collie
  • The Dancers Dancing
  • The Glass House

Jane Rogers is an award winning author of nine novels, including The Testament of Jessie Lamb, Man-Booker longlisted and winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award 2012.

Other works include Mr Wroe's Virgins (which she dramatised for the BAFTA-nominated BBC drama series), Her Living Image (Somerset Maugham Award) and Promised Lands (Writers Guild Best Fiction Award). Her story collection Hitting Trees wit
More about Jane Rogers...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“If you'll never leave me, I'll never leave you.” 12 likes
“What's the truth? The truth is what people WANT. Liars are basically idealists, liars are saints and prophets. Jesus was a liar.” 8 likes
More quotes…