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The Island

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3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  28,426 Ratings  ·  2,033 Reviews
Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess's lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor in her Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins. Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms of excitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who prides herself on preparing for every possibility, could nev ...more
Kindle Edition, 422 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jo Anne B
Jun 26, 2011 Jo Anne B rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A typical beach read with a lot of drama in women's lives.

I did not like the characters at all. I even didn't like their names-Birdie, India, Chess, Tate. These were rich spoiled women who didn't deserve the men in their lives. But, ofcourse everything works out perfectly for them and everyone lives happily ever after. Bleh!!
Annie
Aug 05, 2010 Annie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading this book and I really don't know why. OK. Actually I do: I reserved it months ago at my library and the waiting list is hundreds of people long. I feel an obligation!

About twenty pages in and I'm already exasperated with the story. Hilderbrand has a unique (and mildly annoying) habit of not having chapters in her books. Why? There are long stretches of disjointed prose separated with a heading for a different character.

All of Hilderbrand's books that I've read seem geared for commer
...more
Melodie
Jul 12, 2016 Melodie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Relationships, especially family relationships are fraught with potholes.Hell, let's be honest here, minefields! Especially complicated is the mother/daughter relationship.Throw in some sisterly sibling rivalry with a trip to an isolated island for some togetherness and you have the premise for this book.
There are no easy answers to the troubles that plague the four women of this family. Each harbors simmering resentments,hurts, fears.And they truly love one another. Through all the mess that
...more
Book Concierge
Mar 15, 2013 Book Concierge rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: concierge, library, audio
Book on CD read by Denise Hicks

This is just a sappy soap opera set on Tuckernuck Island off Nantucket. Everyone is wealthy. Everyone is unhappy in love, OR, has fallen instantly in love (possibly with the wrong person). Everyone behaves like a 3-year-old or at their best like they’re in junior high.

Here’s a sample:
They had officially been “together” for only nine days, but every day on Tuckernuck was a lifetime, and so it felt like forever. They had made love sixteen times, they had shared ele
...more
Cara
Jan 09, 2011 Cara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun-or-frivolity
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bookworm
Aug 02, 2012 Bookworm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The relationships in this novel are both heartfelt and multi-faceted. At the heart of the story are the relationships between mothers, daughters and sisters. This is also a story about soul searching and reconnecting.

At fifty-seven years old and after thirty years of marriage, Birdie Cousins finds herself divorced and wanting to move on with her life. Her ex husband Grant is a lawyer who was always more involved with is work than with his family.
Birdie's two daughters, Chess and Tate, are all
...more
Jessica
Dec 05, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I thought that I would put this book away unfinished. I wasn't totally into it and I really didn't care for the characters. After about 75 pages though, I couldn't put it down! The author makes you love and hate each of the characters.

Birdie was not my favorite character at all. There were times when I thought she was pathetic, boring and just let people walk all over her. Then, halfway through the book, she changed and I liked her more. She still wasn't my favorite in the book but she
...more
Anne
Aug 05, 2012 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy and fun beach book.

The women were a little over the top with their issues but I loved how they enjoyed
their cocktail hour every evening.....very funny!
The thing I got out of this book is I want to try the wine they drank....Sancerre....heard it
was delicious.

Fun read that is forgetable when you leave the beach!
Holli
Feb 15, 2011 Holli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I could hardly put this book down. It was that good. I really love this author and she outdid herself with this novel. It had mother-daughter relationships, sister relationships, marriage, divorce, death, new love.... hurt, anger, excitement, hope..... what a book! Loved it!
Denise
Jul 21, 2010 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elin Hilderbrand's latest novel, The Island, tells the story of 4 women over one month on Tuckernuck Island. Birdie's daughter, Chess, is about to marry the perfect man. To celebrate and try to reconnect with Chess, Birdie invites her to spend a week in the old family vacation home on Tuckernuck Island. When Chess calls off the engagement and shortly after the ex fiancee dies in a freak climbing, the accident, the week turns into a month and Birdie invites her other daughter Tate and her own sis ...more
Barbara Sissel
Jan 26, 2012 Barbara Sissel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this story of four women, two sets of sisters a generation apart, spending a month together on an island off the coast of Nantucket. The setting is one of the things that brought the novel alive. Elin Hilderbrand knows this tiny island. She takes the reader by the hand and leads them all over it making them see it, vividly. You can nearly feel the sand give under your feet and smell the salty air. She knows these two pairs of sisters, too, and the particularly layered and mysterio ...more
Erin Martin
Mar 28, 2011 Erin Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those that love books about relationships
Recommended to Erin by: Bob, Mollianne and Meisey gave it to me for Christmas
Shelves: own-a-copy
There was not a single thing that I didn't love about this book. Wonderfully written with characters that I truly cared about - I couldn't ask for anything more. I loved how the author spoke from the perspective of the four women this book centers around - Birdie, the matriarch; India, her sister; Chess, her oldest daughter; and Tate, her youngest daughter. We watch these four women as their lives completely change and how each of them react to it. I loved the symmetry between the two sets of si ...more
Susan Bright
Sep 05, 2012 Susan Bright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tuckernuck is a small island off the coast of Nantucket. The island has no grocery stores or stores of any kind for that matter. It is a quiet island with beautiful beaches and most of all solitude. Birdie Cousins’ family had owned a house on Tuckernuck for generations. It was a simple cottage with no phones, no televisions, minimal electricity and no hot water. It was built in 1935. The furniture was old and the beds creaky. For Birdie, it was the perfect get away.

Every year Birdie and Grant wo
...more
Betsy
May 25, 2012 Betsy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruth
Sep 09, 2010 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chess is reeling after she breaks her engagement, Birdie, her mom has finally met someone that she cares about after her 30 year marriage has ended, Aunt India has experienced major problems with her most promising art student who has decided to withdraw and attend Parsons Art Institute instead, and Tate, is just Pollyanna but has never been in love and spends all her days fixing computer systems and her nights in a minimalist apartment, which is describing it nicely. With Chess hurting so much, ...more
Karen
Aug 19, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always think of Elin Hilderbrand as my guilty pleasure reading, then question why I have to feel guilty about it. This is the second of her novels I've read, and she seems to specialize in character-based contemporary tales set on Nantucket, a place I now crave to visit. Told in third person from four points of view, The Island tells the tale of two pairs of sisters from two generations. Thirty-two-year-old Chess, the golden child, was to be married when suddenly, after expensive and extrava ...more
Tracy
Jun 15, 2016 Tracy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*sigh* Rich white people and their ridiculous problems--all of which are solved by summering on an island. The characters act like teenagers (screaming that they hate each other), they think like teenagers (we spent 7 days together, ate 12 meals together, slept together 5 times--who keeps count of such stuff other than an idiot college boy tallying up exactly how much he drank last Friday night), and the author writes like a teenager (and then he said, and then she said, and then I said, and the ...more
Ellen Moore
This was not my favorite book, but it kept my attention. I wasn't sure how it demonstrated empowerment of women when everyone was so miserable. One was divorced and breaking up with her new and married boyfriend, one was depressed because she did not love her fiance' and he had died after she had broken their engagement, one had started dating someone she had loved for many years but was tormented that he was in love with her sister or involved with a woman he was working for, and one was a wido ...more
Kim-Lost-In-A-Book
With as much money as these clearly privileged women have you'd think they could afford to buy some maturity and communication skills. For all they have including a loving family they keep a lot of secrets from each other unnecessarily. I guess that's just a plot line that I can't stand - just freaking TALK to each other!!

All that being said, this is probably the perfect beach read, it reads fairly quickly, you don't have to think too much while reading it, it's shallow and fluffy great for a su
...more
Suezq
Mar 30, 2014 Suezq rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had read the reviews prior to reading this book, I grabbed it because I have enjoyed other Elin Hilderbrand books in the past. I agree with the others who have said the women were spoiled and not at all realistic. Two examples, one daughter is 30 years old, owns/runs her own (very successful) computer company, yet acts like a spoiled 3 year old when she doesn't get her way. The mother, repeated calls her current boyfriend like a deranged high school girl in love, and when he doesn't ans ...more
Nette
Aug 04, 2010 Nette rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, it's embarrassing, but it's become part of my summer ritual: every July or August I read Hilderbrand's latest book, always featuring bare feet on the cover and a cast of good-looking and mildly tormented women spending time on a Nantucket-adjacent beach or island, working out their problems with the help of sparkling water, beach glass, seafood, and the local version of the Old Spice Man. This particular island is called Tuckernuck and the natives greet each other by calling out, "Life is ...more
Courtney
Sep 22, 2011 Courtney rated it did not like it
In all honesty, I probably would have skipped this book if it hadn't been the only book I was stuck on a plane with. The storyline? Cutesie, I guess. But I didn't love the language and some of the rather foul interludes.

Luckily, I flew to Georgia where I purchased a copy of "Gone with the Wind" about 5 feet from where Margaret Mitchell actually wrote it and cleansed my palette on the plane ride home.
Debby
Apr 15, 2016 Debby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the story and would have given it 4 stars; however, Hilderbrand's writing sytle of conversation rubbed a pet peeve of mine RAW!
Every single line in of exchange in every conversation was followed by...she, he or (insert name of character) said, asked or whatever. Really? That he said/she said is so unnecssary in order to follow the flow of a conversation, especially of only two people, and aggravating as all get out to me (seriously, it's like nails on a chalk board to hroughout a
...more
K
Jan 10, 2014 K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, chicklit
This is a solid three-star chick lit book. And I mean that in the nicest way.

I find that, with chick lit, sometimes it's about timing. If I've felt taxed lately by demanding reading and/or life stress, my need for light entertainment can make me more forgiving than I otherwise would be of cliches, convenient plot contrivances, etc. With that said, although I was ripe for some chick lit I quickly abandoned two other light reads that I didn't even bother reviewing here because they were just too o
...more
Scargosun
Being a lover of all things Cape and The Islands related, I dove into this book. I found the premise very interesting; secrets, devastation, coming together in a family summer place, healing. These issues are introduced right away in the first few sections (the book is really divided into sections focusing on the different family members that go to Tuckernuck Island for the month). Then later the book really starts to delve into the character development I went between being annoyed with their i ...more
Traci Haley
I always find Elin Hilderbrand novels hard to get into. Her stories are about rich, white characters with whom I can't relate. They live lives that, as far as I can tell, they SHOULD have been happy with...yet they are usually miserable with their lot. But then something happens as I continue reading... I fall in love with the location (usually Nantucket, but in this case, Tuckernuck Island)...and then because of the characters' relationship with the location, I start to fall in love with their ...more
Kris Patrick
Like I predicted with my first Elin Hilderbrand experience, her books are highly addictive. But as with any addictive substance, there is always the risk of overdose. I may wait until I recover from my Lilly Pulitzer hangover before indulging again. Probably the holidays when I am desperate for something to remind me of warmer temps and sunshine.
B the BookAddict
Aug 18, 2014 B the BookAddict rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
Definitely a beach read.
Jennifer
From My Blog (3.5 stars)....


The Island by Elin Hildebrand is a month-long soap opera in written form, about four women, their secrets, desires, insecurities and hidden passions. Birdie is divorced and concentrating on her daughter's upcoming wedding when she begins to date Hank, who happens to be married yet they both feel it is fine since his wife has Alzheimer's and is in a special facility. Birdie's sister India enjoys imbibing as well as a good joint, has a high opinion of herself and her th
...more
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Bookworm Bitches : August 2011: The Island 161 271 Jan 29, 2016 10:29PM  
Same book? 1 6 Apr 15, 2015 10:21AM  
Women Fiction Emp...: The Island 1 7 Jul 29, 2013 01:54PM  
Women Fiction Emp...: * New book 5 12 Jun 19, 2013 08:49PM  
  • Beachcombers
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  • Seven Year Switch
  • Driftwood Summer
  • Fly Away Home
  • The Memory of Water
  • The Opposite of Me
  • Swimming Lessons
  • Promises to Keep
  • Beach Trip
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Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

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“...of the things I want my daughters to know the greatest of these is love.” 10 likes
“I will hold your hand and we will walk across this world, and I will sing to you and our babies, and that will be enough for me.” 7 likes
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