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Little Island

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  170 ratings  ·  52 reviews

By the water
Have fun!

These are Joy’s grandmother’s last words—left behind on a note. A note that Joy’s mother, Grace, has interpreted as instructions for her memorial service. And so, the far-flung clan will gather at their inn on Little Island, Maine, to honor her.

Joy can’t help dreading the weekend. Twenty years
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Berkley
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3.63  · 
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 ·  170 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Little Island - by Katharine Britton
LITTLE ISLAND, will be available on September 3, 2013.

"When you build a house, one wrong measurement can send the whole thing slightly off. It will stand okay, but doorjambs and walls aren't even, so doors don't stay shut, and pictures never hang straight."
There was so much blood the day of the accident in which Abigail and Bonnie died. Enough of it to flow for years in the memories of everyone who wanted to be loved, accepted and protected in the Little fam
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: traveling-book
Little Island

Katharine Britton

LITTLE ISLAND is the story of the Little family.  They own an inn in Maine and the family's getting together for their grandmother's  memorial service.  Grace was very very close to her mother and wonders if she will be able to give her mother the memorial service she deserves. Graces's children Joy, Tamar and Tamar's twin Roger will all be coming. 

  The Littles lives were changed twenty years ago when the twins were involved in a car accident that killed a family f
Aug 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Read my full review:

My opinion: Unlike author's first book, Her Sister's Shadow, this book didn't grab me right away. It took me a good 100 pages to warm up to the story. Once I got past those 100 pages, the story took off and I found it a bit more difficult to put down.

Little Island is a story told not only from different POV but also 2 different periods of time which didn't help with the "grasping". There were periods where it almost became difficult to follow and I felt
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who love books with family drama
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book
Joy Little's life is changing. Her only child has just left for college, but instead of going with him on dorm move-in weekend, she is headed to her childhood home, Little Island, to attend her grandmother's memorial service. Although she loved her grandmother, spending the weekend on the Island with her parents and her twin siblings, Roger and Tamar, is not something she is looking forward to. Given their family history, family get-togethers for the Little family are tumultuous at best and Joy ...more
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the story of the Little family. The parents, Grace and Gar own a resort on Little Island, but for the weekend described in the book, no guests will be staying there. Instead, Grace will be hosting her daughters, Joy and Tamar, and her son Roger, Tamar's twin brother. The occasion is to honor Grace's mother with a memorial service. Her recent death leaves Grace feeling unsettled because she and her mother were very close, and she's unsure she will give her mother the kind of service she w ...more
Viviane Crystal
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Joy, Tamar and Roger, as well as other family and friends, arrive at the inn on Little Island, Maine for a memorial service for their late grandmother, who left very specific instructions for their part in the service, “Grace. Flowers. By the water. Have fun!” Their mother, Grace, and father, Gar know that this seems like an impossible series of requests, in fact nothing short of a miracle. For this family are all bearing a terrible grief over an accident that took one of their own years ago. Ro ...more
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sixty-four year old Grace Little is planning a memorial service for her mother to be held at the family inn on Little Island in Maine. Having found a note after her mother's death that had few words, but a meaningful message, Grace is doing her best to give her mother the tribute she deserves. The words were "flowers", "by the water", and "have fun". So far it is not going well. The recently sodded lawn is soft and squishy, the flowers too contrived, and the service is being held on the twentiet ...more
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The members of the Little family are dreading the weekend that brings them all together without spouses or outside influences to alter the family dynamics. Twenty years ago, the family is nearly combusted by an awful accident that continues to impact their lives and their relationships. During their reunion they are all laid bare and secrets emerge like one, two punches that will leave the reader breathless and wanting more. A study in family, love, hate, jealousy and all the emotions that play ...more
Romancing the Book
Reviewed by Robin
Book provided by the publisher for review
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

Ms. Britton writes a good story using the dynamics of a dysfunctional family. I think just about every family anymore has some bit of dysfunction within them. Whether this generation or the past we all can relate in some way to this topic, it may even be a friend that we know of. We have all seen how as adults some people run from the past, the pain, the old life they used to live while hiding
Judy Croome
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it
*Mild Spoilers*

A pleasant holiday read about the Little family and the dynamics of their family, which change dramatically with the revelation of secrets over the course of a family gathering for the memorial service of the grandmother.

An enjoyable read, with some lovely lines offering enough depth to keep one interested, such as this scene: "He began to tease the strands apart, careful to avoid the hooks on the shiny jigs. One was always tempted to tug, but he knew to push gently. It took patie
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book and definitely recommend it! This story takes us to a lovely inn in Main run by the Littles. The setting was idyllic and I connected with it personally because it made me think of my family's vacation home. I could picture myself sitting on the Adirondack chairs and enjoying the breeze coming of the water. While the setting is ideal, the Littles' lives and history are not. The Littles' lives changed 20 years ago when the twins were in a car accident that killed a family ...more
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I struggled a bit to keep interest in the first chapter or so, but I am so glad I stuck with it. Absolutely loved it!
Mary Jensen
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was afraid this book would be a bit depressing, one of those where family secrets spiral downward into increasing dysfunction and fragmentation. However, revelations about the family tragedy of a car crash and the years of emotional fallout proved to be liberating and a blessing for the family, finally allowing them to let go of the damage from so many years. In the end, it was hopeful and positive as the different family members began to move on with their lives.
While of no consequence at all
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I reviewed this book at MustReadBooksOrDie with my friend Shelley.

Shel: I really enjoyed this novel. It's not full of fireworks or smut or crazy angst; instead it's full of tiny little revelations. Revelations that many of us can take to heart.

Court: Right? I really like these stories that are a chronicle of a dysfunctional family, because who doesn't relate to that. We also discussed the melancholy feeling that was a major undertone from the beginning, and I was glad that this was not a deterr
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

Little Island is a story about the corrosiveness of family secrets and the lies that people tell themselves (and each other) in order to hide their truth from the world, or from themselves.

The Little family seems like a happy family, at least on the surface. Grace and Gar have a solid marriage and a good life running a B&B on Little Island in Maine. Both their daughters are married, and have kids of their own. The younger daughter, Tamar, is a successfu
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love those books that you hate to put down; those that keep you up late at night because you just have to try to finish it. Well that’s exactly the kind of read Little Island by Katharine Britton was for me. I loved it! This is the second book of hers that I’ve read having read Her Sister’s Shadow a few years ago and loving it as well. I had hoped that this book would be as good for me and I wasn’t disappointed in the least. Little Island is a story of love, family, deeply buried secrets, and ...more
Sep 19, 2013 rated it really liked it

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Dawn

The story begins with Joy. Her son Rex is going off to college. The empty-nest-syndrome is hitting hard.

She has lost herself over the years. She has no purpose. Joy holds in some serious emotional issues that result in her cutting. I was glad the author weaved this into the story because we often hear of younger people cutting but we rarely hear about a woman with a grown child doing it. The cutting spurred my interest. W
Kathryn Laceby
Aug 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes

Little Island is a finely weaved but thoroughly complicated set of layered emotions. I found it initially difficult to get attached to any member of the Little family, which was unfortunate, because the story held so much promise. The delay in attachment was probably because they were all introduced a little bit at a time I didn’t immediately find any of them interesting so I was worried about the rest of the novel. However, I pushed myself to keep reading and
This is a hard one for me to rate because my opinion changed significantly as I read further into the book. This story takes place on Little Island, named not because it is a small island, but because the Little family lives on the Island. The Little family is gathering for a memorial service being held to honor the recently passed grandmother, Joan. As the family gathered and I met each character, I didn’t find a likeable one in the entire family, although the parents, Grace and Gar, were toler ...more
Ashley Farley
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Little Island is a hidden gem, a diamond in the rough, with all the potential to top the bestseller lists.

Discovering a good book is like making a new friend. Or a whole host of new friends. Unlike in real life, however, our relationships with these new friends transform from newly-acquainted to BFF in the span of a chapter. Little Island is a novel about familial relationships, but mostly it’s a novel about motherhood.

Joan who recently passed away after a lifetime of hiding to protect her daugh
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2013
Grace Little is planning a memorial service for her mother, where she will meet her aunts for the first time. As if that isn't stressful enough, she has her annual family gathering with her husband and children the same weekend. Joy is Grace' s oldest living child, I say this because all of the children, although they never knew Abigail, lived in the shadow of her memory. Joy' s son, Rex, and husband, Stuart, have headed off to move Rex into his dorm. As she's packing for her trip to Little Isla ...more
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
I received this book from in exchange for an honest review and I am excited to have had the opportunity. I'm rating the book a 3 out of 5 stars.

This story is about a family coming together for a funeral and coming to terms with their past and their present lives to hopefully move on to a better future. Grace is trying to plan a funeral for her mother (Joan) after finding a note that she believes contains her mother's wishes for the ceremony. Joy and her twin siblings, Tamar and Rog
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on my blog, A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall:

Little Island caught my attention when I happened to be in the mood for a contemporary fiction, family-drama type of novel, and it had the added bonus of being set in Maine. It didn't disappoint.

Joy, her mother Grace, her father Gar, and her twin siblings Roger and Tamar have been working through a tragedy from their past, one that has affected each of them in a different way. When they come together to hold a memorial service for Grac
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Little Island is an enchanting, cozy read with interesting characters, beautiful Maine setting, and surprising resonant themes of how we run from our own lives in adulthood due to our shadowboxing with the fears of the past. I read this in one weekend curled up with my cat and a cup of tea. It’s that type of book. Set against an island in Maine near Isle au Haut (one of my favorite destinations), the story follows the turning point of 3 adult siblings during a weekend reunion at their family inn ...more
Aug 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
Thank you to BookSparks Pr and Berkley Trade for sending me the novel Little Island. A family gathering that turns into so much more full of secrets and intrigue.
Grace is looking forward to her family getting together to celebrate the life of her mother Joanie. When a family gathering occurs then conflicts arise. There is a conflict which has shattered the lives of her children. Joy knows what happened twenty years ago but agreed to stay silent. She is also considering whether to leave
Kathleen Kelly
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Little Island is the story of Grace, her husband Gar and their grown children Joy and twins Roger and Tamar. They are gathered at the inn that Grace and her husband operate in Maine, for the memorial service for Grace's mother Joan. Joan had left a note stating just a few words, Grace, flowers, by the water and have fun. With these words in mind, Grace attempts to put together the perfect service for her mother whom she had a very close relationship with.

Joy has packed up her car with more than
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
The premise of this novel sounded interesting as I’m always up for a good family-centred drama. However, I found it difficult to get into this novel. There’s a number of different perspectives present in this novel and while I’ve read other novels with shifting perspectives within the family, it felt rather disjointed. There’s also a lot of vagueness at the beginning of the novel regarding what happened to Joy’s grandmother and the tensions there, “the day they almost lost Tamar”, etc. While it’ ...more
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I felt that the beginning of this book was a bit confusing and full of emotions. Joy is dealing with her empty nest syndrome, the family preparing for a memorial service, and there are lots of unresolved issues from the past. I wanted to put the book down and stop reading but I couldn't. I had to know how this was going to be played out.

The book switches points of view as well as going from past to present. A few times I felt like my head was spinning and I was tense from the drama - and there
R J Mckay
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book from the Goodreads First Read program.

The Little family is coming together at the Little Island Inn to hold a memorial for Joan, Grace’s Mother. The family, Grace and Gar who own the inn and their adult children Joy, and twins Roger and Tamar are each facing their own challenges. Grace is dealing with the loss of her Mother and the discovery that her Mom had two sisters she never knew about. Gar is starting to forget things. Joy’s life is floundering as her son leaves for co
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Sisterhood of the...: Little Island by Katharine Britton 57 25 Jun 25, 2014 02:18PM  

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Katharine is the author of three novels: HER SISTER'S SHADOW, LITTLE ISLAND, and VANISHING TIME (2016).

She has a Master's degree in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College. Her screenplay, Goodbye Don't Mean Gone, on which VANISHING TIME was based, was a Moondance Film Festival winner and a finalist in the New England Women in Film and Television contest.

When not at her desk, Katharine can be fou