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One Night on the Island

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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.

368 pages, Paperback

First published February 14, 2022

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About the author

Josie Silver

5 books6,742 followers
Josie lives in a small English town with her husband, their two sons, plus a changing cast of cats, dogs and fish. She writes full-time in a studio at the bottom of the garden.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,662 reviews
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.8k followers
November 1, 2022
What do you get if you remove the romance and comedy from a rom-com?
Answer: One Night on the Island

DNF - I stuck it out for 120 pages, and I'm calling it quits. I don't really understand what this book is supposed to be, but it sure isn't a rom-com. Where is the spark, the chemistry, the steam? Or the humor? Or even just a halfway interesting story? Give me something!

So far, the defining theme of this story is that Cleo is an entitled brat who whines constantly and has her feelings easily hurt. And Mack is a dad who misses his kids so much that he has to get away from them for their own good. Okaay. And whenever Cleo and Mack "talk", they just throw random facts about themselves at each other from across the room.

There's nothing for me to work with here. This story is so bland, I'm not sure who I could recommend it to. Maybe if you're suffering from an injury and any kind of emotions/laughing would make you double over in pain. Or if you're a nun and your habit forbids you from reading anything remotely funny or romantic.

My heartfelt thanks for the copy that was provided for my honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,307 reviews44k followers
May 14, 2023
Oh my… my poor heart… my delved heart bleeds… Ms. Silver’s perfectly chosen words like ripped my heart apart ! I cried! I literally howled! I stopped reading a few times to check my emotional state: was I doing okay? Was I able to finish a chapter without hiccup-choking-sighing ritual? Absolutely I wasn’t!

Ms. Silver created a big winner: the main characters who are genuine, flawed, broken but resilient, determined, lost but strong enough to pick up the broken pieces to stand up and draw a new canvas of their life stories!

Dating column writer Cleo feels lost in her own life: she’s youngest member of her family, considered as little baby sister, never having a chance to know her father, dreaming of finishing to write a novel, suffering from the mistakes at her love life is ready to marry with herself. At least her insistent editor pushes to challenge her lifestyle ( of course she also inspired by Emma Watson’s self marriage decision) So she finds herself running away from her crowded and protective family’s surprise birthday party plans, her so-called, demanding and selfish London friends, leaving for her self- couple ceremony and apply each entries at her bucket list on a remote island called Salvation. So poetic, isn’t it?

But she wishes her self- couple-moon holiday isn’t sabotaged by charismatic, brooding American in big read coat and ridiculous head torch who insists to stay at the same room with her. Actually he thinks that’s his reserved room and he’s playing “ I’m related with manager and I came here to connect with my ancestors so I deserve more to be here than you” card!

But you may guess: both parties are too stubborn to leave and because of the weather conditions :the boats aren’t working as they’re scheduled. So they’re trapped in a place they came for different reasons.

Let’s hear out about Mack more: he left his estranged wife and two boys he adored in Boston, missing them a lot, trying to gather the pieces of his broken family life without making mistakes his father did. He’s a gifted photographer, looking like Han Solo, struggling to find balance between the attraction he feels for the unconventional, exceptional woman he shares the room by drawing chalk lines and being faithful to his wife who thinks she’s not happy with him anymore.

This is not a traditional, foreseeable romcom with full of cliches. The emotions are raw and so real. The complex characterization of Mack and Cleo helps you to empathize with their predicaments, reasonings, hesitations so easily.

That’s why I was about to blow up! There was so much angst. You’re easily shaken. As you see the true colors of the characters, you adore their honesty. Especially the conclusion was unusual and amazing!

I loved Cleo, Mack! I loved their individual journeys of self- discovery and I loved their unfinished love story!

And let’s not forget: those vivid, sassy, smart, entertaining supporting characters, yes I’m talking about island’s knitting girls group! Do they remind of us the group of powerful women at Winona Ryder’s “How to make an American Quilt” played by fantastic Ellen Burstyn, Anne Bancroft, Louis Smith. Sassy, sarcastic Delta, logical, mature Dolores, blue haired- straightforward, hilarious Ailsa ( yes, she’s my favorite), friendly Brianne, peacemaker Erin, snarky-the oldest- erotic romance author Carmen: those girls stole the show! They were AMAZING!

That’s one of the books rock your world, transforming you, shaping you, ripping a unique piece from your heart.

When you finish you think about the characters, their stories, their challenges which resonate with your own lives. In my opinion, this is the best work of the author which highly deserved more than my five years, sentimental, beautiful, angsty stars!

As I listen to Springsteen’s Thunder Road for the third time, I’m finally ending my review!
“Oh-oh come take my hand
We're riding out tonight to case the promised land
Oh-oh Thunder Road oh Thunder Road oh Thunder Road”

Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing/ Ballantine Books for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,190 reviews2,261 followers
February 16, 2022

This isn’t a Rom-Com and it’s so much more than a LOVE STORY-it’s really a LIFE STORY!
It caught me unaware-it spoke to me-and I absolutely adored it!! ❤️

Ali, the editor of Women Today, the leading online magazine in the UK, is inspired by actress Emma Watson, to send Cleo Wilder, her dating columnist to Salvation Island, to self couple~something that Emma did when she turned 30.

Self Coupling is a concept that embraces that a woman doesn’t need to find her “other half” to be whole.

Salvation Island, is a tiny Island off the Irish Coast, with moody, wet weather described as “perfect for the backdrop of a tense whodunit or a melancholy gothic. with close-the doors and build-up-the fire kind of days”.

Yes-the prose in this book is beautiful…..

There is exactly one accommodation available for a visitor-Otter Lodge-but when Cleo arrives she finds that somehow the cottage has been double-booked. Mack Sullivan, an American with a family connection to the lodge and Island, has also arrived and is expecting to stay. The next boat isn’t scheduled to arrive until the following week, weather permitting-so they will have to co-exist in the tiny lodging, until one of them can leave.

The weather isn’t letting up, but the two begin to thaw towards each other, sharing what brought them to the remote Island, what they loved about the lives they have put on hold-and also what wasn’t working.

Three things each night.


These are mature, intelligent adults with complicated lives. The POV alternates between the two, and each is equally compelling.

As the wonderful residents of the Island embrace them, and the ebb and flow of the Island life heals them, each will wonder-Can you truly belong to more than one place?

So many wise observations about life and love. 🥰

Last year I wanted to relocate to an Island I read about. Now, I want to pack it all up and go to Salvation Island too. Clearly quirky characters and close knit Island communities appeal to me.

I’ll be watching for a vacancy at the “Otter Lodge”!

This is my FAVORITE book by Josie Silver, bar none!
5 EASY stars!⭐️

A buddy read with DeAnn-be sure to read her amazing review to find out if she was just as enamored with it as I was…


Thank You to the Random House-Ballantine for the gifted copy. It was my pleasure to offer a candid review!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
December 29, 2021
this is the kind of romance book i would recommend to my mom.

its sweet, has real life experiences, and is very surface level when it comes to the plot. great for a certain kind of reader, but after having just read emily henrys writing where the connection between the two characters sparked off the page in a very tangible way, the romance in this felt quite subdued to me.

thats not a bad thing - sometimes a quiet romance hits the spot - but at this particular time, it just missed the mark for me personally. i might have to revisit this when im in the mood for that specific kind of softness.

but overall, this is classic JS storytelling that takes complicated characters in real, complicated situations and tries to give them the most realistic/suitable ending. so if you enjoyed her previous books, then you should definitely be adding this to your TBR!

thank you, random house and ballentine, for the ARC!

3 stars
Profile Image for Regina.
1,136 reviews3,332 followers
March 13, 2022
The main character of Josie Silver’s latest romance, One Night on the Island, says she only gives novels 59 pages to hook her or she’s out. Had I followed her advice, I wouldn’t have made it to the end of this one.

I hung in there though, and the result was an enemies-to-lovers story that blossomed into a refreshing tale about learning to love yourself.

The “self love” construct is a primary theme here. On the eve of her 30th birthday, a British dating columnist is sent to a remote island by her boss to perform a self-coupling ceremony to essentially marry herself. The problem is that her cabin has been double booked, so naturally she finds herself sharing it with a handsome, albeit semi-unavailable, stranger. Will she cheat on herself with him? Will he cheat on his estranged wife with her?

Jeepers, could I have rolled my eyes more while writing that paragraph? Probably not. Cliches at every turn, and I seriously just cannot stand the term “self-coupling.” I like the idea of not needing a better half to feel whole, but sweet cripes on a cracker phrases like self-coupling, self-love, and self-care really get my goat.

Still, Josie Silver’s writing is lovely, and I did come to root for her characters. One Night on the Island is easy to recommend to anyone looking for a breezy book club read that still opens itself up to thoughtful topics of discussion. (First and foremost, why is the title One Night on the Island when they’re there for weeks and months? Anyone? Anyone?)

3.5 stars

Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,612 reviews10.7k followers
May 16, 2023
On the cusp of her 30th-birthday, Cleo Wilder, a dating columnist for a Woman's publication in London, receives a special assignment by her editor.

She is being sent to Salvation, a remote Irish island, on a self-coupling retreat. There she will marry herself and write about it.

Cleo accepts the assignment with grace, looking at it as a chance to get away and re-energize herself, as well as her writing.

Mac Sullivan is a photographer from Boston with familial ties to Salvation island and the very lodge in which Cleo will be staying.

The twist, Mac is planning to stay at the lodge himself. The very tiny, fit for one person, or a couple lodge. When the two discover the double-booking, they also discover there's no place else on the island for one of them to stay and the next ferry doesn't leave for days.

Short on options, they decide to suck it up and share the lodge until the next boat. They're both adults. Neither one seems like a psycho-killer, so how bad could it be?

Therefore, they do what any consenting adults would do and draw an imaginary line. He has his space, she has her space and they are only allowed to meet and talk in the common areas. After all, they're in a gorgeous location, full of warm and friendly people, it could be worse.

Due to their circumstances, and a bit of whiskey, Cleo and Mac get to know each other fairly quickly. They're both impressed with what they see, soon discovering they're compatible as well, but it's complicated.

The remote location and separation from their regular lives provides both characters ample time for self-reflection as well. I enjoyed those quieter moments with each character as much as I enjoyed their witty banter.

There were so many aspects of this story that I loved actually. The whole thing. It was a complete package for me.

What surprised me the most was the found family element that was created involving the locals.

I wasn't expecting that and because of those connections, this became more than just a romance story for me. I could feel the confidence and self-acceptance in Cleo growing as the story progressed. She was finding her own tribe; it was beautiful.

I loved that for her character arc. It gave the whole self-coupling thing a real boost. I felt that aspect, even though the main focus was the 'will they-won't they' vibe going on between Cleo and Mac.

I think it is safe to say at this point that I am in love with Josie Silver. Seriously, such a fangirl. Sometimes I feel like, the way she writes her stories, we share a brain or something.

I just know we would be best friends!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Ballantine Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am so excited to see what Silver comes up with next.

Until then, I need to finally get to The Two Lives of Lydia Bird. I'm really hoping to pick that one up this Spring!
May 17, 2022
Rounded up from roughly 4.5 stars ⭐️

One night on the island follows Cleo and Mack. Cleo is a journalist who has been sent to Salvation island to ‘self-couple’. Mack is visiting the island to follow his ancestral roots. However, when they get there they find out they’ve accidentally been double booked into the only available cabin on the island. Initially, they struggle to get along, but will this change over time?

I fell completely in love with Salvation Island as I read this book. The atmosphere was so beautifully written I desperately wanted to hop on the nearest plane and get to that cabin! I am a fan of the enemies to lovers trope so I really enjoyed that aspect of this book. I love a romance that burns slower and takes time rather than being instant. I found myself smiling and even ended up crying at one point whilst reading this. I loved the message that a romantic relationship doesn’t indicate how worthwhile your life is. Loving yourself and loving a life that makes you happy, alongside people who love you, is all that really matters.

However, I struggled with the start of this book and nearly ended up putting it down. I am so glad I continued because I didn’t want to put this down after a while! Although I do feel the ending slowed a little again. I also really really didn’t like Cleo’s character initially. I still struggle to connect Cleo at the beginning of the book to the ‘exceptional’ lady at the end. Maybe this is meant to be part of her growth as a character, but I didn’t necessarily pick up on that if that is the case. I also struggled to wrap my head around Mack’s reason for being on the island. If my young children needed me and were having a hard time I wouldn’t fly to another continent for months to take photographs! That being said, I loved the connection between Mack and Cleo, I feel they bring out the best in each other. I also loved the supporting characters. Their kindness and quirky personalities warmed my heart. This was exactly the book I needed to read right now.

I recommend this to any romcom fans, but if you struggle to get into the book initially it does pick up! I want to thank Netgalley, Penguin General UK and Jodie Silver for allowing me to read this book and give my personal thoughts.
Profile Image for Melissa (Semi-hiatus Very Behind).
4,649 reviews2,114 followers
May 17, 2022

What a sweet, heartfelt, utterly delightful novel!

Basically, dating columnist Cleo goes to a small island off the coast of Ireland in order to "marry herself" on her 30th birthday after years of unsuccessfully trying to find "the one." While on Salvation Island, she meets Mack, a photographer there to think and explore the place of his family's roots. Both of them have ideas of what they will find there, and they find those things and so much more.

This novel is filled with humor, heart, friendship, and love. It was an unexpected delight for me. I just truly enjoyed every part of this novel, even though some of it is difficult and it's interesting to see how people cope with and react to the trials of life. I typically shy away from books that have any hint of infidelity, but that part of this book is more nuanced and handled incredibly well. I loved getting to know Cleo and Mack, as well as all of the various personalities on the island. Just thinking about this book as a whole brings a smile to my face.

If you're looking for a lovely story of life, love, and all of the complications that brings, then this novel is a perfect delight.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Nina (ninjasbooks).
954 reviews375 followers
March 14, 2023
I had a book hangover even before I finished the book. I knew that this one would take a sliver of my heart and that this is one of these wonderful books that will stay with me forever. My emotions are still all over the place, and I want to cry. I’m not sure what the emotions behind those tears are. Longing? Hope? Sadness from lost opportunities? The book felt deeply personal to me, since it touches upon issues we all have. Are we living the life we want? Cleo is the woman we all want to be; Strong and fearless. There were so many sweet moments in the book, and the writing was beautiful. I have highlighted a lot of the sentences to remember their wisdom when dementia sets in.
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,711 reviews25k followers
January 25, 2022
This is the latest from the acclaimed rom-com writer, Josie Silver, and whilst not perfect, I loved it, for several reasons, including the stellar characterisations, the fabulous sense of location in the windswept, freezing, and rainy Irish Island of Salvation, and the unforgettable community, far from insular, proving to be welcoming and supportive. There are two aspects that might put off readers, the outlier concept of self-coupling and marrying oneself, and the American male lead, a photographer from Boston, is a married man with 2 children, although his marriage is in trouble, he has not lived in the family home for almost a year, a fact he ignores as he looks for any way possible to save his marriage. Almost 30 years old is London dating feature writer, Cleo Wilder, whose search for her 'flamingo' has so far ended in failure.

Pushed by her editor, Alison Stone, to self couple, Cleo arrives on Salvation after a particularly stormy trip, only to find there is an American, Mack Sullivan, who is expecting to stay at Otter Lodge too, neither is going to give way, both equally determined and stubborn. After initial hostilities, the two begin to appreciate the personal quandries each other faces, drawing chalk boundaries to facilitate the sharing of their lodge. As strangers, they find themselves confiding in each other in a way that they have not been able to do with anyone else, getting to know each other as they engage in the game of telling each other three things, often in the dark of the night. It is perhaps inevitable that the two should end up feeling attracted to each other, living in such close proximity, and it is Cleo who suggests they act on it, knowing it will be nothing more than a 'temporary' affair. However, as they discover, feelings can be hard to compartmentalise in real life.

Silver picks an absolute winner in her location as she makes Salvation come atmospherically and magically alive, with its memorable landscape, folklore and legends, the wild seas and weather, with its seabirds, otters and dolphins, its remoteness aided by the severely limited wifi coverage. Where she hits pure gold is in her depiction of the island community, including the sisterhood to be found in the knitting circle, with Ailsa and her artistic wife, Julia, Dolores, mother to the pregnant Delta, and the charismatic raconteur and pub landlord, Raff. There are not many romance writers whose books I look forward to with great anticipation, Josie Silver happens to be one of them, mostly because her writing is so sublime, even when the story might not be perfect. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,288 reviews3,232 followers
February 16, 2022
So, erm, the “hero” is legally married (albeit separated for a year) and the heroine is very much one of those basic, angsty women who thinks everything revolves around them.

Additionally, there isn’t even one scene that I would deem funny enough to sluice the sourness of a married hero.

That’s a no for me.
Profile Image for Michelle .
913 reviews1,407 followers
December 16, 2021
Cleo is an online magazine columnist whose column is all about finding love. Being that she is still single and just about to turn thirty years old she feels like her life isn't going in the direction she thought it would be at this time. Her boss and good friend decides to send her to Salvation Island off the coast of Ireland for a self-coupling which she will include in her latest column she's writing. Self-coupling is basically marrying yourself and putting yourself first, not only in your mind but in your heart as well. Cleo, dreading her family's surprise party, decides the solitude may be just what she's looking for.

There is one problem though. When she arrives at her rented cottage she isn't alone. Mack, an American, has also rented the cabin. Neither will budge and neither will leave. To make matters worse the ferry won't be back around for another week so they are basically stuck together until that time. Will all this petty bickering lead to romance? My lips are sealed! 🤐

Such a sweet story. I loved the island atmosphere and I loved the community of people that reside there. Every single character had their own charm and their sense of loyalty to one another was absolutely heartwarming. My only niggle came with the self-coupling. I did eye roll my way through her wedding ceremony to herself. For some it may have seemed empowering but for me it was kind of silly. I don't think any women should feel her life is over if she hasn't found the one by thirty years of age so I get what the author was trying to do but it just didn't work for me. That being said the rest of the book was a winner and tears came to my eyes on a few occasions. I also really enjoyed the ending because it wasn't that saccharine sweet fairy tale ending. It was a little imperfect, a lot hopeful, and entirely realistic. 4 stars!

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing - Ballantine for my complimentary copy.

October 18, 2022
If you had the chance...would YOU choose to marry yourself?

British writer Cleo Wilder has a unique opportunity to follow in the steps of Emma Watson and perform a self-coupling ceremony. Rather than a traditional type wedding, in a self-coupling ceremony, the bride basically commits to themselves, fully and completely: no other half is needed to make them complete. It's just the opportunity Cleo needs to step outside of her routine life and lackluster romantic life and discover who she truly is inside.

She gets to take this mini-sabbatical on Salvation Island, a GORGEOUS and idyllic Irish isle, and it almost seems too good to be true...until she arrives at her lodging and finds a stranger already checked into her room at the Otter Lodge...and he's a American who looks like Han Solo to boot. Mack Sullivan has his own connection to Salvation Island through his family history, and he's there to explore everything the island has to offer, take some pictures, and work through his complicated emotions about his separation from his wife. In other words, he isn't going ANYWHERE.

With the two butting heads and both dedicated to their requisite causes, can they both still get what they were looking for and the SALVATION this particular island promises...or does fate have something devastating in store??

I simply adored Josie Silver's One Day In December and have been wanting to get my hands on another one of her books for ages. While the premise of her last books was exciting, the book itself was a bit of a letdown, although I still enjoyed it. In this case, though, I was thrilled to check out this one, as I ADORE the part in P.S. I Love You (yes, the film version, although the book is lovely too) where Holly makes a pilgrimage to Ireland and just wanted to dive back in to that sort of world. And Salvation Island was everything I'd hoped it would be...and MORE! Silver's descriptions of the island and the lodge itself, plus a delightful cast of characters, provided all the cozy charm I needed.

However...the forced proximity love story? Wasn't quite my cup of Irish Breakfast tea.

The narrative alternates between Cleo and Mack, and while I felt like both characters were well-developed overall, something about the plot itself didn't quite click for me in terms of plausibility. I do appreciate the lessons Cleo learned about acceptance, but in the end that sort of seemed to dissipate...and I'm not sure why. As much as they both wanted to be on the island, I found it hard to believe that these two would just sort of accept the hand they were dealt rather than either of them tweaking their schedules just a smidge.

The characters Cleo encounters on the island WERE enchanting, but at times there was almost a bit too much of that going on too and a lack of focus on Cleo, who is basically our MC (even though you could argue Mack is as well). As time went on, I felt myself growing tired of hearing about them rather than falling more in love with them. I was honestly hoping the end would impress me a bit more and would stray from the expected based on the sort of open-ended question the book presents, but no such luck.

There are plenty of lovely moments throughout, and I really struggled with how to rate this book. If I was rating it solely based on my desire to move to Salvation Island, it would be an easy 5. However, due to all of the above, I had to adjust my rating accordingly.

And as much as I don't think self-coupling is for me (and yes, I guess I'm already married so it doesn't really apply), if it were possible to marry an ISLAND?!

Send out those invitations now! 👰 🍀


3.5 stars, rounded down from 4
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,183 reviews30.5k followers
May 7, 2022
I really loved One Day in December, Josie Silver’s debut. I also enjoyed this fun play on words title, One Night on the Island.

About the book: “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.”

One Night on the Island is the story of Cleo and Mack. Cleo is turning thirty about to take a sabbatical to a remote Irish island. She’s treating herself to a nice cabin and some time to figure out where life will take her next.

Mack’s life is not going as planned either. He needs some time alone to figure things out and finds his way to the same island, all the way from Boston.

Somehow Mack and Cleo have booked the same cabin on the same dates, and the ferry won’t be back for another week. At first, they cannot stand each other, but with time, things settle in. They settle in.

From the very start I was charmed with Cleo and Mack and wanted great things for them. Sometimes these milestone birthdays leave us reeling when we aren’t in a place we thought we would be. I could relate to some of their feelings and doubts. The authentic, real-life feel grabbed hold of me and connected me to the story. I also smiled and laughed a few times at the banter. The ending brings it all together in a genuine way.

Overall, I think I enjoyed this one even more than One Day, and I cannot wait for what’s next from Josie Silver.

I received a gifted copy.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for DeAnn.
1,357 reviews
February 15, 2022
*Happy pub day - this great book is now available!

5 spectacular stars (wish I could give it 10 stars)

For me, this was the perfect book! I loved the setting, loved the premise, loved the characters, and loved how it ended! I almost wish I could read it again, but I need to let it settle a bit. This might become one of those books I read every year! I have given all of Josie Silver’s books 5 stars, but this is my favorite.

I adored the character of Cleo Wilder, she’s a writer for the top women’s magazine in the UK and approaching her 30th birthday. She writes about dating and finding the perfect partner. However, since that hasn’t happened for her, she has a new assignment from her boss. Head to a remote island and self-couple, who needs a life partner at a certain time in life anyway? Cleo isn’t quite sure what all the assignment will entail, but she has time to figure it out, and enjoy some solo time.

The other main character is Mack Sullivan, an American photographer, who is also headed to Salvation Island to have some time alone and do some soul searching, discovering his roots. What neither character realizes is that they are double-booked for the same (one-room) cabin, the Otter Lodge. Neither one of them will budge, both expecting the other to find different accommodations or take the boat back to the mainland.

They bristle in each other’s presence, trying to accomplish their goals while another person is around. They establish some ground rules and one of the things I loved was they got to the point of sharing three things about each other before drifting off to sleep. What a great way to get to know these characters!

We get to know some of the other people on the island and the landscape sounds amazing! Not tropical, but unique, and beautiful. The pub is a natural gathering place as is the community center with a lovely group of women who knit! I just fell in love with the setting and I’m dreaming about finding my own Otter Lodge someday! The characters are so realistic, flawed, and well-drawn. I really felt that I got to know them over the course of the book.

I don’t want to tell you much more, but it’s only January and this one will be a favorite of 2022. I thought it wrapped up in a realistic way and these characters will stay in my heart!

Jayme and I thoroughly enjoyed buddy reading this one. Be sure to read her review for her insights.

A hearty thank you to Random House/Ballantine for the opportunity to read and review this one. It was my pleasure to share my thoughts about this one!
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.5k followers
August 3, 2022
This was a pretty fun (albeit average) read! I really enjoyed the almost whimsical small-town island setting and all of the side characters that inhabited it, but if I'm being completely honest I didn't really care much for either of our main characters, Cleo and Mac. There was nothing necessarily wrong with them as individuals, but together I just felt like they had no actual chemistry? And it really kind of took away from the romantic ~there's only one bed~ potential this book had. With all that being said, this wasn't terrible! Just not a new favorite for me and with this being my third somewhat meh book from Silver, I'm not sure I'll be rushing back to read more from her anytime soon. We shall see!

CW: death of a loved one, divorce
Profile Image for Trish.
257 reviews397 followers
December 9, 2021
Thank you to the RHPG - Ballantine and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this much anticipated new novel by Josie Silver in exchange for my honest opinion. I loved One Day in December; I wish I could say the same for this novel but it’s just not my cup of tea. Maybe next time Silver!


This is a tough one to rate because of the subject matter it deals with. I’ll jump right into it. The male lead character is married for the entirety of the novel - legally still married with two children. They’ve been separated for months, almost a year, but the wife is the one who initiated the separation and, on his end, he is still very much hopeful about reconciliation. All the way up until about 50% of the story, he is seemingly still in love with his wife and serious about going back home and working on his marriage and being there for his family. Only upon learning that his wife is already seeing someone new does he take the plunge and enter a “no-strings attached holiday sex-athon” with his very eager roommate.

Look, everyone’s a consenting adult and there are more morally gray situations here than in 50 Shades, but when I read Romance or Women’s fiction what I’m looking for is a male lead and a situation that I can imagine myself in. And I want that scenario to unfold in a satisfying way.

Personally, I am never - ever - not in a million years - having sex with a man who I know is still legally married. I don’t care if it’s not cheating because they’ve been separated blah blah blah. There are kids involved - and as the book explores - the kids are rattled when they discover that their mom is seeing someone other than their dad. I would NEVER be the person who knows all of the baggage this man is carrying and dealing with and suggest that we have a lot of sex and romance while he’s in another country away from his family. This romance and time spent on the island could have been sweet, tender, full of loving gestures and words unsaid but mutually felt. Instead, by making it all about the physical and sexual nature of their relationship, it ruined the chemistry and romantic build up between the two main characters for me.

That’s all there is to it. It’s a one-star read for me - I mean, I WAS at least able to read to the end. But wow, the more I read about Mack and Susie the less I liked our female lead. It’s not that I think Mack should get back with his wife. It’s that he SHOULD NOT have been sexing it up with some rando while his marriage is falling apart. I didn’t like that the female protagonist basically coerced him into this make shift one night stand and then is all, I love you but I totally understand if you want to go back to your wife and kids. GIRL, if you know there’s a chance he could still be there for his wife and kids WHY DID YOU SLEEP WITH HIM? He’s married. Period. Whether or not he can actually fix his marriage is immaterial and none of her business. I would never physically, sexually engage with a confused, heartbroken, married guy. I don’t care if he looks like Han Solo with two different colored eyes like a husky. Sorry. Married is just not my type.

It reminds me of that one episode of Friends when Joey and Monica discover Janice making out with her ex husband the mattress king and they tell Chandler about it (who was dating Janice at the time). When confused about what to do, Joey gives the best advice: back out. If there’s even the slightest chance that they could get back together, the decent thing to do is to let them explore that and come to their own final conclusion. They’re a family. You don’t get in the middle of that. And if in the end they break up, separate and divorce - sure you guys can find your way back to each other. But the female lead in this book makes light of Mack’s marital problems and confusions multiple times and asserts herself onto him physically and sexually, despite knowing that he still loves his kids and wife and has loose ends and wants to try and make it work for their kids. Huh??
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,422 reviews35.2k followers
February 21, 2022
Two people, one island, a one-bedroom hideaway....

Cleo Wilder is a relationship/dating columnist who gets sent to Salvation Island by her publisher. She is going to spend her birthday alone while self-coupling, like Emma Watson did on her birthday. But it is hard to self-couple when you find a man in the one-bedroom hideaway that you rented. A man who says he rented the cabin, and he is not leaving.

Mack has been looking forward to getting away from his life in Boston. Things are in shambles, and he needs some time to regroup. He was also hoping to learn more about where his family came from. If only there wasn't woman in his rented hideaway claiming it was her cabin!

Tension, angst begins to ebb and flow throughout the cozy little hideaway. What would you do? Both traveled to get there, and both are stuck as the ferry only comes weekly. Mix ups happen, right? But how comfortable would you be stuck with a stranger?


I found this book to be as charming as the villagers. There is a line drawn in chalk.... will it be crossed? What happens when two different people begin to work through the tension, talk and spend time together?

This was quite the journey. Both go through individual journeys while also going on a journey together. This was a book that should be savored and read slowly. Life, you never know what is going to come your way, or how things will change over time. This book is about change, taking a break, looking at your life, taking chances, accepting (and loving) yourself, amongst other things.

Josie Silver has done it again! One Day in December remains my favorite book by her, but this one does not disappoint.

Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Ballantine Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com
Profile Image for Angie Cox.
366 reviews1,911 followers
February 12, 2022
1.5 ⭐️ Not for me, but I’m clearly in the minority

This was my first DNF and I stopped reading at 40%. I'm disappointed because it has all the elements I usually enjoy: romantic setting (a remote Irish island), booking reservation mixup, one bed/house trope, and immediate animosity between the MCs. Unfortunately, none of that was appealing to me in this story.

The writing is structurally and grammatically sound, but the story was boring and I hated the characters so much that I couldn’t continue.

Why did I think the story was boring? Well, after finishing 1/3 of the story, nothing happened except the reservation mixup and some boring arguments. Most of this story has been the inner thoughts of the two MCs (it’s dual POV), and they’re extremely long-winded. Specifically, Mack who thinks about his kids constantly - I don’t care about the scent of your kid’s shampoo or their sleeping positions - and Cleo who complains about her turning thirty, her friend Ruby, or her current dilemma with Mack. I’m usually one who enjoys details, but even I have my limits.

Why did I hate the characters? Well, based on some of what I said above, they aren’t presented in a likable way. Cleo is a 30-year-old love columnist who comes off as a self-absorbed brat who complains about everything. The only thing she seems to appreciate is Salvation Island. I’m sure she's supposed to have some character growth later in the story but I couldn’t stick around to watch. Mack on the other hand is a 34-year-old photographer who's on the verge of divorce and somehow comes to the conclusion that leaving his family alone is in their best interest. But all he does while away is mope about how he misses his kids.

There were also so many different, random things that didn’t make sense or were ridiculous:

- Mack believes that because his family owns the lodge, he deserves to stay more than Cleo, who paid for it and has email confirmations! How does that make sense??? Plus his 'family' is a second cousin twice removed.

- When Cleo calls her boss to tell her about the situation and says she wants to leave the island, her boss says “No! Cleo, you absolutely can’t. How’s that going to look to our readers? You know ninety-five percent of reader loyalty is based on trust.” Ummmm okay, no? She’s a freaking columnist and her readers would understand if she had to write about something else instead of staying on a small island in the same house with a random male stranger. I can’t believe her boss prioritized the paper over an employee's safety and well-being. And Cleo lets her.

- Mack leaving his family alone in order to give his wife, Susie, space is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. She tells him out of the blue that she wants him to “step out of the picture for a while so she can think straight.” But she had plenty of time to think while he was away for months on assignment, and now she basically kicks him out again with no better reason than I want space? Wtf. And the worst part is, he leaves! He should have said no, put a pause on work trips, and scheduled couples therapy for him and his wife. You don’t leave your family when sh*t hits the fan. Leaving never solves anything.

- Mack is a married man and cheats. Sure they are 'separated' but he's also incredibly torn up about the possibility of divorce. Yet somehow he's going to develop romantic feelings for Cleo and act on them? Ick. Up until a few weeks ago, Mack thought his life was fine and loved his wife, so it just makes me hate him for getting into a romantic entanglement, or let's just call it what it is - an affair. Someone who truly loves their wife and respects their marriage wouldn't do this. I don't like stories about cheating, so this really bothered me.

- Cleo acts like a child. She’s so unnecessarily dramatic. When they get drunk, and she decides they need boundary lines in the lodge. So, she uses chalk to draw physical lines. This is ridiculous. Is she 5 years old?

- Cleo justifies losing her virginity to her English teacher at 17 because he was a substitute teacher, only 23, and 'wet behind the ears.' I’m sorry, no. Just no. While the age of consent in the Uk is 16 years old, it’s predatory because of the power dynamic.

Overall, this story was not for me. There are a lot of positive reviews though so read a few of those before deciding if it’s something you’d like to read. I really did try to get into this story though. Even picked it up three separate times but I just can’t continue to force myself to keep reading a book I’m not enjoying. Life’s too short.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review! As always, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,168 reviews37.3k followers
November 28, 2021
Review posted to blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

Is it possible to fall in love just a little? That is the question and Josie Silver (and Kaceey) have the answer.

In One Night on the Island, anything is possible.

Cleo is the writer of a British dating column who goes to Salvation Island in search of answers and to marry herself. Yep, you heard that right. She plans to “self-couple.” Unlucky in love and about to turn the big 30, she has decided to take matters into her own hands and make a pledge to herself.

Cleo however, ends up finding oh so much more after meeting Mack, the American she meets while traveling to Salvation Island, who ends up sharing not just her cabin, but also her bed!

Sweet, fun, and utterly magical, these two might just make you fall in Micro-love. That is if you’re a believer.

Although I really enjoyed this novel, I didn’t quite love it as much as Josie Silver’s other novels.

I will admit that the idea of self-coupling didn’t quite appeal to me at the time (something I discussed with Kaceey at length (as a single woman myself)) until I took a little vacation to Coronado Island a few weeks ago and happened upon the most gorgeous hotel ever. Upon seeing it, I immediately texted Kaceey and said that it was so pretty I imagined that everyone would want to get married there and that I'd even go so far as to marry myself there too! At that exact moment, I burst out laughing realizing exactly what I said, as did Kaceey. Bravo Ms Silver, Bravo!

A fabulous buddy read with Kaceey!

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing - Ballantine for the arc.

Published on Goodreads and Twitter.
Profile Image for Marieke (mariekes_mesmerizing_books).
508 reviews336 followers
February 15, 2022
Don’t think this is your usual rom-com! It’s so much more than that. It’s raw and honest and heartwarming. I even can’t put into words what this story did to me.

Cleo is turning thirty without a significant other and visits a small Irish island to be significantly alone. She’s going to marry herself because she’s enough already, alone but not lonely. Mack was married with two kids when he turned thirty, and now at thirty-five, he’s screwed up, not sure about a lot of things anymore and visiting the island as well, looking for his roots.

One Night on the Island is about two messed-up people and what they need in life. I loved the descriptive and sometimes even lyrical writing. I loved the only one-bed trope, or more precisely, the one-room trope (think of an imaginary line in the middle). I loved their ‘three things’ conversations in the dark. I loved the sisterhood on the island, all those different women who had solidarity and kinship instilled into their bones. I loved Mack, such a great dad, and I loved to read a male’s point of view in a straight rom-com. I loved to immerse myself in those characters with all their flaws and imperfections who felt so incredibly real. And finally, I loved that ending, so fitting for this not your usual rom-com.

This book was so much better than I initially thought it would be. The more I read, the more I was invested in Cleo’s and Mack’s story. They had so much doubt and hesitation, just like we all have in life, and their struggles were so genuine. Once in a while, I got this feeling in my chest and my stomach when I found another layer in this wonderful book, and at those moments, I got lumps in my throat, swallowing got difficult, and I cried—beautiful, ugly tears.

There’s one thing, though, that could put readers off. Without giving too much away, it’s got something to do with cheating. I saw one and two-star ratings because of this topic, and even though I believe the story is beautifully nuanced, if cheating really is a red flag for you, if there’s no grey for you when it comes to this topic, please, think twice. Because then this might not be the book for you. For all the others who love a rom-com that colors outside the usual lines, that’s moving and raw and teaches us so much about self-acceptance, please read this incredible story!

I received an ARC from Penguin General UK and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Val (pagespoursandpups).
325 reviews83 followers
January 29, 2022
I've just finished this heart-wrenching read and had to immediately put my thoughts down. This book took a little while to get into, but once it took hold of me, there was no putting this one down. I loved this island, I loved these characters, I loved the struggles, I loved the honesty and I loved the idea of self-love.

In the end, this book was about finding the ability to love yourself for exactly who you are. Being able to see your weaknesses as part of your make-up instead of something you are always lamenting and wanting to change. I loved the character growth shown in this story. I loved the importance of parenting, I loved the importance of family. I loved the importance of heritage. And I loved the focus on finding strength within yourself rather than always looking to others to build it up.

Cleo and Mack both go to Salvation Island looking for a respite from their normal lives. Cleo goes on assignment for an online column based in London, and Mack travels from America to see the place where his roots were formed. The island is extremely cold weather-wise, but extremely welcoming in the way that only a small town, tight knit community that relies on each other for everything can be.

Cleo is nearing her thirtieth birthday, and is ready to make peace with the fact that she may never find her "flamingo." She is ready to "marry" herself and be fine with whatever path life has in store for her. Mack is reeling from a separation with his wife and childhood sweetheart and a more distant relationship with his two boys. He is a family man to the core and the separation and distance from everyday life with his family is killing him. What starts as two people thrown together becomes a friendship they never saw coming.

I loved, loved, loved the angst and heartache of the love stories within this book. I loved that there were so many directions this story could take. I loved that each character came to see their faults, but also their worth and a glimmer of what they each deserved. In order not to spoil the story for anyone reading this review, I will stop the summary of the story here. What I will say is that this book had my heart ripped open and I enjoyed every minute of sadness, grief, longing, love, community and self-discovery. Can you tell I loved this one yet?

I highly recommend this one. The writing, the cadence and the story were all outstanding and captivating. I can't wait to read some of this author's backlog. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House-Ballentine for the ARC to read and review. Pub date: 2.15.22
Profile Image for Christy.
3,916 reviews33k followers
May 3, 2022
3 stars

One Night on the Island was such a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the small town community and found family aspect. I liked the scenic writing and some of the secondary characters. I didn't love the romance and I would really struggle to classify this as a romance and not contemporary fiction. I was waiting for the ending to wow me and though I liked the ending, it didn't make up for the rest.
Audio book source: Libby
Story Rating: 3 stars
Narrators: Davis Brooks & Eleonor Tomlinson
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 10h 21m
Profile Image for Jess Owens.
325 reviews4,559 followers
July 12, 2022
DNF @ 18%. I felt nothing for these people, I felt no chemistry, no potential chemistry. Their anger towards each other wasn’t entertaining and didn’t give me tension or longing. I just don’t care.
Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
635 reviews572 followers
Want to read
August 25, 2021
I love Josie Silver and I can't wait to read this book, but why the same cover as One Day in December?
I hope it won't turn people off because they would see it and think it is a re release of the book they already saw/read. The title is very similar too so I wouldn't be surprised if the cover does injustice to selling rates...
Profile Image for Christina Lauren.
Author 103 books72k followers
January 23, 2022
How this book manages to be simultaneously uproarious and sweetly nostalgic can only be explained by Josie Silver’s masterful pen. Love ‘only one bed’? Try ‘only one cabin, only one island’. With Silver’s dazzling voice, belly-laugh hilarity, and the coziest Irish setting you can imagine, One Night on the Island is a perfectly-executed and quintessential romantic comedy.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,483 reviews7,780 followers
March 6, 2023
So I 5 Starred One Day In December and would happily recommend that book to anyone, but I am sad to report when it comes to this one . . .

Let’s start with the title. One Month on the Island would have been more accurate – or Eight Days of Instaloving Bang Session, but I get it – the marketing powers that be thought the tie-in to the title of “One Day” would be a winner. Not actually what happened, but nobody asked for my input. Really, since Cleo and Mack get to know each other by telling three things about themselves every night, Tell Me Three Things probably would have been the most fitting title, but Julie Buxbaum already wrote that book (and I gave it 5 Stars too, so you’re welcome for me ruining your TBR today if you trust my opinions).

Next we get to the trope. While I am a fan of the unplanned roommate situation, after reading this one I think I might need them to know each other beforehand. This whole cottage/island situation was weird for me. You’re talking about a place that would obviously be a quaint tourist trap, but the people apparently hate outsiders and all must be independently wealthy that they don’t need outside dollars whatsoever so there’s other lodging aside from one tiny cabin. But then the ladies of the town instantly embrace all things which are Cleo?????

The chemistry was pretty much nonexistent for me and when it comes to . . . . .

Yeah, that’s not my jam either. Mack clearly didn’t want to NOT be married to his wife . . . until magically he’s over her and Cleo is under him.

And speaking of Cleo – the idea that she was going to this island to “marry herself” after not finding her flamingo????

This book was a mixed bag for my Goodreads’ friends which makes me feel like less of a wrongreader. If it’s on your TBR, definitely keep it there because my gripes are ones that could definitely be of the “it’s me/not you” variety.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Profile Image for Dee (Delighting in the Desert!).
282 reviews27 followers
March 13, 2022
4.5 rounded up. I really, really LOVED this story!! Didn't want it to end, but I needed that resolution. The very remote & charming island setting (don't we all need "Salvation" these days?) & secondary village characters stole my heart and the enemies-to-lovers trope between the two emotionally damaged MC's - so well written & different. I think this one is even better than her debut, and that's saying something.
Profile Image for Sylvie .
686 reviews960 followers
April 9, 2022
3 out of 5 stars.

Well, I guess the third time was a charm.

This book better make me sad, ugly and cry as the author's other books did.

And now we have a synopsis.


The only thing left for me to wait now besides the obvious is the cover reveal. *DUN DUN DUN*

Not my favorite romance author announcing a new book. 😭😭😭

Not to self: Do not read this book in public and cry like you did with her previous books.
Profile Image for Littlebookworm.
235 reviews79 followers
April 23, 2022
Cleo works for a dating column, writing about 'finding her flamingo'. However, lately her heart no longer seems to be in it and sensing this her editor has a proposition. For Cleo's upcoming 30th birthday, she wants her to 'marry herself', with an all expenses included trip to the remote Salvation Island, off the Irish Coast. Naturally Cleo's immediate response is not all that forthcoming, however, she decides to go along with it and soon finds herself arriving at Otter Lodge. The only problem is that the lodge appears to have been double-booked. Mack Sullivan is an annoying American, who refuses to leave, and with Cleo stubbornly refusing to head back to London herself, and no other accommodation available on the Island, it seems the two are stuck sharing the lodge together!

I loved Silver's first book, One Day in December, and her second offering, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird, whilst not quite living up to her debut, was also a touching and thoughtful read. As such I was eagerly looking forward to her third book and am glad to say that I was not disappointed. Certainly one can see her growth as a writer, and this book has a more mature tone and feel to it. Whilst romance does feature heavily in the story, I would say that overall this is more a book about finding and loving oneself than anything else, and I appreciated that concept. On that note, I will say though that initially the idea of Cleo 'marrying herself' did seem rather far-fetched, and whilst the notion remained a little bizarre throughout the story, the sentiment behind it and what it came to mean did actually resonate very well. We can often place too much emphasis on finding the right person to complete us, but as Cleo discovers you don't need another person to define your happiness in life, that comes from having a sense of self-fulfillment, and that is the journey that Cleo undertakes in this book.

I have to say that I didn't all that much like Cleo at the start of the story, she seemed rather whiny and self-absorbed, however, she undergoes a transformation on Salvation Island, and the strong, independent and compassionate woman that emerged was one that I was really drawn to.

The situation with the lodge being double-booked does seem rather contrived and there for plot convenience, so as to force these two characters into proximity, and I was at this stage of the story expecting a more traditional rom-com given the set up, however, that is not at all how it turned out. Both Cleo and Mack are on Salvation Island for their own reasons and to work through things, both desperately need this time and space, but it turns out they also need each other, and I really enjoyed the tender relationship that evolved between them after the initial hostilities.

Unlike Cleo, Mack was a character that I was immediately drawn to. He is in the process of going through a separation from his wife, and I thought Silver did a fantastic job of depicting his emotional struggle to adjust to his new life. In particular his love for his two sons really shone through, as did his determination to be a good father no matter what was happening between him and Susie. He always seemed like such a dependable character that it was very easy to like him.

I would say that if you are the sort of reader who can't tolerate the idea of a still married, albeit separated man having a relationship with another woman, then this is likely not the book for you. However, I appreciated the messy complexities of real life depicted in this book, and thought it gave the story added layers and a maturity. Furthermore, to me it was always very clear that Mack was a man with a great deal of personal integrity.

Salvation Island, a fictional setting, is very much a character in its own right and central to the story. I loved its sense of remoteness and also the strong sense of community among its inhabitants. Cleo develops some really strong friendships on the Island, and I loved the knitting group and the sense of sisterhood among the Island women. Furthermore, the Island is crucial to Cleo's personal journey in reconnecting with herself, and again that idea of how easy it is to become lost in the daily 'rat race' and for your inner voice to be drowned out by all the noise was well depicted and resonated.

I liked the structure of the story, with chapters from both Cleo and Mack's point of views as it helped get a better insight to both their characters and inner thought processes. The majority of the book takes place on the Island, though there is a shift to Boston later on as we continue to catch up with Mack, and I think it added to the story to get more of an insight into his family life.

Overall, this book was probably not quite what I was expecting, but certainly turned out to be a book that I very much enjoyed. It was a slow and gentle story and I liked its central themes of connecting with oneself, loved the setting, and appreciated the tender and mature romance it offered. Another great offering from Silver.

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