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The Island

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  40,738 ratings  ·  2,661 reviews
A summertime story only Elin Hilderbrand can tell: a family in upheaval after a cancelled wedding fill an island summer with heartache, laughter, and surprises.
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
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  40,738 ratings  ·  2,661 reviews

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Jo Anne B
Jun 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
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!!
Aug 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booklender, 2018-read
The Island - Tuckernuck, a real honest to goodness island about 1/2 mile from Nantucket. It is there that 4 women, 2 sets of sisters go to relax, regenerate and resolve their own personal problems and those of their family.

There is
Birdie - mother of Chess and Tate, a hopeless romantic and the victim of a failed marriage
Chess - (short for Francesca) who broke her engagement to Mr Wonderful because she did not love him enough
Tate - always playing second fiddle to Chess and wants to find love on
Book Concierge
Mar 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
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 theyre in junior high.

Heres 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 eleven
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
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
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fun-or-frivolity
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janet Robel
Well-crafted characters but a slow story. The island of Tuckernuck sounds heavenly. I was really hoping for more of a happy beach read with these four women instead of lots of drama. However, real life is messy, so it was aptly written.
Carla Johnson-Hicks
I took this book with me to read by the pool in Florida, it seemed like it would be an easy read. I was very wrong. I read a little bit of this book each day but it took awhile to finish. The island of Tuckernuck sounds heavenly. I was really hoping for more of a happy beach read with these four women instead of lots of drama.

This book was full of angst. Birdie and her sister India, grew up spending summers on Tuckernuck. Birdie is now the owner of the house on Tuckernuck, but no one has been
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.

I enjoyed Elin Hilderbrand's storytelling, she really drew me in. As the story flowed, I enjoyed getting to 'know' these characters even better. They each had a story to share, and each story was slowly revealed. The book is told in alternating point of views from the four women.

Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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!
Nov 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Barbara Sissel
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jul 31, 2012 rated it liked it
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!
May 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, audio-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Erin Martin
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Amanda McGill
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
For full review - The Limit of Books Does Not Exist

I first read an Elin Hilderbrand novel earlier this year and Im addicted! They are great escape reads that are perfect for reading on a beach or just curled up on the couch! The Island is no exception and it was perfect for a fall couch read!

The Island focuses on 4 women 2 daughters, their mother and their aunt. Each of them is broken and escape to Tuckernuck Island. The biggest flaw in this novel, was the women werent very likable. The
Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?
The Cousins family thought they knew how their summer was going to be. Spend a week at the family home in Tuckernuck and then prepare for Chess's wedding in September. But those plans would not pan out as it was supposed to. When Chess calls off her engagement and then her finance ends up dead, everyone's world is thrown into a tailspin. Birdie, decides that instead of just her and Chess spending a week at the family home, it should be both of her girls for the entire month of July. Then her ...more
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Susan Bright
Sep 04, 2012 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
I picked this book up because a close friend of mine (hi, Zach!) is practically the unofficial president of the Elin Hilderbrand fan club and has been encouraging me to try her books, despite my whines about how much I can't get into romance. It is roughly 100 degrees with full sun here in the Philly burbs - if any time is the right time to visit Nantucket, it's now.

The Island really surprised me. My preconceived notions of any beachy romance are that the characters are going to be one
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Aug 04, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Sep 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Alyson Larrabee
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I just binge read two of these books: The Island and The Rumor. I'm too old to feel guilty about guilty pleasures, especially if they're books, but if you're looking for heavy-duty, complicated, artsy literature, don't bother with these. Or, read these books and hide them underneath the cover of something more literarily respectable, like maybe Lincoln in the Bardo, or James Joyce.
I suspect, after reading two of these that the author has a formula. Ms. Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket and writes
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an audiobook for me, and I found the reader's voice soothing, welcoming, and expressive. My favourite aspect is that the book is set mostly on a small island near Nantucket. And then that 4 women in a family--Mom, sister, 2 daughters--have agreed to revisit and recoup at the family cabin for different reasons, which are explored and resolved throughout the story. I am older than the 30 year old daughters in the book, but I do have a mom, aunt, and island though...
Dec 29, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014-reads
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
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Bookworm Bitches : August 2011: The Island 162 305 Feb 09, 2017 10:45AM  
Same book? 1 9 Apr 15, 2015 10:21AM  
Women Fiction Emp...: The Island 1 7 Jul 29, 2013 01:54PM  
Women Fiction Emp...: * New book 5 13 Jun 19, 2013 08:49PM  

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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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