Book Review: One Night on the Island by Josie Silver

One cottage. Two strangers.
Every great love story starts somewhere…

Cleo writes about love stories every day. She just isn’t living one of her own.

When the editor of her dating column asks her to marry herself on a remote Irish island – a sensational piece to mark Cleo’s thirtieth birthday – Cleo agrees. She’s alone but not lonely, right? She can handle a solo adventure.

Cleo arrives at her luxury cabin to find a tall, dark, stubborn American who insists it’s actually his. Mack refuses to leave, and Cleo won’t budge either. With a storm fast approaching, they reluctantly hunker down together. It’s just one night, after all…

But what if one night on the island is just the beginning?

What I Thought:

One Night on the Island is a complicated book – certainly not in the way it’s written, but in the necessary complications of being stuck on a remote island and having to bunk with a stranger.

Cleo is an aspiring author, who has come to Salvation Island to work, but could this time out be what she needs to make a decision about her future? Mack is on a more personal mission, but his need for time out is similar to Cleo’s – he’s separated from his wife so has removed himself to give her the time she needs to see what she wants.

Both these people are thrown together due to a mistaken double booking, but can they get along for the time it takes for the once-weekly boat to come back?

I very much enjoyed this book – Josie Silver is a great writer and I’ve enjoyed both her previous books – as it has a firm sense of place with the isolated but idyllic Salvation Island. Cleo and Mack are complex characters, each in their own way running from something, who end up running to each other.

Although there are some admittedly moral grey areas here (but we’re all adults, aren’t we?) it ends up being quite a sweet love story between two lost souls.

The supporting cast are proper characters, with the local knitting club adopting Cleo while she’s on they island, and the warmth she finds in the community makes Cleo question the true value of friendship. Outside of the romance, this strong, female kinship is lovely to see here.

I saw someone else review this book and call it a ‘happy ending…for now’. I think this sums it up really well – there is a happy ending here, but acknowledgement that things in the modern world are tricky – fan fiction writers could have a field day with this book!

One Night on the Island is published on 15th February 2022 by Penguin UK.

Find Josie Silver online at

Please note: I was sent a copy of this book, via Netgalley, for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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