It is my pleasure to bring you my review of One Night on the Island by Josie Silver.
Cleo is a writer who writes about love but is yet to find it for herself. She has a dating column in a magazine, but she is fast approaching 30 and becoming disillusioned by both her life and her work. When her editor sends her to a remote Irish island to marry herself as a way of marking her 30th birthday, she embraces the idea, even if she’s not yet quite sure what it all means. What she doesn’t want however, is the tall dark American man she finds in her rental cottage on arrival.
Mack, the tall dark American, has escaped to Salvation Island in the hope of creating a photographic exhibition that will surpass anything he’s created before. He has spent years dreaming of following his Grandmothers stories to Salvation Island, but he finally gets the push when he realises he and his wife may be creating a toxic environment for their sons whilst they are separated. What he doesn’t need is some hippy woman in his cottage, intent on marrying herself.
This is a love story, but not in the typical sense. Cleo is a strong, independent woman looking for purpose, and she knows she doesn’t need a man to find it. Mack is a broken man who needs to navigate his marital breakdown whilst ensuring his sons are always his primary focus. They certainly don’t need each other at this point in their lives, but they may just find that wanting each other doesn’t have to mean giving up on their individual dreams.
This was such a lovely story – I loved the remote, harsh landscape of Salvation Island with its tiny community cut off from the rest of the UK. But mostly I loved the characters. I loved that neither one of them wanted to compromise on their aims for the future, and that neither of them had to. Cleo is headstrong and independent, whilst being feminine, loving and empathetic. Mack is a man who is lost and emotional, but with a deep understanding of the need to allow others to grow. The chemistry between them is slow burning, and builds beautifully.
I am more than happy to recommend this novel. This is my first Josie Silver novel, but it certainly won’t be my last!