Book Club: The Enchanted Island

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Author: Ellie O’Neill
ISBN: 9781925030013
RRP: $29.99

Ellie O’Neill is back with her second modern Irish folktale and I loved it.

Maeve O’Brien is an apprentice lawyer in the independent Dublin legal firm Holmes and Friedman, she is 27 and quite the modern lass. Maeve is technologically obsessed and just as obsessed with appearances.

Life is all a little crumbly for Maeve with rumoured redundancies at work and the dust not yet settled from the biggest fight she’s ever had with her bestie, a fight that leaves her living back home with Mam.

Maeve’s boss Harry Holmes has a special job he needs done and he selects Maeve for her tenacity, and her single status that leaves her able to set off on travel commitments at the drop of a hat. Maeve isn’t given much information, just that she needs to collect the signature of a man on documents for the sale of land to build a bridge.

The bridge build is enough to excite Maeve as it reminds her of a time that she worked building sites and construction during college, the tomboy turned in her steel caps and swapped them for stilettos in her final year of college.

Since switching her steel caps for stilettos she has also found an unhealthy obsession with selfies, sometimes taking up to half an hour to capture the perfect shot (ugh who has time for that) and religiously following her likes creeping up and her social life on social media. At 27 she’s obsessed with her appearance, botox being the backbone of her bestie brawl, and drowning in debt.

Escaping Dublin couldn’t come at a better time. This little job could be the cement building block for her career and how hard could it be to get an old man’s signature.

Hy Brasil is almost a completely new world for Maeve, there are no cars, no traffic lights, no fast food and very little in the way of a social life. The best thing that can be said about her island accommodations is that they are dry. High fashion, high maintenance Maeve is being put up in a tin caravan in the middle of a muddy field, and she’s pretty sure she’s not going to like it.

the enchanted island

The Enchanted Island takes a, possibly slightly exaggerated, look at the quest for beauty and the perfect appearance, but at what cost. We see how Maeve has lost herself behind the online shopping, credit card debt, botox, designer clothes and quest for the perfect selfie. In Dublin the only time she could be seen naturally was in the dead of night. In Hy Brasil the need to primp and preen seems a little shallow, who will appreciate it – surely not the sheep.

Maeve soon discovers that there’s more to Hy Brasil than meets the eye. The simple signature is anything but, the wind howls like a banshee and the older generation are fit but far from friendly. No-one seems willing to talk about the strangeness but Maeve finds herself more and more intrigued.

Irish folklore is deftly woven into a modern tale of progress and romance. Hy Brasil is an island steeped in history, centuries of history, and the elder islanders have been a part of that history for generations.

The Enchanted Island is an authentic and enjoyable follow-up to O’Neill’s stellar debut Reluctantly Charmed. I was invested in Maeve’s journey and wanted to see where this trip would take her. The history of the island was engaging and I was always wanting to get to the bottom of the mystery, and wondering if Maeve would ever get all of the answers.

There is a strong sense of romance on The Enchanted Island, and a few different romances to follow. Maeve’s romance builds slowly until it becomes encompassing, it was believably written and drew you in until you had to know how she was going to cope because this was all so new for her.

An interesting meld of old world Irish folklore and the modern world, with progress trying to push its way in and upset the balance. It really is quite a reflection on a lot of what is happening across the world today. Definitely worth the read and I will be interested to hear what our readers have to say.

A little bit mystery, a little bit suspense, a little bit folklore and a little bit romance makes for a massive story steeped in history at the same time as modern technology.

30 of our lucky readers will also be reading The Enchanted Island so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

The Enchanted Island is book #63 for The Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2015.

Ellie O’Neill can be found on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

38 thoughts on “Book Club: The Enchanted Island

  1. I read a lot of books at this time of year as the intense heat arrives.
    It’s time to hibernate in a cool atmosphere to read a few books while relaxing with a cold drink.

  2. Last book I reviewed was Season of Shadow and Light. I am an insatiable reader of all sorts of genres. This book intrigues me as not only does the story sound interesting, it also appeals to me as I spent my childhood in Ireland and have visited quite often. I can promise an open-minded, thoughtful and prompt review.

  3. I read her first book and really enjoyed it. I think she is a very good author and will end up with many books published in the future. I would really love to read the current book to see if it is as good as her 1st one

  4. Ireland has always held a fascination for me, for many reasons. This book sounds interesting and I’d love to read the first novel. I’m sure those lucky people chosen to read and review will have a great novel in their hands,

  5. THE ENCHANTED ISLAND is a fantastic read. There are many laugh out loud funny moments which I always enjoy in any story. The writing is clever and beautifully descriptive.

    Maeve is such a mess when we first meet her, but so much fun to read. I loved hearing her inner voice with her witty, snarky comments.

    There is a madcap cast of very interesting secondary characters and I would have loved to have known more about them.

    I do wish that Killian was a stronger character. He seemed to fade by comparison to other characters. The island, Hy Brasil, is a strong character & Maeve is a strong character, but I feel that if you lifted Killian right out of the story he would not be missed.

    I raced through this book trying to unravel the secrets and find out more about the magic of the island.

  6. I loved this book from start to finish the book flowed with twists and turns, when Maeve arrived on the Island I thought she would get straight back on the boat I could picture her slopping through the mud in her designer clothes and I actu laughed out loud when she had to get the wellington boots, the island Hy Brasil holds many secrets and some are disclosed near the end of the book I won’t say what as I don’t want to spoil for anyone some of the secrets in regards to the island are disclosed near the end of the book ( you will be suprised I was ) it was great to see Maeve become a better person this is a very enjoyable book
    Thanks

    1. Sorry repeated myself in regards to the secrets what I meant to say was some of the incidents noises were explained near the end of the book

  7. I quite enjoyed this easy to read book – enchanted you may say! I love a story that is a little bit different from the usual read and with it’s mythalogical and paranormal elements it was definitely that.

    I really enjoyed Maeve growing as a person, escaping the grip of social media and enjoying and interacting in the world around her. Also how she stopped plastering her insecurities with beauty treatments, procedures and designer clothes and learned to love herself as she is.

    I love a bit of romance and the romance between Maeve and Killian was wonderful and equally the love story of John and Cathy.

    I enjoyed all the characters on the island of Hy Brasil especially the gay couple, the surfer/computer guys and the hairdresser.

    As much as I enjoyed the story being different with the mythalogical and paranormal elements I like it when these things can be explained away rationally. Nearly all of the weird happenings like the noise, good health of islanders and exceptional properties of the island are explained away near the end. All except the “balancing” of the island. I felt it made the story less believable.

    Overall it kept me entertained and turning the pages faster till the end to find out all the secrets!

  8. The Enchanted Island by Ellie O’Neill is a charming, easy read, but is a strange mixture of mystery, myth, romance and social commentary.

    While I did ultimately find the book enjoyable, it wasn’t until the main character Maeve O’Brien gets to the island of Hy Brasil that the storyline starts to become interesting. Up until then, the first part of the book is a little tedious, basically introducing Maeve – a clueless young legal clerk who is trying so hard to create an image that she has lost her true self behind a facade of Botox, designer labels, meaningless hook-ups and an endless parade of selfies! Needless to say this self-absorbed, shopaholic, social media tart is not particularly likeable. Its no surprise when Maeve betrays her best friend’s trust resulting in her being kicked her out of their apartment.

    Eager to escape the mess she has created, Maeve jumps at a work opportunity, which requires her to go to Hy Brasil, a tiny island off the coast of Ireland, to get a signature from one of the inhabitants, so that a bridge to the mainland can be built. It seems like a simple task to finalise the deal, but things aren’t quite what they seem. The man whose signature she is chasing is elusive, many of the local people are openly hostile to her, strange things start to happen, bone chilling cries rent the night air, and Maeve can’t get past the feeling that everyone is hiding something…

    From the outset it is clear that this is going to be the story of Maeve’s discovery of her true self and what better place to do it than a remote, mystical island off the coast of Ireland? Here away from the trappings of modern life – no shops, no cars, no big city hustle and bustle, just winding lanes, quaint cottages, eccentric characters (including a delightful gay couple, two stoned out, surfing app developers, and the attractive schoolteacher Killian), Maeve starts to reevaluate her life and learn about herself as she unravels the secrets of the beautiful but dangerous island of Hy Brasil.

    This is an entertaining and easy to read book, and it was nice to see Maeve emerge from the shallow person she began as, into a warm and engaging person who the island ultimately rewards with her heart’s desire. 😉

  9. Maeve O’Brien is a 2nd year Apprentice Solicitor who is a total social media junkie and also a shopaholic. Without permission she uses her best friends credit card, is kicked out of the apartment they share and is forced to move back in with her mother. A recession in Ireland is putting at risk the job security of everyone and Maeve is worried about being made redundant. When called into the office of Harry Holmes, one of the 2 managing partners of the firm, she thought that was what was going to happen, however instead he told her he had a job for her. He wanted her to go to Hy Brasil, a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, where an old friend of his wanted to build a bridge to connect the island with the mainland. She was to get the signature of an elderly resident Sean Fitzpatrick, to sell his house to enable the bridge to proceed. By getting that signature her job would be secure and Maeve thought it was going to be very easy, but it turns out to be quite a lot harder.

    Maeve was met on the island by Dan ‘the old friend’ of the partner and taken to her ‘basic accommodation’, which turned out to be a caravan that looked like a giant green bowling ball made out of tin, but she didn’t mind it as she thought she would only be staying for a short time.

    Maeve found most of the residents of the island, especially the older ones, to be quite hostile to her and Sean, the man whose signature she needed, was being very elusive. She very quickly realised that her assignment, which seemed simple enough, was not going to be an easy one.

    Maeve cannot get past a feeling that the islanders are hiding something, strange things seem to happen and no-one will explain anything. There is something very unusual about the island, its old people seem to have immense strength, have no illnesses and live to an old age.

    Maeve initially missed the busy, hectic and fun filled social life in Dublin and craved cars, nightclubs, bright lights and noise, but the longer she was on the island the more she began to re-evaluate what she wanted in her life and not care about her appearance.

    The novel is well written, quite an entertaining read with suspense, myth and romance as well as a surprising but believable finish.

    Thank you Beauty & Lace and Simon & Schuster for giving me the opportunity to read this novel.

  10. The Enchanted Island is a must read over the Christmas Break.. I liked how this book was written with themes and language from today’s era mixed in with history and events of mythical Irish history.
    I loved the little map of the Island and kept looking back at it when a new place was introduced in the book.
    Wow ! did not expect this ending. Well written Ellie O’Neill.
    Looking forward to reading other titles of hers.

  11. I have just finished reading The Enchanted Island, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
    In the beginning of the book, Maeve is just a bit of a mess, and comes across as rather shallow.
    The way she treats her nearest and dearest isn’t nice at all. Without giving too much away, it is comforting to know that by the end of the book, she changes her ways.
    Some characters were more appealing than others. Killian didn’t seem a strong enough character for the storyline; I wanted more from him, as he had the potential to be a bigger part of the story than he ended up being.
    I must say that I did find it a bit hard to believe that Maeve would change her ways so instantly once she got on the island, but it didn’t take away from what is a really good story. This would make a great Christmas gift, or a great summer read. I am going to check out ‘Reluctantly Charmed’ by Ellie, as I really enjoy her writing style.
    I would recommend this book because it is really charming, funny, and enjoyable. Thanks to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review.

  12. What a fun read this was. It was written in a light hearted, witty, fun way and was very easy to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Maeve is sent by her boss to an island to get the signature of a man who will sell his land to enable a bridge to be built from the island to the mainland. Easy, eh? A quick flit over to the island, sign, home again. Done in a couple of days, right? And getting the signature will ensure Maeve’s job in a workplace where people are being let go.

    Of course, things don’t go according to plan. City based Maeve has to do a LOT of adjusting to life on the island, where there aren’t even any cars! Lots of sheep though, and MUD. Designer clothes just don’t fit in here.And the 2 day job is taking much longer than expected, as the man needed to sign is proving to be hard to find.

    During her time on the island, Maeve discovers what she CAN do without, and who she doesn’t need in her life. As her stay lengthens, she finds herself questioning her previous existance and looks hard at the things she has done. And Maeve grows up.

    The book is very modern, with up to date phone & social media being a necessary part of Maeve’s daily life. This is a delightful story that kept me amused and involved from start to finish. Heaps of laugh out loud moments, and a feel good end to the book. Thanks for selecting me to review it.

  13. Thank you so much to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review this book. This was a really intruiguing read from start to finish. I did feel it dragged on a bit in the beginning, I dont think it needn’t have been 400 plus pages but once it took off, particularly when Maeve arrives at Hy Brasil it became really interesting. This book is a real page turner and I loved how its a bit different from your usual general fiction novel with so many genres rolled into one ie. drama, romance, suspense, mystery etc. I liked seeing Maeve mature and grow after her time on the island and I found the love stories and romances between John and Cathy and Maeve and Killian in particular quite mesmerising. Also what was quite gripping was how far the islanders would go to protect their piece of paradise. As for the ending I was neither disappointed nor pleased. I would have liked for the relationships Maeve has with namely Killian, her Mam and Sasha to have been explored more deeply upon arriving back in Dublin. Overall, however I feel this is a worthwhile well written book that I recommend.

  14. Ellie O’Neil brings us an enchanting tale that draws you in from the start to finish. It is filled with witty, unique and funny characters that are hard to forget.
    Maeve O’Brien has a life that is a bit of a mess in Dublin, but one day her employer offers her a desirable job on a remote island “Hy Brasil”, that could make her a fully-fledged lawyer. Maeve is quite excited about the change and opportunity and is feeling like things are looking on the up side of life.
    When she arrives on the island the reception Maeve receives is quite unwelcoming, surrounded by mystery, as if something may want her gone.
    Maeve has to track down a person named Sean Fitzpatrick and his signature is required on paperwork she had brought from her employer that could change the island. But something’s in the air, some kind of mysterious protective force.
    Maeve stays quite determined on the island despite it being a little hard, but of course does miss her some parts of her old life back in Dublin.
    I must mention there’s an islander with gorgeous green eyes who Maeve starts to take quite an interest in as well.
    It might be a little hard on the island for Maeve but it can also be very unique and appealing at the same time.
    This book will take you to a very special and unique place that draws in the reader from the very start to the very finish.
    I must express I found this a very enjoyable novel to read Thank you Beauty & Lace for the fantastic opportunity to read and review this enchanting book by Ellie O’Neil.

  15. Ellie O’Neill’s sophomore novel, The Enchanted Island shares a few things in common with Marian Keyes’ work. The two writers are both Irish and they pen engaging chick literature that is easy to read and fun to immerse yourself in. The Enchanted Island also manages to combine some quirky Irish magic and humour into its oddball, verdant mix.

    The book is a first person narrative starring Maeve O’Brien. She’s a modern woman and trainee lawyer who can often be found posting on social media, getting Botox and posing for selfies. She’s a little vapid and self-obsessed but she’s also very real. I think there’s a little bit of Maeve in all of us.

    O’Brien’s workplace is a battleground and the threat of redundancy is looming. She’s also committed a terrible act, she’s stolen her friend’s credit card in order to pay for her beauty treatments. So when the opportunity arises to go to the remote and mysterious island of Hy Brasil (a real place found to the West of Ireland), Maeve jumps at the chance because all she really needs to do is get a certain man’s signature.

    But all is not as it seems on this particular island. The inhabitants are resistant to change and Sean Fitzpatrick (the man Maeve needs to meet in order to sign a contract) is proving elusive. This novel is like Hy Brasil itself, there is more to it than meets the eye. It will remind readers of what it’s like to get back to basics and to appreciate the simpler things in life. The lead character goes through a huge transformation and certainly becomes more likeable as one gets deeper into the story.

    In all, The Enchanted Island is an engaging and beautiful tale with a dark undercurrent. It’s also a humble story that will resonate with readers because the island is resplendent and cloaked in an infectious and seductive mystery. In short, this is one whimsical, modern romance and love letter to Ireland. Recommended.

  16. I was fortunate enough to receive this book for review 🙂 It was an easy read but also one of those that I kept saying to myself, one more chapter before bed. The main character Maeve is initially quite self absorbed and lacking direction in life before a work trip to the island. The island is lacking in the consumeristic life that she is used to which bothers her at first, it’s very quirky but has a charm about it.
    Finally coming to understand that the perfect selfie is not the be all and end all, her trip to the island ends up being one of personal growth instead of solely a business trip. The island romance was a nice touch without taking over the storyline.
    I enjoyed the book, an easy read but still interesting. Had me wanting some of the islands seaweed too 😉 I even left my phone at home today and I didn’t feel stressed about it. Might have to do that more often. Thanks for the opportunity!

  17. With a background in Architecture which she left behind after her father’s death Maeve O’Brien joins a solicitor’s firm and is in her second year apprenticeship. With a life in total meltdown due to maxed out credit cards, poor decisions both with friendships and love her life is spiralling out of control. When offered a chance to finalise a contract on the remote island of Hy Brasil she jumps at the chance. What follows is an amazing adventure full of friendly and not so friendly characters, dark mysteries and haunting tales of the past.

    A fun novel full to the brim with incredible characters and events. Amazingly not everyone is as they seem and the slow unwinding of each individual tale is both fun and very cleverly done. Even though these characters were interesting it was the island itself that held me spellbound – almost as if its powers leapt from the pages to draw me in.

    Brilliant story that was well written and I would thoroughly recommend it be read

  18. I thoroughly enjoyed The Enchanted Island.

    We start with Maeve being very interested in outer appearances, then having to get away from the city. At around that time she gets offered a job getting a signature for her law firm from someone on a remote Irish island.

    What follows is a transformation in her outlook, and many island mysteries – nothing is as it appears and people aren’t what they appear to be. She meets Killian who is her love interest. I would have liked their story to develop a bit more, but loved her interactions with other locals, both good and not so good.

    I’m glad we got the answers to many mysteries, but there was enough left to make you wonder about the island, Hy Brasil.

    Would definitely recommend.

  19. This book was light and easy to read. I couldn’t put the book down and just wanted to read and know more about the Island and also about the changes to Maeve.
    I would highly recommend this book!

  20. I began reading this book while my daughter was preparing for her first overseas holiday and I must admit that she kept calling me away from the book to help her with packing and such so to start with I struggled to get into the story. I feel that was partly to do with all the stop start type of reading and also the slow build up of the story.
    To start with Maeve was someone who had me rolling my eyes as she was very concerned about looking as close to perfection as possible and at any cost which included lying to and stealing from a friend. This all came back to bite her in the end and she found she had no where to live so had to move back home to live with her Mother. Once Maeve accepted the job to go to the Island and get some papers signed I started to see more of the real her and felt a little sad for her and over time I became quite fond of her.
    I loved the mystery of the Island and its people and trying to work out what they were.
    I love this book and its one that I would be happy to reread in a years time and im sure I will.
    If you are looking for a book to read over the Christmas holidays then this book would be wonderful if you want a mystery, some giggles and a main character that even though to start with she is sure to flare some negative emotions in the end you will end up very fond of her and she will have you wondering where she will go from here.
    Brilliant book to get you through the Christmas break.

  21. Once in a while a book comes along that ticks all the boxes, for me Ellie O’Neill’s “The Enchanted Island” is that book.

    The story line is simple, Maeve at 27 is the ultimate Gen Y, obsessed by selfies, the number of likes her Facebook posts get, constantly primping and preening to get the perfect body, the perfect image. She lives in Dublin, is an apprentice solicitor in an independent law firm which is surviving despite the recession, shares a house with her friend Sasha, parties all the time, doesn’t have time for a committed relationship (and there’s always Carl) and is a general good time girl. But then she “borrows” something of Sasha’s one too many times and finds herself, up to her eyeballs in credit card debt, living back with her Mam.

    To top it all off there are rumours of redundancies at work, so when her boss Harry calls her into the office she fears the worst. Instead her offers her an opportunity, go to Hy Brasil, a tiny island off the coast of Ireland and get a signature on a conveyance document, to build a bridge to connect Hy Brasil to the mainland. Harry lets her know that she will be stepping on some toes, and to keep it confidential and, in passing, notes that the island has “a reputation as being ….protected.” He also lets her know that on completion of the assignment there will be a guarantee that she will be kept on after her apprenticeship.

    So Maeve heads to Hy Brasil via the one small fishing boat that travels to the island daily, and it was here, on page 2, as O’Neill demonstrated her ability to paint a picture with language, I knew I was going to love this book. O’Neill is describing the conditions as Maeve travels to Hy Brasil in a “fishing boat that was offering washing-machine experiences”:

    “The rain was black. It collapsed from the sky, building
    momentum, getting angrier, before it threw itself down in a
    temper.”

    Hy Brasil, population of 534, no cars, people get around on bikes, main industries fishing and knitting, treacherous seas, compasses that go haywire, strange noises, the elders who make it clear that Maeve is not welcome and yet an internet that never drops out. There is something strange about this island, and getting the signature she needs isn’t as easy as she thought it would be. Instead of a couple of days Maeve finds herself on the island for an extended period, slowly she meets some inhabitants who make her feel welcome. Gradually she comes to know and understand the island, how it protects itself, and how it is a kind of paradise, it wants you to be happy, it gives you your heart’s desire.

    The book is brilliantly written, the storyline easy to follow, sometimes disquieting, yet absorbing at the same time, as O’Neill leads you gently yet firmly towards the books inevitable yet surprising conclusion.

    I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone.

  22. Ellie O’Neill’s The Enchanted Island is and absolutely amazing book that I could not stop reading and finished in a day.

    Initially the main character Maeve is an incredibly unlikely, self absorbed and somewhat manipulating debt ridden 27 year old. Fixated on her appearance in order to gain a promotion and social acceptance in her image driven world.

    I absolutely loved Maeve’s gradual transformation as the book progressed and was able to gain an understanding on why Maeve had changed from a makeup free tomboy to an image conscious, both obsessed shopaholic.

    O’Neill writing was amazing and I was easily able to picture the usual island of Hy Brasil, where the mysterious winds and elders dictated the isolated, initially unfriendly society. The character development of the elders was fascinating and each chapter slowly revealed more about the strange, yet glorious nature of the island. The mysterious deaths and accidents occurring on the island also gave the story an enjoyably mysterious edge.

    Maeve’s interactions with both the locals and new comers alike where both touching and in some cases down right hilarious. Her building romance with Killain was sweet, and the concept of the islands powers bringing people made it all the more magical.

    The only thing that I disliked about the book was the abrupt somewhat open endedness of the ending and would have loved an epilogue, that gave an update on the characters I grew to care for.

    Overall The Enchanted was an amazing, warm story that I would and have definitely recommend to friends, family and co workers. I can’t wait to read the prequel Reluctantly Charmed to re visit the magic and mystery of Hy Brasil.

  23. I enjoyed reading this book very much. It was interesting following Maeve’s transformation from being a shallow, social media addicted person who will do anything to maintain her looks for a good selfie, even going as far as stealing from her best friend, to a much more thoughtful person who learns to think of other people’s feelings and not being worried about letting her emotions show.

    The island of Hy Brasil, I seemed to have a love hate relationship with the place. One moment I wanted to visit it and see all the wonderful natural features, the next I thought it was evil and too dangerous to even contemplate going there.

    The characters in the book are different to say the least, they are definitely colourful and a little bit mystifying.

    I couldn’t put the book down and read if over one weekend. I had to keep turning the page to find out what happened next, there were many twists and turns, although it was easy to keep up with them all.

    I enjoyed the Irish humour dotted through the book.

    I was a little disappointed with the end, I didn’t think the book was completely finished with the story. I’d love to read a sequel to find out what happens to all the characters, especially Maeve and Killian.

    I will definitely be putting Ellie O’Neill on my favourite authors list and will look out for her other novel Reluctantly Charmed.

  24. what a lovely read, thank you.I loved following her story on the island,and her inner voice, kept me absorbed and laughed out loud.Feel good story line, friends, love,life and watching her learn and grow from past mistakes. A real page turner.I felt I was with her the whole way. Well written, relatable and easy to read. Characters were interesting and funny and loved how she related to the locals.Left me wanting more as I felt apart of the island.i would definetly recommend.

  25. My review is late as we were caught in the Pinery SA bushfires 2 weeks ago.
    The book was a fantastic read and I recommend to all 🙂

  26. Thank you for giving me this book to read.

    This book is a wonderful read that kept me entertained and intrigued.
    The story has many parts to it which makes it all the more involving.
    Maeve is sent to the island of Hy Brasil to find Sean Fitzpatrick. All she needs is his signature, a simple task really.
    What she discovers is a wonderful journey of self discovery and finding out about life and realising the importance of it all.
    Maeve meets Killian and feelings are happening out of her control.
    Then there is this Irish island that holds many mysteries that aren’t ready to be told will she find the answers.
    So for Maeve and her story there are many things that make it sound like a complicated story but it really isn’t.
    It really is just one story that has a few little stories with in it self that will keep you intrigued and wanting to know more.
    This book from start to finish is a wonderful story of love, truth, happiness and secrets. A fantastic read that you will thoroughly enjoy.

  27. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review another great book

    This book was based solely around the Character of Maeve. I found Maeve was a relatable character as she is a similar age to me and uses a lot of social media as I do too. I found myself hating Maeve at times, she is often quite shallow and her decisions can be awful and I just wished I could shake some sense into her. I liked reading about Maeve’s time on the Island, and her journal of personal growth – by the end she is making much better personal choices and is much happier (despite not realising that she may not have been that happy before until that point).

    Most of the other main characters are likable too but there is always some mysterious surrounding them and they keep at least part of their lives hidden from us from Maeve. There are then the other characters, the “elders” which are less likable and strange so we don’t really know what is going on with them for a lot of the book. By the end of the book lots of their secrets are revealed, and a greater understanding of their stories is cast upon Maeve.

    The island is interesting and very mysterious, and we never really get all the answers at the end so it leaves you thinking a little bit, even though the main possibility is hard to comprehend because it’s not really possible in real life. In the end, it actually doesn’t matter either way what is behind the Islands magic, it is just the way it is. The magic of the island is a major concept throughout the book and one that Maeve struggles with but I think by the end she finds some kind of peace with it, and to some extend the end is “happily ever after” (despite the recent bad events surrounding the last chapters).

    Overall, the book is well written and easy to read. I liked that the chapters were fairly short so I could fit one in here and there throughout my day. I enjoyed reading the book and that everything came together in the end, but I didn’t get *really* hooked into it. I would still recommend this as a good read.

  28. I really enjoyed The Enchanted Island & would recommend this as a great summer read!

    I had anticipated a light hearted chic-lit book and was pleasantly surprised that it had a little more depth than that.

    The author Ellie O’Neill has a real gift for landscape imagery and I could clearly see the Hy Brasil she describes.

    Maeve was an interesting main character and I enjoyed seeing her grow as the book progressed. I loved that she put down her phone and started living in the real world. Quite a few unexpected twists made this a really enjoyable book to read..

    Fingers crossed for more Ellie O’Neill books in the future

  29. Hello Readers,
    Thank you so much for reading and reviewing The Enchanted Island. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading your comments, which thankfully are all very favorable!!! Its nerve wrecking putting a book out there, especially a second book for some unknown reason, you never know how people are going to receive it. I am thrilled that you all enjoyed your trip to Hy Brasil, and like me would love to get your hands on some of that seaweed.
    Happy reading and have a wonderful Christmas
    Ellie xx

  30. I really enjoyed this story of Maeve and her growth – so many twists and turns and an enchanted, mysterious island! It was easy to read and digest and very easy to relate to which always gets me more involved and deeper into a good book!
    I have really enjoyed this book and also Reluctantly Charmed and look forward to more great reads from the author!

    (Sorry review is late 🙁 )

  31. The Enchanted Island was an interesting and easy book to read. I was intrigued about the island’s secrets. It was also interesting for me to note that this was one of the first times I read a book where I was not impressed with the main character’s antics. Even though Maeve annoyed me, I was still curious to find out what would happen to her and was happy to find that she changed her ways. I also enjoyed Ellie O’Neill’s humorous writing style.

  32. I loved “The Enchanted Island from the start of the book to the finish. I would definitely recommend this book. I enjoyed Maeve’s trip to Hy Brasil to find herself. I loved her character and it kept me intrigued with the secrets of the Island.
    I would like to see a sequel to find out what happens in the life of Maeve and Killian.
    Thankyou for the opportunity to read and review 🙂

  33. I must admit, it took me a while to get into this book. I had been sick though and hadn’t been reading. Once I got into I I found myself fascinated! There were many times I found myself laughing out loud at Maeve’s expressions and descriptions of life on the island and it’s people.

    I quickly become immersed in the characters and developed a real fondness for Killian especially. Now that I’ve finished it, I find I want to know more about Hy Brasil and these characters that Ellie brought to life!

    I’m off to seek out Reluctantly Charmed at the library and look forward to reading more of Ellie’s books in the future.

  34. I apologize for the late review due to a medical emergency

    Maeve O’Brien is a 2nd year Apprentice Solicitor a total social media junkie and a shopaholic.
    who used her best friends credit card without them knowing, she lost her apartment and had to move back in with her mother.
    Maeve is worried about being made redundant
    when she was called into Harry Holmes office she thought that this was it she was going to be fired, but to her surprise she was told he had a job for her . he needed her to go to Hy Brasil a remote island off the coast of Ireland, an old friend of his wanted to build a bridge to connect the island to the mainland her job was to get the signature of Sean Fitzpatrick an elderly resident in the hope of him selling his house so the bridge could proceed.
    Maeve was met on the island by Dan and taken to her accommodation, which turned out to be a caravan, she didn’t mind as she thought it was only short term.
    the man whose signature she needed, was being very elusive
    and most of the elderly residents were being hostile towards her and Dan. she soon realized that her assignment was not going to as simple as she though
    Maeve could not over come the feel that the residents were not being truthful about something. strange thing seem to be happening and no one would explain the elderly residents seemed to be in very good health and very strong.
    Maeve did miss the busy and hectic live in Dublin the nightlife, but the longer she stayed on the island them more she began to re evaluate what she wanted out of live and she stopped caring about her appearance.
    it is one of the better book i have read. it had suspense, myth and romance as well as a surprising finish .

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