10 Escapist Books Set on Islands

Some of these books are perfect for the dead of winter when you’re dreaming of summer locales! While others are set on islands that are more desolate and unforgiving.

No matter what you love, an island setting adds an extra element of interest and a secluded, escapist feel. From contemporary fiction to historical fiction to classic retellings, there’s something here for everyone.

1. The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore

One summer on Block Island, three strangers’ lives intersect: Joy is a single mom, struggling to keep her pie business afloat; Anthony is an author, brought down by scandal and trying to put himself back together; and Lu is a mom of two young children, struggling with her feelings of discontent and her desire to build a business.If you like Elin Hilderbrand, give this one a try–the tone and writing felt very similar. Read More.
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2. The Summer Wives: A Novel by Beatriz Williams

Miranda Schuyler finds herself immersed in the oppressive, secretive world of the Winthrop Island’s rich when her mother marries Hugh Fisher. She forms a fast friendship with her reckless new stepsister, Isobel, who has a complicated relationship with Joseph Vargas, the son of the lighthouse keeper. Miranda’s romance with Joseph culminates in an explosive event that sends him to prison and keeps her from the island for two decades. Upon returning, she finds that old resentments and secrets remain intact and she must dive into them to save Joseph. Read More.
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3. The Blue Bistro: A Novel by Elin Hilderbrand

Adrienne is new to Nantucket and desperately needs a job. Despite having no restaurant experience, Thatcher Smith hires her as the hostess at The Blue Bistro, a wildly popular Nantucket restaurant. Thatcher himself is intriguing, but so is the talented and notoriously private chef, Fiona. Adrienne falls in love with life in the restaurant, while growing closer to Thatcher and trying to unravel the secrets surrounding Fiona. This is great on audio. Read More.
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4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Four friends coming of age spend idyllic summers together on a private island, until one summer when they are undone by secrets, lies, and an accident. Read More.
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5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows, Mary Ann Shaffer

Told as a series of letters between an author in post-World War II England and the residents of the island of Guernsey, we learn how books helped them survive the German occupation. An impromptu book club, invented as an excuse for missing curfew, becomes a touchpoint for the various residents of the island. Charming as it is, the book doesn’t shy from the realities of the war and what it meant for the island to be occupied. Read More.
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