I snapped up the chance to read the second book by the wonderful Ellie O’Neill and to be part of the book blog tour. Reluctantly Charmed, Ellie’s first book, was a glimpse into the world of real Irish Faeries that are not sweet, and do not grant you wishes whilst singing Disney Songs. They are full of myth, mischief, legend and darkness.

The Enchanted Island is no different and has the same mix of modern day and Irish legend. Maeve, a young twenty something Dubliner is a fun, if a little shallow and vain woman, who fills her day with designer clothes, Botox and selfies. She is an apprentice lawyer and to escape the threat of redundancy at her small firm, takes on a project to head to Hy Brasil to get some papers signed. A blustering, foreboding island with a tight knit local community who offer an unfriendly welcome.

I have only even been to Dublin once, and the mental pictures which came to me whilst reading about Hy Brasil was a mystical Craggy Island from Father Ted. Except no friendly, comedic priests to welcome you, or even a Church to turn to for solace and safety.

craggy island

The pages follow Maeve around the island as she struggles to gain a signature from an elusive old man called Sean Fitzpatrick. How hard can it be? Just a signature and back in Dublin just in time for tea. The island slowly reveals itself as each day passes, which leaves Maeve wondering what really goes on in Hy Brasil and is she really the person she wants to be?

This book is a little longer at over 400 pages but I didn’t notice, whizzing through the chapters and completely caught up in this intriguing, secluded Irish life. A lovely read and just perfect to lose yourself out on the decking in the spring sun with a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits. If I had one comment, it would be that the title ‘Enchanted Island’ may put people off, but I hope that you see ‘Ellie O’Neill’ first and foremost on the cover and take that little book of whimsy to the counter!

3.5stars from me. Another cracker.

The Enchanted Island is published in November by Simon & Schuster Australia


I was very lucky to get the opportunity to pose a quick question to Ellie.  I think we have much more Irish charm to come, which is a grand thing!

‘The Emerald Isle clearly has your heart, but if you could choose any location for your next book outside of Ireland where would you go, and would you keep a little bit of magic?

I’m not sure. My books have been set in Ireland because the story line has lended itself to it. I’m familiar with Irish folklore so I’ve been able to bend the mystery to fit the story. Also I think there’s quite a way of writing English with an Irish slant, which is how I write with plenty of Irishisms, if you know what I mean, and I think I would have to alter my style of writing if I wasn’t writing in an Irish setting. That said, I’m not quite sure where my next book will take me. And I’m definitely up for a new challenge, so if for example, the subject matter required me to spend a summer on the Greek Islands, for research purposes of course, I would bravely suffer through it. It would be lovely to write something set in Australia too, but it’ll only work if the story lends itself to it.  

I’m definitely not finished with ‘a little bit of magic’. I love exploring the possibilities of what else could be out there. And I’m interested in all kinds of philosophical and spiritual questions, without going all Dali Lama on you. I think if I’m interested in these questions, than I assume readers are too.


The Book Jacket

Praise for Reluctantly Charmed
‘A sweet, whimsical, quintessentially Irish novel guaranteed to add a little magic to your day!’ Liane Moriarty

When Maeve O’Brien’s boss sends her to a dreary old island to finalise some paperwork, she couldn’t be happier. It’s the big career boost she needs – and besides, life isn’t so great on the home front in Dublin.

Maeve’s reception on Hy Brasil, a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, couldn’t be any more hostile. It’s as if the place itself wants her gone.

But nothing’s going to scare Maeve off, even if she does miss her credit card and her one-night stands. She’s determined to track down Sean Fitzpatrick, whose signature on the paperwork is going to transform the island.

And yet, somehow, life begins to change. It might be miserable and treacherous on Hy Brasil but it’s also beautiful and strangely seductive. Maeve’s never felt better. And there’s also Killian, the dreamy islander with green eyes, who’s stirring up all kinds of feelings in Maeve.

But something’s brewing, and Maeve’s going to discover just how far people will go to protect the ones they love.

Another witty, whimsical story from Ellie O’Neill – See more at: