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4.3 out of 5 stars81
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 5 November 2013
I loved this book! I was gripped right from the first page. I instantly bonded with Darcy and wanted the best for her. She seems lovely and turns out to be a loyal, strong, independent woman. She's someone you could rely on and have a laugh with and I imagine she'd give great advice, not to mention always have a chocolate stash.

I've never been anywhere like the island of Tara but I could picture it so clearly in my mind. It sounds like a little haven, somewhere so special and secret. There is magic happening all over the island, it's deep roots are a mystery to all, except for old Eamon. He knows exactly what is going on around him. The folklore and history all around Tara makes this whole story intriguing and a little mysterious. I really liked that aspect, it's different from most chick-lit. Ali does this very well!!

All of the characters bring something unique to Tara (and to the whole story) and I feel like I developed a bit of a relationship with them all. Breakfast at Darcy's has done something to me. It's made me feel like part of the community on the island. Not just like someone reading a book. I didn't want to read the last chapter because I wasn't ready to leave Tara yet. That's a strange feeling. Being so hooked, so involved in a book that I actually feel like I belonged inside it. I kind of like it!!

I'm at a bit of a loss now because I feel like any other book I read now will pale in comparison...

Hugely moving, captivating and emotional 5/5
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on 29 December 2011
Picked this up having great anticipation for the adventure on the island Tara that was mentioned in the blurb. However, the book wasn't written in enough detail of the beautiful landscape that would surround such an island and it just seemed a book that was more suited to teenagers in general because there wasn't enough depth. It was also rather predictable and the main character wasn't realistic or likeable enough.
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on 23 November 2011
Darcy McCall is a city girl working for a fashion publication when she is given the challenge by way of her Aunt Molly's last will and testament. She is to live on a remote island off Ireland for a whole year to inherit her Aunt's estate. Not only that, she has to convince 14 other people to come and live there too.

This seems like a failure from the off, as Darcy is more used to busy city life, high heels, designer clothes, makeup and wine bars. How could she possibly survive on a remote, deserted island for a week let alone a year.

This is a very believable story and Ali McNamara has covered all the 'what ifs' that may come to mind about such a task.
I was hooked by the challenge Darcy faced right away. I wanted her to love the island as much as her Aunt Molly and see past the inheritance at the end of the task. I wanted to see how or if she would adapt to the sudden changes in her lifestyle.

The strong cast of characters, that joined Darcy on the island, were introduced into the story so that it was easy to get to know them. I would love to hear more about this community.

The island and it's history, myths and legends played a major part in shaping the future of the islanders and as a fan of historical fiction I was pleased to see the author go into this in detail.

With some surprises and a shocking twist, I needed the tissues by the end of the novel which was all too soon.

5 out of 5 for me!

Thank you Sphere for a review copy.
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on 12 February 2012
I loved Ali McNamara's debut novel, From Notting Hill With Love... Actually, when I read it last year so I added this book to my Amazon wishlist as soon as I knew it was being released. Fortunately I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in a Christmas competition so I couldn't wait for it to arrive so that I could start reading it and I wasn't disappointed.

Not surprisingly the main character is Darcy, a journalist who enjoys the fast paced life in London, who finds out at the reading of her Aunt Molly's will that she has inherited an Island and a substantial amount of money but there's a catch ... she has to live on the Island for a year and persuade 14 complete strangers to come and live with her!

At first Darcy does not even consider this as an option but following an encounter with a work colleague and a flooded ceiling in her flat, she takes these as a sign to leave and take up the challenge.

With the help of her solicitor Niall, who decides to take a year out and join her on the Island, they recruit builder Dermot who also joins them and together they begin interviewing for people to come and join them on the Island including charming boatman Conor.

After a few initial hick-ups, including a few of the original islanders choosing to leave, Darcy and the others come together to decide how they are going to make living on the Island a success, both personally and professionally.

One thing I loved about the book, but reading other reviews others did not, was the Celtic myths and legends mentioned throughout the book. I thought that it was just the right amount and that they did not distract from the story of life living on the Island of Tara. Overall this was a really enjoyable book to read and I cannot wait until her next novel is released.
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VINE VOICEon 22 December 2012
Darcy inherits an island, when her Aunt Molly passes away. However it is not that simple and there are conditions to this bequest. Darcy must create a community on the island of Tara, off the coast of Ireland and live there for a year.

Darcy is a city girl, so life on an island is going to be a huge cultural shock. Leaving everything she knows and everyone she knows behind. Although her even more citified friend Roxi joins her, everyone else does not know each other. They all now have to get on and relationships and friendships are formed, lost and re won as the year passes on Tara.

This has the formula of a rather good plot, however it is not as strong as it could have been. Too much was predictable, you could see where most relationships were going to end up. You had the man with the glint in his eye who was always going to break hearts and the mean moody one who is simply misunderstood. Then there was the solicitor and the handyman, the shop girl and the builder. It was just too much the same.

For me it's strengths lie in the descriptions of the scenery, the weather how it changes so suddenly and how it impacts on them all and the local folklore which seems to go with most island communities. It is that which kept me reading.

I was disappointed with this novel, but for me much better than her debut book, that said I do not think I will be seeking out her third.
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on 23 December 2011
Breakfast at Darcy's is Ali McNamara's second novel. The book tells the story of Darcy who discovers she has been left a small island in her Aunty's will.

I thought that the story was a good one and one that I have never come across in chick-lit before. However, I did feel that the book was more of a beach-read than the winter-read that the book cover makes it out to be. Darcy and her best friend Roxi were typical chick-lit characters - highly into fashion and very image conscious. I'll be honest and say that Darcy was not the most likeable of characters, particularly early on in the book, although she did redeem herself later on in the book, especially as she grasped more of a reality of life living on an island.

Overall, I preferred Ali#s previous novel, From Notting Hill with Love... Actually more than this. However, this is still a good read which I'd still recommend as it was a nice light-hearted read with some good twists and turns.
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on 19 February 2012
Darcy inherits an island - that's right an island - (haven't you got one? I've got a couple) left to her by her Aunt. She has to set up a community there for a year - bit of a change from the sex and the city type lifestyle she's been living in London but hey-ho she has a bash!
Predictable type stuff here - which guy will she end up with? will she succeed in her challenge? etc - but still an enjoyable, easy read as long as you suspend reality which I forced myself to do; I found that when I was reading the nagging voice in the back of my mind that kept saying "inherited an island? yeah right" was hindering my enjoyment of the book.
(The legal bit near the end to do with inheritance was ludicrous though!)
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on 29 August 2013
Ali McNamara has quickly become one of my favorite chick lit authors. Her stories never cease to keep me laughing, romanced and entertained. Thankfully, Breakfast at Darcy's was no exception.

I will admit that I had to warm to Darcy, but this is kind of the point of the story. At the start, she is a self-absorbed, label obsessed, glory hunter... and I didn't really care for her very much. That is until she goes to live on Tara, the Irish island that has been left to her in her Aunt Molly's will. It is on Tara where Darcy truly starts to come into her own. Taken out of the big city and put in charge of other people's well beings, she quickly becomes a character that you can care and root for.

There is a bit of a love triangle... no wait, don't run away that quickly. There is Conor, who is handsome, sweet, and has a love of travelling. Then there is Dermot, who always seems grumpy, uptight and a bit of a know-it-all. However... I was never in any doubt as to who Darcy would end up with in the end. I don't think this is meant to be any real secret to be honest. I was surprised though with a few of the secrets that are uncovered about one of them. I won't post any spoilers, but I really didn't see that coming.

However, my true love for Breakfast at Darcy's comes from Tara itself. I have never wanted pack in my job, and go live on an isolated island as much as I do right now. To say I was jealous of the life that Darcy and the other residents of Tara have been able to live, is an understatement. I would give pretty much anything to be able to live as simple of a life. As long as I had a roof over my head, there is electricity and a bit of Internet access so that I can buy by Kindle and Audible books... I would be in heaven. Absolute heaven.

I do think the only let down to this story would be the ending. It wasn't really bad, it's just that I would have liked there to be a bit more build up to the happily ever after. It seemed a bit rushed, however this could be from me not feeling like I was ready to say goodbye to these characters. I really would love to read more about Darcy, the island's residents, and of Tara itself.

Because I listened to this in Audiobook, I should mention that I have also become a huge fan of Beth Chalmers. This is not the first Audiobook I have listened to her as the narrator, and I hope it will not be my last. She does a superb job, and I think she has an amazing talent with the multiple accents that are used in this book.

Rainy Day Reads
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on 16 January 2012
I didn't get chance to read Ali McNamara's first book but my sister did and she loved it so I was really looking forward to trying Breakfast at Darcy's. My sister obviously has very good taste in books as Ali McNamara is brilliant and Breakfast at Darcy's is a great read.
I loved the whole idea of the book and I think the author has been very clever. All of the characters have been taken out of their comfort zones when they are put on the island and they all change so much during the book; obviously this makes for very entertaining reading. Darcy McCall is central to it all, she has to make Tara work and get everyone to pull together even though she has only just met most of the characters. Darcy is particularly likable and I enjoyed reading about what she was getting up to. Her relationships with Conor and Dermot add a romantic side to the book and there are quite a few surprises towards the end.
Ali McNamara's writing is extremely witty, life on Tara gives the reader many funny moments and although the book is set on a tiny remote island, the author makes sure that there is plenty going on to interest the reader.
My only gripe with this book has nothing to do with the writing; it's the front cover that I don't understand. Whilst it is lovely looking, I don't think it gives the reader any idea of what this book is about. This might just be me though and I didn't have any issues with the book itself.
I am going to have to get Ali McNamara's first book now and I enjoyed this one so much, I wonder what she will write next?
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on 15 January 2012
I was absolutely captivated by this book. Now, at this point, I have to hold my hands up and admit that I'm a little biased in that I adore everything to do with Ireland. Having Irish family and having the hots for the Irish accent are both contributors to this! Yet whilst I can't be 100% sure, I do think even without the Irish setting I'd adore this book.

I've read a couple of other reviews on this book and a few say the main character, Darcy, isn't realistic. Now I just don't get this - she likes her designer clothes and likes to have her hair and nails done every once in a while - what exactly about that doesn't add up?

This story explores the nearly-uninhabited island of Tara just off the west coast of Ireland. Now remember this is chick lit so it's not going to be page after page of descriptive scenery - it's about the lives of the futures inhabitants of Tara but it has the most beautiful background setting and there were certainly enough descriptions for me to be transported to this beautiful place whilst I read. I also loved the Celtic legends that came out through this book.

There are parts of the book which are predictable; I must admit I knew which of the men Darcy would ultimately end up with from pretty early on but it's the journey that gets her there that makes this book so special. There are also parts that you know are important and that they mean something, but the hints are subtle and so when the twist comes, you don't see it coming at all. It's quite a thick book but Ali McNamara adds sub-plots which come into play just at the right time to hold your interest. I loved the character development; McNamara makes you root from one person and then change to another at just the right time but without that character having to do anything in particular - her writing truly is wonderful.

My only criticism (which has nothing to do with Ali McNamara's writing abilities) would be that the cover didn't fit with the story. I mean, it looks good but if anything, the back seemed more appropriate.

Ultimately, I was hooked to this book and ended up reading it over two very late nights because I literally couldn't put it down. It made me laugh, smile and by the end, I had tears in my eyes.

I haven't read Ali McNamara's debut From Notting Hill with Love...Actually but I will certainly be getting myself a copy now and I look forward to her next book too! McNamara is an author to keep your eye on!

** Thank you to Sphere for the review copy **
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