The album met with mixed reviews. At Metacritic it received a score of 54 out of 100.AllMusic gave the album a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars saying: "Imbruglia has made a brilliant pop record -- contemporary, yet timeless. White Lilies Island would have suffered without Natalie Imbruglia's perfectionism, and it would have lost sight of the elegance it so perfectly exudes."Blender gave a rating of 2 out of five stars, commenting: "White Lilies Island skips from one song to the next without leaving any great impression or displaying a single sentiment Jessica Simpson would find distressing. If, however, she was trying to remake Jagged Little Pill, it’s all gone horribly wrong."Entertainment Weekly gave a positive review and said: "The disc continues in the same vein of agreeable pop-radio fodder as 'Torn', with an all-new group of distraught romantics and connection seekers singing creamy choruses."Rolling Stone gave the album a negative review and said it's "a great brother of her debut."Yahoo! Music UK gave the album a rating of 8 out of ten stars and said: "She's certainly on the way to achieving her goal. She chips in a hefty wedge of the lyric sheet to the album in the shape of confessional lovesick outpourings that, despite lapses, bind the gutsy album cohesively giving it sophistication, direction and genuine feeling."
In Australia the album debuted at number 3 and was certified Gold, despite enjoying only a small resurgence in sales with subsequent singles. The album debuted at number 15 on the UK Albums Chart with 21,000 in sales before dropping out of the top 75 in its fourth week. It re-entered the top 30 with the release of the second single "Wrong Impression" and sold eventually nearly 200,000 copies in the UK overall. In the US the album debuted at number 35 with 35,000 in sales and dropped out of the Top 200 after seven weeks, eventually selling 215,000 overall. Worldwide, White Lilies Island has sold around a million copies.