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Summer Island: A Novel Hardcover – March 13, 2001
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Years ago, Nora Bridge walked out on her marriage and left her daughters behind. She has since become a famous radio talk-show host and newspaper columnist beloved for her moral advice. Her youngest daughter, Ruby, is a struggling comedienne who uses her famous mother as fuel for her bitter, cynical humor. When the tabloids unearth a scandalous secret from Nora's past, their estrangement suddenly becomes dramatic: Nora is injured in an accident and a glossy magazine offers Ruby a fortune to write a tell-all about her mother. Under false pretenses, Ruby returns home to take care of the woman she hasn't spoken to for almost a decade.
Nora insists they retreat to Summer Island in the San Juans, to the lovely old house on the water where Ruby grew up, a place filled with childhood memories of love and joy and belonging. There Ruby is also reunited with her first love and his brother. Once, the three of them had been best friends, inseparable. Until the summer that Nora had left and everyone's hearts had been broken. . . .
What began as an expose evolves, as Ruby writes, into an exploration of her family's past. Nora is not the woman Ruby has hated all these years. Witty, wise, and vulnerable, she is desperate to reconcile with her daughter. As the magazine deadline draws near and Ruby finishes what has begun to seem to her an act of brutal betrayal, she is forced to grow up and at last to look at her mother--and herself--through the eyes of a woman. And she must, finally, allow herself to love.
Summer Island is a beautiful novel, funny, tender, sad, and ultimately triumphant.
The Amazon Book Review
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When Nora Bridge left her husband and her two daughters 10 years ago, she took the only route she could see, and assumed she still had her daughters' love. Now, though she is distant from her own daughters, Nora is the hostess of a radio advice show, where she advises listeners that "family comes first." When a scandal breaks and Nora hits rock bottom, she finds she has to rely on the two people she has betrayed most deeply: her daughters, Ruby and Caroline.
As an aspiring and failing comedian, Ruby's life in Los Angeles has shrunk into a directionless morass. She says when she dismisses superstition, "As if she needed magic to tell her that she was stuck in the spin cycle of her life." Though neither she nor Caroline are inclined to help their mother, Ruby finally agrees when a magazine offers to pay her for a tell-all exposé.
With a masterful balance of cutting wit, realistic dialogue, and lyrical description, Summer Island is by far Hannah's greatest work. Mothers, daughters, and sisters are sure to mark the passages and lend this novel to each other. If this is the standard for future Hannah novels, her fan base is sure to grow.--Nancy R.E. O'Brien
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
- Publisher : Crown; 1st edition (March 13, 2001)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0609607375
- ISBN-13 : 978-0609607374
- Item Weight : 1.13 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #282,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Things change when Nora's fans turn against her after a secret in her past is made public by a would-be blackmailer. When Nora is hurt in a car accident, she flees to the family summer cottage to recover from her injuries and get away from the tabloid press. When Ruby surprisingly volunteers to come to the summer cottage to take care of her mother while she recovers, Nora is hopeful this will lead to a reconciliation with her daughter. What Nora doesn't know is that Ruby has accepted $50,000 to write a "tell all" magazine article about her mother.
This sounds like the makings of a good story (and I haven't even mentioned the rekindling of a childhood romance storyline, or the childhood friend who is now dying storyline). The book isn't bad, but it did fall a bit flat for me. It probably didn't help that Ruby isn't the most sympathetic character.
"Summer Island" was not nearly as compelling a story as Kristin Hannah's "The Nightingale", an historical fiction about two sisters during the Second World War. Nor was it as enjoyable a read as "Firefly Lane", about two best friends during the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties. I think this book deserves 3.5 stars, but I'm rounding up because of the goodwill left over from prior books I've read by this author. And because I look forward to reading another Kristin Hannah book soon.
Nora Bridge walked out her family eleven years ago. She has a great career in radio and when a scandal shakes her world she is devastated. After a car wreck she decides to go back to her roots on Summer Island but she has to have some one take care of her for awhile.
Her daughter has kept in touch with her daughter Caroline some. So Caroline contacts her little sister Ruby. Ruby hasn't seen in anyone in her family forever but she is this one who takes care of her Mother, who she hates.
This is a very poignant story poignant story mother and daughters finding their way back to each other. I can so relate to this story and cried through it. Please give yourself a treat and read this fantastic tale by s remarkably author.