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Summer Island: A Novel Paperback – June 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345483448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345483447
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Few authors dare to truly analyze the complex natures of mother-daughter relationships. In her novel Summer Island, author Kristin Hannah perfectly captures the bittersweet, inspiring, disappointing, tragic, and human aspects of such a relationship. Set in the tranquil, present-day San Juan Islands, Summer Island presents itself as a deep investigation of the ramifications of a mother's abandonment of her two daughters. Unlike many similar novels, this one delivers the goods.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Second-chance love of a different stripe--between mother and daughter--is the focus of Hannah's (Angel Falls) overheated family drama. More than 10 years ago, Nora Bridge walked out on her husband and two daughters. Now a wildly popular radio talk-show host and syndicated columnist, Nora offers inspirational advice that appeals to listeners' family values. What Nora's fans don't know is that her youngest daughter, Ruby, now 28, hasn't spoken to her mother in years. When a scandal breaks concerning Nora's unsavory past, Ruby, whose stand-up comedy career hasn't taken off the way she hoped it would, is hired to pen a tell-all article. Conveniently for Ruby, Nora is injured in a car accident and needs someone to accompany her to the family's former retreat on Washington's Summer Island. Once mother and daughter begin to get reacquainted, however, trading secrets, learning to see each other as people and healing the wounds of the past, Ruby isn't sure she wants to write the profile after all. Two subplots drive home the same lesson: one featuring Ruby and Dean, the young man Ruby pushed away while she was too busy hating her mother, and another involving Dean and his gay brother, Eric, now dying of cancer--conveniently, Dean and Eric are staying on a neighboring island, trying to get reacquainted. In all cases, Hannah's prescription for saving shaky relationships is the same: talk and forgiveness. The cozy sentimentality may appeal to fans of confessional talk shows--others will want to give Hannah's latest a miss. (Mar.)Forecast: Crown is backing Summer Island with a first printing of 125,000, advertising in major national publications and a teaser excerpt in Ballantine's mass market edition of Angel Falls, due out this month, but it's unlikely that this by-the-numbers offering will expand the author's reader base.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including Winter Garden, Night Road, and the blockbuster Firefly Lane which sold over 1.2 million copies.

Her novels Home Front and Night Road were among the first novels to appear in the #1 spot on 5 New York Times bestseller lists simultaneously. Home Front has been optioned for film by 1492 Films (produced the Oscar-nominated The Help) with Chris Columbus attached to write, produce, and direct.

Kristin's highly anticipated new release, The Nightingale, will be published on February 3, 2015 (St. Martin's Press). The novel --an epic love story and family drama set in France at the dawn of World War II--is a profound and compelling portrait of two estranged sisters, living in a city under siege and a country at war, where sometimes surviving means doing the unthinkable.

www.kristinhannah.com


Customer Reviews

The characters all have a wonderful depth and the story is beautifully told.
R. Pineiro
It's the old story of hating to see the book come to an end and saying good-bye to the characters you have come to know so well.
Carol Coulbourne
Wonderful book about family and how we perceive the lives of each person and how different it all can be.
C. L. Fowler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Denise Bentley on May 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Nora Bridge is a radio talk show host that espouses the morals of a nation. People trust and love her. When pornographic pictures of her are released to the press, her carefully constructed world comes tumbling down around her and she is faced with the skeletons in her closet that have left her estranged from the two daughters she has loved from a distance for the past 11 years.
The Journey back is a tumultuous one when Nora finds herself injured in a car accident and her daughter Ruby, who has nurtured her hatred since the day her mother left them, comes to care for her at the family home on Summer Island. The memories flood back and secrets are revealed that paint an entirely different picture of a time that Ruby was so sure of. Suffice it to say, things are not what she expected.
This was a very good book with much more to the story than I have let on here. It is a tear-jerker and I spent the last few chapters with a box of tissues, so readers beware. I would give this book 4.5 stars if that option was available to me. Another book by this author that you will thoroughly enjoy is On Mystic Lake. Kelsana 5/10/01
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mamalinde on July 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
What appears from the cover to be an easy beach read, this very elegant and well crafted tale turns into something far, far more important. Not just a tale of a mother-daughter struggle, but a realistic, almost voyeuristic view into the real world of families and friends and living our lives. A spiritual odyssey, full of important truths that will make the reader reassess their lives, leave them gasping and - yes, shedding a tear or too. Lives out of control, bad things happening left and right, and still a spirit of hope, of reaching out. The author exhibits a maturity that doesn't match her photograph, and presents us with a well developed tale with believable, very human, characters in an exquisite setting.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Barbara on July 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Enjoyable story with characters that are so real. I love every book I've ever read by this author because she is such a great adjective artist that I feel the surroundings that she describes as well as the people in the story. This book is about a woman that starts her young life married to a man she thinks she can help and lets him have the excuse of being a war veteran to explain why he's not-quite-the-man he could be. Nora isn't the perfect mother that she wanted to be and her one daughter, Ruby, rubs salt in that wound any chance she gets. This story is so relatable for any family member because we all have done things while raising our children or to our spouse that hind-sight would've saved a lot of hurt feelings. I certainly think this is a wonderful book to read and I guaranty will be enjoyed. The setting of Summer Island is so refreshing and peaceful---a great place for Eric to be as well as Nora and Dean and Ruby; all for their own special needs.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 4, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
Mother/daughter relationships can be strained or loving. They are both in Kristin Hannah's "Summer Island," a story of relationships, of rancor and forgiveness. Joyce Bean gives a subtly nuanced reading of this family drama.
Ruby has never forgiven Nora, the mother who deserted her. Years later Nora has achieved success - she's a nationally syndicated columnist and talk show host whose advice is steeped in old-fashioned family values. On the other hand, Ruby's career as a comedian is going nowhere but down.
When news leaks about Nora's past, Ruby has an opportunity to make a tidy sum by writing a tell-all tale. However, accidents do happen, and Nora is injured in one. She needs someone to take her to the family's former island retreat. Thus, Ruby and Nora are thrown together after all the years of bitterness.
Will their physical closeness bring about an emotional rapprochement?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JJ Stark VINE VOICE on May 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the first book I've read by Kristin Hannah and if she continues to write stories like this, it will surely not be my last. This was a wonderful story about the realtionship between a mother & daughter and how recent events in their lives affect their realtionship which has been badly bruised since the mother walked out on her family 16 years earlier. The writing was beautiful and on every page, the characters came to life inside my head. As a mother and daughter myself, I easily identified with both characters as will many other readers. It is a definite MUST-READ for every mother/daughter out there. I guarantee that you will see yourself as the child in one chapter, then as the parent in the next. Congratulations on a wonderful book - if the word is spread, this will definitely be a Best Seller. Hope to see more work like this one from Kristin Hannah in the future
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Denise Bentley on April 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Nora Bridge is a radio talk show host that espouses the morals of a nation. People trust and love her. When pornographic pictures of her are released to the press, her carefully constructed world comes tumbling down around her and she is faced with the skeletons in her closet that have left her estranged from the two daughters she has loved from a distance for the past 11 years.
The Journey back is a tumultuous one when Nora finds herself injured in a car accident and her daughter Ruby, who has nurtured her hatred since the day her mother left them, comes to care for her at the family home on Summer Island. The memories flood back and secrets are revealed that paint an entirely different picture of a time that Ruby was so sure of. Suffice it to say, things are not what she expected.
This was a very good book with much more to the story than I have let on here. It is a tear-jerker and I spent the last few chapters with a box of tissues, so readers beware. I would give this book 4.5 stars if that option was available to me. Another book by this author that you will thoroughly enjoy is On Mystic Lake. Kelsana 4/26/01
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