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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Home is where the heart is most complete.
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...
Published on May 10, 2001 by Denise Bentley

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Summer Island
Advice columnist turned writer Nora Bridges leaves her husband and two daughters suddenly, leaving the daughters emotionally bereft and vastly unsettled. Their life following is tragically affected by this departure, and they spend the remainder of their adolescent-to-adult lives trying to make sense of the departure. Ruby, the most distraught of the two, tries to...
Published on June 19, 2001 by Janet Lillian


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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Home is where the heart is most complete., May 10, 2001
By 
Denise Bentley "Kelsana" (The California Redwoods) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Summer Island: A Novel (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, Four Hankies, July 8, 2001
This review is from: Summer Island: A Novel (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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book about family forgiveness, July 18, 2001
By 
This review is from: Summer Island: A Novel (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
5.0 out of 5 stars READ WITH UNDERSTANDING AND WARMTH, April 4, 2001
This review is from: Summer Island (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
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT MOTHER/DAUGHTER STORY!, May 24, 2001
By 
JJ Stark (Cicero, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Summer Island: A Novel (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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you want to call your mom, April 6, 2001
This review is from: Summer Island: A Novel (Hardcover)
I didn't know what to expect with this book. I own all of Kristin Hannah's books and love them all, each for different reasons. This book was very special. I love the mother/daughters relationship. I love how complex the characters were and how there were no real clear-cut good and bad people in the relationships... how sometimes, choices give way to unforeseen consequences.
For those who have read Kristin Hannah's other books, you know she often has recurrent characters in her books. Val and Julien (from Home Again and Angel Falls) make a cameo.
It is a tear-jerker but not because of the life-altering moments of the book, but there are such quiet, sneak-up-on-you scenes that really touched me. It's the quiet details that really make a book more complex and extraordinary.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Home is where the heart is most complete., April 26, 2001
By 
Denise Bentley "Kelsana" (The California Redwoods) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Summer Island: A Novel (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book deserves ten stars!, March 19, 2001
This review is from: Summer Island: A Novel (Hardcover)
SUMMER ISLAND is Kristin Hannah's best book. I'm usually a tough audience for this type of "women's fiction" because I don't like feeling that I'm being manipulated into reaching for the Kleenex, but this book didn't manipulate me; it transported me into the minds and emotions of its characters. I found myself swept away to SUMMER ISLAND where a mother and daughter rediscover each other and the selves they thought they'd lost forever. This is a book about relationships, a book about the unbreakable ties that bind families and friends together, and a book about how short and precious this life really is and how very little time we can afford to waste. Not only is Kristin a consummate storyteller, she is also an exquisite writer who is able to use the simplest of words to capture the most complex of emotions. Ruby and Nora Bridge are characters I won't soon forget and SUMMER ISLAND is a book that definitely deserves to be on all the "Best of..." lists for 2001.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real tearjerker., August 5, 2001
This review is from: Summer Island: A Novel (Hardcover)
Beautifully written, poignant and sweet, Kristin Hannah will take you away to a place that lives within each of us. You have been there before. Summer Island is a place of childhood dreams, of friendship that is true and genuine, of the only real love there is. Meet Nora Bridge, famous advice columnist and radio talk show therapits for tortured souls. The one problem Nora does NOT have the answer to is her own. While successfully helping thousands of people across the country, Nora must live with the knowledge that she was unable to hold her own family together, and indeed, once committed an act so unforgivable to her own two daughters that one of them, Ruby, has not spoken to her in years, and the other daughter is barely civil. Ruby is a tragic character, seeking love and acceptance through fame, living always under the dark shadow of her mother's sins. For Caroline and Ruby, sisters sharing Nora's painful legacy, they must face a childhood ruined, friendships destroyed, and a life spent trying to forget the pain their mother inflicted on them. A fabulous young man named Eric nearly steals this story, for it is through him and his brother that the story comes alive. You will enjoy this book, and it is perfect summer reading.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Summer Island, June 19, 2001
By 
Janet Lillian "janlil" (Wayland, MA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Summer Island: A Novel (Hardcover)
Advice columnist turned writer Nora Bridges leaves her husband and two daughters suddenly, leaving the daughters emotionally bereft and vastly unsettled. Their life following is tragically affected by this departure, and they spend the remainder of their adolescent-to-adult lives trying to make sense of the departure. Ruby, the most distraught of the two, tries to recede into the underground of stand up comedy, but has little success. She is obsessed with trying to understand why her newly-famous mother (now seen as a moral authority) would have done this awful abandonment.
The mother, after a long-ago lover releases some nude photos of her to the press, sees her new life crumbling, and in an escape mode, turns to drink, heads to the car, and winds up with a broken leg, in need of help to recuperate. Ruby, the 'lost' daughter, decides to 'help' her Mother by joining her in the Summer Cottage where they had spent many good times as a family before the Mother left.....while she is writing an expose on the Mother for a $50K fee.
Mother and Duaghter explore their past, the Father enters the picture and sheds light on the reason for the Mother's departure and many late night discussion help them see each others' perspective. Meanwhile, a secondary plot with two brothers unfolds - one of whom was Ruby's first love, tho other of whom is dying of cancer.
Sound complicated? It really isn't, but there are too many story lines to allow the full development of any of the characters. Things happen without explanation (especially disconcerting is a love scene that seems dropped in to the book just to have one there.) Although you begin to understand Ruby and Nora, that understanding is more based on ones' own background and sympathies than on those developed by the author.
This is not a bad read, but I found myself frustrated that the author seemed to be racing to complete the book. The writing is just 'choppy'....if you can get beyond that, the story is entertaining and fine for a sunny day on the deck.
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Summer Island: A Novel
Summer Island: A Novel by Kristin Hannah (Paperback - June 1, 2010)
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