Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Island by Kristin Hannah




The author of the cherished bestseller On Mystic Lake returns with a poignant, funny, luminous novel about a mother and her daughters--the complex ties that bind them, the past that separates them, and the healing that comes with forgiveness.

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.


Okay, back to a Kristin Hannah book that grabbed me from the beginning and I couldn't put it down til I was cross eyed from reading too long. I've got to go back and see what order her books were written because I think she's gotten better (I started with her most recent). The feelings that she draws out of the reader are there for all of us because we've all been children of imperfect mothers as we live our imperfect lives. It all comes into focus too as we come to the realization that we never know everything about another person.... never! Great summer read. Enjoy!

5 comments:

B Boys Mom said...

I read this one too and really liked it.

Vixen said...

Sounds good, adding to my library list.

Julie from Momspective said...

Excellent! I'm always looking for a new book. I read about three a week on average.

Becki said...

I keep forgetting to borrow these :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I saw someone at the pool yesterday reading this, and I had to smile. I'd just finished Firefly Lane the other night.