NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of the cherished bestseller On Mystic Lake returns with a poignant, funny, luminous novel about a mother and daughter--the complex ties that bind them, the past that separates them, and the healing that comes with forgiveness.
“[Kristin] Hannah is superb at delving into the characters' psyches and delineating nuances of feeling.”—Washington Post Book World
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.
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.
I loved the love in this book. Gave me the chills.
A great story and tearjerker
As always, your words took me away and reveals human nature beautifully.