Summer Island by Kristin Hannah
A Novel

60%

7 Critic Reviews

Happy endings await almost everyone—except for readers of this nobly preachy snifflefest. The best-selling author of tearjerkers like Angel Falls (2000) serves up yet another mountain of mush, topped off with syrupy platitudes about life and love.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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.

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.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Kristin Hannah

See more books from this Author
Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of many acclaimed novels, including Fly Away, Firefly Lane, Winter Garden, Magic Hour, Comfort & Joy, The Things We Do for Love, Between Sisters, Angel Falls, Waiting for the Moon, When Lightning Strikes, If You Believe, Once in Every Life, The Enchantment, and A Handful of Heaven.
 
Published January 1, 2002 by Ballantine Books. 416 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon10
Peak Rank on Sep 11 2016
icon1
Weeks as Bestseller
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Summer Island
All: 7 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Below average
on May 20 2010

Happy endings await almost everyone—except for readers of this nobly preachy snifflefest. The best-selling author of tearjerkers like Angel Falls (2000) serves up yet another mountain of mush, topped off with syrupy platitudes about life and love.

Read Full Review of Summer Island: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Oct 07 2001

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.

Read Full Review of Summer Island: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Mar 01 2001

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.

Read Full Review of Summer Island: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

RT Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Jill M. Smith on Mar 18 2013

Family relationships, especially those between mothers and daughters are vividly explored in Kristin Hannahs newest triumph. Ms. Hannahs ability to deliver honest and deep emotions makes her stories unforgettable.

Read Full Review of Summer Island: A Novel

The Best Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Marilyn Heyman on Jul 15 2002

SUMMER ISLAND is a beautiful book that will keep you teary- eyed much of the time but it is also a feel-good book as relationships are resolved. I could wish that the book gave more time to the relationship between Dean and Ruby but I still give this novel my highest recommendation.

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People

Above average
on May 07 2001

Many a daughter will see something of herself in Ruby, who despite scorning her mother's advice is bombarded with instructions on how to cook, clean and choose a cereal. But as the pair begin to appreciate each other, their story goes from sour to sweet without turning saccharine.

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Good
Reviewed by Jill M. Smith on Sep 13 2016

amily relationships, especially those between mothers and daughters are vividly explored in Kristin Hannahs newest triumph. Ms. Hannahs ability to deliver honest and deep emotions makes her stories unforgettable.

Read Full Review of Summer Island: A Novel

Reader Rating for Summer Island
79%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 316 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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