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Publisher's Summary

Thirty-four-year-old Ruby Bridge is a not-too-successful comedienne who uses her mother, a nationally-syndicated "moral and spiritual counselor" as the main fodder for her cynical, rather bitter humor. Her mother Nora, long divorced from Ruby's father, is a woman whose past is just about to catch up with her - in the form of blackmail by a former lover.

After an accident (an attempted suicide?) Ruby returns to care for her stricken mother - bitterly resenting the fact that once again her mother's life has colonized hers. When she is approached by a publisher to write a biography of her mother, Ruby is desperate for the princely sum offered. Yet her research into her mother's past reveals a woman very different from the one Ruby expected. And what began as "mommy dearest" ends as a love story - not only between mother and daughter, but involving two very different men who play a key role in linking the past to the present.

©2001 Kristin Hannah (P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    150
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    97
  • 3 Stars
    80
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    136
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    70
  • 3 Stars
    37
  • 2 Stars
    9
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    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    115
  • 4 Stars
    69
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    56
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    14
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    11
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Deborah
  • Old Saybrook, CT, United States
  • 03-16-11

Thought it would be a typical story

The story line has been done and done again, but having grown up in a broken home, I appreciated the story line and it was a nice grown up reminder that we really don't know all that we think to know about things that happened in our family / families life when we were kids.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TERRI
  • KANSAS CITY, MO, United States
  • 09-30-10

AMAZING BOOK!!!

This book is wonderful!!!! I listen while I run - found myself crying while running... WOW! I am so sad this book is over!!!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Over-the-top schmaltz

Totally full of cliches and dripping with sentiment suitable for a Harlequin Romance or a Hallmark movie. Not just that, but the plot was completely predictable. I kept thinking that there would be a twist and the story would develop into something more interesting, but it didn't - and eventually I just thought, well I've read this far, might as well finish.
The only bright spot in this book was its treatment of one of the characters who is gay - spotlighting the horrendous cruelty that many in the LGBTQ community experience from family and community. The author portrayed him with compassion not often found in stories 15 years ago.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful escape book

The perfect antidote to a wintertime cold and cough was being taken way to Summer Island and its beautifully crafted characters and well-spun story. I laughed; I cried; I cheered. There was lots of real-world wisdom imparted, and just the right amount of love and forgiveness to redeem the mistakes of the oh-so-human characters without making them too perfect or the plot too contrived. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful!

This book reminds you not to judge a book by the cover, or a person by a photograph. Written in a wonderful way not to judge other people, because we don't know their history and the why or how they got to where they are in life.
The characters were real and genuine. Kirsten Hannah is one of the best story writers of our time!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wished it could go on.

This book, like many of Kristin Hannah's was just wonderful. I have a close relationship with my sister and mother; every time I listen to her I want to call them and tell them how much they are loved.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Summer Island'

Kristen takes her character Nora to a place where she doesn't want to go. She finds compassion in places she would have never looked.She goes to rock bottom only to become a stronger woman for surviving the trip.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect loving and heartbreaking in a good way

this author never ceases to amaze me she has a way of bringing you into a story and making you feel the players of that story, as though they were real people. he is by far one of my favorite authors. this story is so relevant to the tabloids and the media in today's world. love

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

If you could sum up Summer Island in three words, what would they be?

Riveting, informative, memorable

What did you like best about this story?

Complex storyline drawn between two times in history

Any additional comments?

Another great Karen White book - have not read one yet that was disappointing. Can't wait to start another.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good author

I enjoy Kristin Hannah's work. Her descriptions of characters, events and places are wonderful. I recommend her work highly.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel Brand
  • 12-23-12

Engaging women's fiction

I was going to give this audiobook a rating of 3.5*, but the ending was so sweet and the scene at the 4th of July party nearly made me cry, so I'm rounding it up to a 4*. I didn't find this book quite as good as the previous novel I read from this author (Distant Shores), but perhaps that's just because the book was drawn out over a longer period of time as I didn't have as much time to listen as usual due to moving house and starting a new semester at university. It was definitely an easy listen, even if it wasn't as compelling as Distant Shores. Kristin Hannah can be relied on to produce engaging women's fiction that deals with real-life issues and contains realistic, flawed characters with just a dash of romance.