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.
(P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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"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.
This book is wonderful!!!! I listen while I run - found myself crying while running... WOW! I am so sad this book is over!!!!!
"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.
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!
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.
I enjoy Kristin Hannah's work. Her descriptions of characters, events and places are wonderful. I recommend her work highly.
"Good story with provocative themes"
Nora Bridge finds her orderly world turned upside down overnight. She's a famous syndicated radio talk show host, dispensing advice about family and relationship. What the public didn't know was how far away her life was from what she preached. When that was inevitably leaked, Nora returns to Summer Island where she has to come to terms with the world she walked away from a decade before.
I liked the story, even though it was fairly predictable. It tackled some strong themes, particularly the mother-daughter dynamics and the imprint those relationships leave from one generation to the next. Another was the carnage created by divorce, specifically when the children are left in the dark about why the relationship failed and that silence allows them to choose sides.
I also liked the contrast between the Bridge family and the wealthy Sloans who vacationed on the island each summer and formed a connection. The two sons, though their parents' marriage was still intact, suffered because of it and neglect.
In summary, it was an interesting story with thought provoking themes, even though I could have scripted the ending myself. The narrator gave a good but unremarkable performance as I couldn't hear much in the way of character distinctions. I've heard many positives about the author and am interested in exploring more of her work. 3.5 stars
"Surprised and Disappointed 😐"
How did I go from flying on my bike with Tully and Kate in Firefly Lane and dodging German soldiers with the heroines of The Nightingale to this state of complete lack of interest in the events and characters of Summer Island? Boring is all I can say about this novel. It seemed there was little to no development of the characters to connect me. I rolled my eyes when they expressed great joy and yawned in the face of their tragedy. Hard for me to believe it was written by my recently discovered "favorite author."
"Good story. Horrible language."
I love Krisin Hannah books, but the early ones have a ton of language. The stories are always good.
Im glad i started with The Nightingale, True Colors and Firefly Lane are excellent.
"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.
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