Summer Island: A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Years ago, Nora Bridge walked out on her marriage and left her daughters behind. Now she is a famous talk show host. Her daughter Ruby is a struggling comedienne. The two haven’t spoken in more than a decade. Then a scandal from Nora’s past is exposed, and Ruby is offered a fortune to write a tell-all about her mother. Reluctantly, she returns to the family house on Summer Island, a home filled with frayed memories of joy and heartache. Confronting a past that includes a never-forgotten love, a sick best friend, and a mother who has harbored terrible family secrets, Ruby finally begins to understand the complex ties that bind a mother and daughter—and the healing that comes with forgiveness.
From the Paperback edition.
would be bad—wrong—to take one now; even in her drunken state, she knew she couldn’t mix booze and pills. But she wanted to. God, she wanted to … She tossed the brown plastic bottle in her purse. The only thing she took from her condominium was an old photograph of their family, one taken at Disneyland when the girls were small. She shoved it in her handbag and left without bothering to check the lock. She banged along the wall, using it as a guardrail as she tottered toward the elevator.
sent to Ruby, the same ones Ruby had ruthlessly returned, unopened. “Oh, man.” She let out her breath in a sigh and reached for one of the boxes. It was small, like many of the others, the size of a credit card and about a half inch deep. The one she’d chosen was wrapped in birthday paper. The paper felt slick in her hands and as she lifted it toward her, she heard a tiny clinking from inside, and the sound filled her with a terrible longing. It made her angry, this welling up of useless
Summer Island, it was still 1985. If she turned on the radio, it would probably be Cyndi Lauper or Rick Springfield … This was why she’d stayed away. The road turned, climbed up a short hill, then flowed down into a rolling green valley. To her left, the land was a Monet painting, all golden grass and green trees and washed-out silvery skies. To her right lay Bottleneck Bay, and beyond that was the forested green hump of Shaw Island. Weathered gray fishing boats sat keeled on the pebbly beach,
they felt they’d lost. On Sundays, the sisters opened their small wooden chapel to their friends and neighbors. A priest from the monastery on a nearby island conducted quiet services in Latin. It was a humble church, where no one minded the cries of bored babies or the emptiness of a collection plate when times turned hard. Theirs was still the only store on the island. Ruby pulled the minivan into the gravel parking lot behind the “He Will Provide” grocery store and parked beside a rusty
empty rabbit hutches she’d built with her dad, toward the back porch. The yard was still a riot of runaway weeds and untended flowers. Shasta daisies grew in huge, hip-high mounds, drawing every bee on the place. A tattered screen door hung slanted, a set of screws missing. She paused on the porch, steeling herself for the sight of her dad’s new family, walking as they did across the floorboards of his old one. She knew she’d be entering another woman’s house … a woman she barely knew, who was