Picks and Pans Review: Summer Island

UPDATED 05/07/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/07/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT

By Kristin Hannah

Ruby Bridge, a struggling stand-up comic, has never been able to forgive her estranged mother, Nora, a celebrated radio show host, for abandoning her as a teen. After her mother is caught in a scandal and Ruby is offered $50,000 to write a dishy book on her, Ruby is jolted when Nora is badly injured in a car accident. So daughter volunteers to care for mother at the family's summer home on an island off the coast of Washington state.

Both women set to unpacking their anger, pride and resentment, which they promptly hurl at each other. But bitterness slowly gives way to forgiveness as Nora opens up to Ruby. 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. (Crown, $21)

Bottom Line: Tempestuous mother-and-child reunion

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