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The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

The Identicals (2017)

by Elin Hilderbrand

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The Identicals
Elin Hilderbrand

A dazzling setting and great writing about a frustrating dysfunctional sibling relationship makes for yet another tempting summer beach read


A story about identical twins who couldn’t be any less alike. Nantucket is only two and a half hours away from Martha’s Vineyard by ferry. But the two Islands might as well be worlds apart for a set of identical twin sisters who have been at odds for fourteen years. Now 39, Tabitha, lives on Nantucket and runs her mother’s high-end dress boutique and has an out of control high school daughter, Ainsley. Harper lives on Martha’s Vineyard and is taking care of her dying father and having an affair with her father’s doctor. When a family crisis forces them to band together or at least appear to, the twins ultimately realize that the special bond they share is more important than the sibling rivalry that has driven them apart for the better part of their lives.

Loved the setting of THE IDENTICALS in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard and the intro which talked about the difference between the two islands and how islanders view each other. The descriptions of the places and scenes on the islands were absolutely captivating. I wanna go!

The writing was great and typical of Hildebrand. And while this would make a great summer read for many, it was not the book for me as I continue to search for books with strong women characters that make a difference. I had difficulty connecting to, or even liking any of the main female characters. Both the twins are deeply flawed and have made one bad decision after another. It was really frustrating to read about bright, educated women holding grudges, creating drama and making really stupid choices.

But they come by it honestly, their parents also made some pretty wacky decisions in the past. One of most unbelievable parts of the backstory was when the twin’s parents decided to divorce, they told the twins they would be split up; one twin will live with Eleanor, the formidable mom, on Nantucket while the other will go to Martha’s Vineyard to live with the fun loving dad, Billy. The parents don’t care which twin goes with which parent, but they make the girls themselves decide. They were only fourteen. They both wanted to go with Billy, so the twins had to resort to Rock-Paper-Scissors to decide. Splitting up the twins—heartbreaking!

Even though I didn’t like the main characters, they were tremendously well-developed and they evolved throughout the story. A cast of many other colorful characters also added interest and depth to the story. I particularly loved the Epilogue by Fish—a perfect conclusion.

ELIN HILDERBRAND who lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville Pennsylvania and traveled extensively before setting settling on Nantucket which has been the settings for five of her previous novels Hildebrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Published June 13, 2017
Review www.bluestockingreviews.com ( )
  LisaSHarvey | Jul 15, 2018 |
I don't usually do chic lit but I'd heard something about this book and then saw it on an Audible sale so I said what the heck. It was okay, just not my cup of tea. Felt like the descriptions of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket went way overboard, although I did learn it was on the east coast - I always envisioned them on the west. ( )
  she_climber | Jun 7, 2018 |
I once again loved this summers beach read. I love to read about each of the two islands and how they differ. The ending was a little bit scrambled for me, I wanted to have more time and not wrapped up so neatly. ( )
  mchwest | Apr 2, 2018 |
I'm always a big fan of Elin Hilderbrand and she doesn't disappoint. This is a great summer beach read about sisters who have been separated most of their lives when their parents divorce and decide one daughter will go with the Mom and one will go with the Dad. Events ruin their relationship and now they must find a way back to each other and heal their relationship. The audiobook was very good. The narrator did a great job. ( )
  MHanover10 | Feb 4, 2018 |
Listened to CD. The story takes place on the two islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. It is a story of identical twins who have not spoken in many years. As 17 year olds they did rock, paper, scissors to determine which parent they stayed with when their parents divorced. Both have had difficult lives, but through a series of events, they end up switching lives for a summer. Each grows from the experience. In the end they become friends again and each finds love on their original islands. ( )
  stanzel47 | Jan 28, 2018 |
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For Eric, Randy, Heather and Doug. Together we stand.
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Like thousands of other erudite, discerning people, you've decided to spend your summer vacation on an island off the coast of Massachusetts.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316375195, Hardcover)

From New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand, a summertime story about identical twins who couldn't be any less alike.

Nantucket is only two and a half hours away from Martha's Vineyard by ferry. But the two islands might as well be worlds apart for a set of identical twin sisters who have been at odds for years. Just because twins look exactly the same doesn't mean they're anything alike--and Tabitha and Harper Frost have spent their whole lives trying to prove this point. When a family crisis forces them to band together--or at least appear to--the twins come to realize that the special bond that they share is more important than the resentments that have driven them apart. A story of new loves, old battles, and a threat that gives a whole new meaning to the term sibling rivalry, THE IDENTICALS is Elin Hilderbrand at her page-turning best.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 02 Jan 2017 11:46:27 -0500)

After more than a decade apart, Harper and Tabitha switch islands--and lives--to save what's left of their splintered family. But the twins quickly discover that the secrets, lies, and gossip they thought they'd outrun can travel between islands just as easily as they can. Will Harper and Tabitha be able to bury the hatchet and end their sibling rivalry once and for all?… (more)

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