The Identicals

Tabitha and Harper Frost were as close as identical twins could be, until their parents divorced when they were 17. Tabitha moved to Nantucket with their mother, famed fashion designer Eleanor Roxie-Frost (ERF); Harper and their father, Billy, moved to Martha's Vineyard. The twins stayed in touch for a few years, but in their mid-20s tragedy struck, and now they haven't spoken in 14 years.

But then, in a matter of days, Billy dies and Eleanor falls, breaking her hip. The sisters are overwhelmed by their lives. Tabitha's teenage daughter, Ainsley, is out of control, and the ERF boutique she manages is losing money. Meanwhile, Harper's reputation on Martha's Vineyard is in flames after her lover's wife catches them together, and spreads the news via the island's gossip mill.

In a desperate attempt to salvage what's left of their lives, Harper and Tabitha trade places, with Harper heading to Nantucket to run the ERF store and keep tabs on Ainsley, while Tabitha heads to Martha's Vineyard to sort out Billy's house and possessions.

Funny, frank and romantic, The Identicals is Elin Hilderbrand (Winter Storms) at her best. Tabitha's uptight resentment and Harper's free-spirited flailing are both products of their childhood. Hilderbrand deftly explores their stories and failings while keeping the plot entertaining and quickly paced. Readers are sure to love both sisters--laughing along with their misadventures--and may want to research island summer vacations after reading The Identicals. --Jessica Howard, bookseller at Bookmans

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