‘The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand’ deals withidentical twins in absolutely fascinating manner. A journey of love, hate, betrayal, and revelation awaits us in ‘The Identicals’. The tale follows two sets of identical twin sisters who have drifted apart over the years.
After Eleanor Roxy-Frost and Billy Frost decide to split up, they fairly divide their belongings. Tabitha and Harper, their identical twin daughters, are included.
So, at the ripe old age of 17, the sisters play rock-paper-scissors to determine who will accompany Billy and who will stay home with Mom. The game’s outcome still looms large in the lives of the reunited twins, even after all these years.
The death of their father forces the sisters back together. Harper is a Nantucketer who has worked as a drug mule, a landscaper, and a package deliverer. A modicum of notoriety on the island (and the wrath of the drug cartel she unknowingly helped bring down) came with her previous position, but the news that she is having an affair with her father’s married doctor has brought her even more attention.
Tabitha and her rebellious adolescent daughter Ainsley make their home on Martha’s Vineyard, where Tabitha also manages her mother’s floundering boutique (inspired by her mother’s line of apparel and a notorious garment produced years earlier).
Tabitha, whom an ex-boyfriend called “a piss-poor parent,” attributes the loss of her infant son, Julian, fourteen years ago on Harper’s carelessness.
Harper and Tabitha are two of the most deserving persons in the world of a second opportunity or a glimpse into the life of the privileged.
In The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand, the two protagonists have that opportunity.
Harper moves to the Vineyard to take care of Ainsley and manage the struggling boutique after their mother breaks her hip in a fall. When Tabitha’s mother needs her aid, she travels to Boston, but she ends up in Nantucket instead, helping to renovate their late father’s house and falling in love with the contractor.
We get glimpses of the complicated Frost family history via Harper, Tabitha, and Ainsley’s eyes. The death of Julian is a major plot point, and Hildebrand uses this to his advantage by gradually revealing the circumstances of his death fourteen years earlier.
She gives us glimpses of the characters’ inner lives and their perspectives on the world around them.
The sisters may not always be able to communicate effectively with one another, but they have more in common than meets the eye.
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The concept of conjoined twins trading places in life is not a new one. However, Hildebrand makes use of this literary device to develop her characters. Sometimes I’d be rooting for one sister and against the other, depending on the circumstances. Ainsley’s journey to discover herself is the most interesting because of the emotional stakes involved.
The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand was a good choice for a summertime book because it alternated between belly-achingly humorous and heartbreakingly somber.
Even while most of the key plot threads are wrapped up by the time the last page is turned (or, in my case, the last disc is played in the vehicle stereo), there are always more questions than answers. Nothing has a lovely bow on it because that’s not how real life is.