The Identicals

The Identicals: A Novel - Elin Hilderbrand
When it comes to special bonds, there is nothing like that between sisters.  There are times when you love her and don't know how you would live without her, but there are times when you want nothing to do with her and you feel like there isn't enough distance.  But the bond is unshakable.  You would go to the ends of the earth for her.
 
Sisters can be maddening, but the love shared is unlike any other.  
 
Having grown up with four sisters (yes, four!) - two of whom I physically lived with, I can speak from experience.  My closest sister, my Irish Twin, has been my confidante, my partner in crime, my best friend.  She's been my greatest champion and my biggest critic.  
 
I can only begin to imagine what life would have been like if we were identical twins.  
 
In The Identicals, the latest release from Elin Hilderbrand (a twin herself), this relationship is beautifully captured.  Through dynamic prose and engrossing dialogue, we are given a peek into what life is like with a twin.  Hildebrand chronicles a life of childhood games, fun and ease and then delves into adulthood where things get messy. 
 
Hilderbrand develops characters with ease and brilliance.  Each personality within the story has their own nuances and traits that define them.  Their descriptions are so detailed, without becoming monotonous, that you feel a part of the community.  Get to know the pie maker, the contractor, the rich old lady, the doctor, the bartender - and feel as if you've known them all for years.  And, at the core of the story, the twins - Harper and Tabitha. It is difficult to determine who the favorite is because they both become so lovable, for different reasons.  You'll find yourself siding with one, then the other, then back to the first, and so it goes.  But in the end, you'll wish they were both your sisters.  
 
Set in beautiful New England, a perfect backdrop for such a romantic story, Hilderbrand captures the landscape so easily, you'll think you're actually there.  You can hear the ferry boat running the eleven miles between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.  You can taste the clams and hear the Fourth of July Fireworks as if you are there on Lucy Vincent Beach.  You can feel the dense heat of a heavy East Coast Summer and want to dip your toes into the Atlantic Ocean to cool off. 
 
And through all of this, you learn one thing - life throws curve balls.  It can break the heart and mend it back together.  It can knock you down and give you the courage to get back up.  But I wouldn't want to do any of it without a sister to hold my hand, tease me and pull my hair, and love me like only a sister can.  This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will make you want to hug your sister and wish she were your twin. Because, after all is said and done, there is nothing like the bond of a sister.