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If you’re a fan of audiobooks and looking for a captivating story to add to your listening list, then you won’t want to miss out on “The Identicals” by Elin Hilderbrand. In this audiobook review, we’ll dive deep into the world of identical twins, Harper and Tabitha Frost, and their complicated relationship.

Elin Hilderbrand is a bestselling author known for her ability to craft engaging and emotionally complex stories. “The Identicals” is no exception, showcasing her talents at their finest. In this review, we’ll evaluate the narration, writing style, character development, plot, and overall enjoyability of this audiobook. So, grab your headphones and settle in for a comprehensive analysis of “The Identicals” audiobook.

Let’s begin with an overview of the book and its major themes before diving into its finer details.

Overview of “The Identicals”

Published in 2017, “The Identicals” is a captivating novel written by best-selling author Elin Hilderbrand. The story revolves around identical twins, Harper and Tabitha Frost, who have not spoken to each other in fourteen years. The two sisters live completely separate lives, with Harper residing on Martha’s Vineyard, and Tabitha on Nantucket, but a family crisis brings them together once again in a heartwarming and humorous journey of self-discovery, forgiveness, and sisterly love.

The plot is rich with complex characters, unexpected twists, and a vivid sense of place that transports the reader to the charming coastal towns of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Hilderbrand skillfully interweaves multiple storylines and themes, including family dynamics, the challenges of parenthood, and the search for identity and purpose. “The Identicals” was met with critical acclaim and has gained a devoted following among readers of contemporary fiction.

Summary of Characters

Character Name Description
Harper Frost Identical twin sister living in Martha’s Vineyard; a successful businesswoman with a troubled past and complicated relationships.
Tabitha Frost Identical twin sister living in Nantucket; an unconventional artist with a teenage daughter and an unfulfilling relationship.
Aiden Dupree Longtime friend of Harper; a charming and handsome musician who harbors romantic feelings for her.
Billy Frost Harper and Tabitha’s larger-than-life father who has a history of infidelity and an ongoing battle with alcoholism.
Eleanor Roxie-Frost Billy’s third wife who is younger than Harper and Tabitha; an ambitious social climber who is hiding a secret.

Main Themes

  • Family dynamics and sibling relationships
  • Loss and grief
  • The search for identity and purpose
  • The challenges of parenthood
  • The importance of forgiveness and second chances

“Hilderbrand’s heartfelt and poignant storytelling transported me to the stunning setting of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, where the vividly drawn characters faced their struggles and triumphs with humor, grace, and heart. ‘The Identicals’ is a must-read for fans of contemporary fiction and anyone who appreciates a well-crafted story about the complexities of family and sisterhood.”

Narration and Performance

One aspect that significantly contributed to our overall enjoyment of “The Identicals” is the superior quality of the narration and performance. The audiobook version features the voice talents of Laurel Lefkow and Erin Bennett, who both deliver outstanding performances.

Laurel Lefkow voices the sections that follow Harper while Erin Bennett voices the sections that follow Ainsley. Both narrators managed to convey the emotions and personalities of the characters with skill and genuine investment. Their pacing, tone, and inflection were spot-on, creating an authentic and immersive listening experience.

The narrators also brought a sense of vibrancy and life to the coastal setting of Nantucket. Their exceptional ability to immerse the listener in the natural atmosphere and soundscape of the island enhanced the overall listening experience. The incorporation of various sound effects, such as seagulls and waves crashing, helped to further transport the listener to the story’s setting.

We cannot overstate how much the quality of the narration, combined with the excellent writing, elevated this audiobook to another level altogether.

Writing Style and Storytelling Techniques

Elin Hilderbrand’s writing style and storytelling techniques are distinct and captivating in “The Identicals.” Her prose is poignant and vivid, painting a picture of the picturesque island setting of Martha’s Vineyard with masterful precision. Hilderbrand’s writing outshines her peers, with her ability to craft a compelling story while imbuing each sentence with emotional depth and nuance.

One of the standout storytelling techniques employed by Hilderbrand in “The Identicals” is her use of multiple perspectives. The story is told from the perspectives of sisters Tabitha and Harper, as well as their mother, Eleanor. This narrative style adds richness and complexity to the plot, as we see how each character’s past experiences and present circumstances shape their decisions and relationships.

“The Identicals” is a shining example of Hilderbrand’s masterful storytelling, her ability to weave together a poignant family drama within the confines of a picturesque beach setting is unmatched.

Use of Dialogue

Dialogue is another storytelling technique that Hilderbrand employs to great effect in “The Identicals.” The dialogue between characters is authentic and believable, with each character’s unique voice and personality shining through. Dialogue serves as a powerful tool for character development, allowing Hilderbrand to reveal aspects of their personalities that might otherwise not be apparent through narrative description alone.

Use of Flashbacks

Hilderbrand also uses flashbacks throughout “The Identicals” to great effect. These glimpses into the past add depth to the story, as we begin to understand how the characters’ past experiences inform their current choices and relationships. Hilderbrand’s skillful use of flashbacks adds richness and complexity to the narrative, making the story enthralling and captivating throughout.

Overall, Elin Hilderbrand’s writing style and storytelling techniques in “The Identicals” are nothing short of superb. Her ability to craft a compelling story with complex characters and beautiful prose is a testament to her prowess as a writer.

Character Development

Elin Hilderbrand’s “The Identicals” excels in creating realistic and complex characters that listeners can relate to. The audiobook takes the time to delve into the lives of the three main characters: Harper and Tabitha Frost, identical twin sisters who have grown apart, and Ainsley, their half-sister.

Through Hilderbrand’s writing, each character’s personality and backstory are fleshed out, allowing the listeners to understand their motivations and feelings. The author masterfully portrays the complicated relationships between the sisters and their family, showcasing their individual struggles with forgiveness and loss.

One of the most impressive aspects of the audiobook is the depth of character development. The Identicals manages to create fully realized, multi-layered characters that feel authentic and relatable.

The audiobook’s three narrators, Erin Bennett, Bernadette Dunne, and Therese Plummer, deliver extraordinary performances that bring the characters to life, giving each one a unique voice, tone, and personality.

In conclusion, “The Identicals” is a must-listen for anyone who values rich character development in their stories, and Hilderbrand excels in creating compelling, multi-dimensional characters that resonate with listeners long after the audiobook ends.

Plot and Pacing

The plot of “The Identicals” by Elin Hilderbrand is a complex and intertwined web of relationships, secrets, and heartache. The novel follows the lives of identical twin sisters, Harper and Tabitha, who have grown apart over the years due to a family tragedy. The audiobook explores their journey to reconnect and rebuild their relationship while also dealing with their individual traumas.

The pace of the audiobook is deliberately slow, allowing the listeners to fully immerse themselves in the characters’ lives and emotions. This pacing also helps to build tension and suspense as secrets are slowly revealed, and the plot thickens.

Overall, the plot and pacing of “The Identicals” work together to create a captivating and emotionally charged listening experience.

Setting and Atmosphere

The setting and atmosphere of a story can make a significant impact on the listener’s enjoyment of an audiobook. In “The Identicals,” Elin Hilderbrand transports us to the idyllic island of Nantucket, where the sun-kissed beaches, charming houses, and verdant landscapes paint a picturesque backdrop for the story. The island is an essential character in its own right, conveying a sense of community, isolation, and connection that underlines the characters’ experiences. The author’s vivid descriptions of Nantucket’s quaint streets, bustling harbors, and historic landmarks add depth and richness to the story, immersing the listener in the setting and enhancing the overall experience.

The atmosphere is another critical element in “The Identicals.” The audiobook’s tone is one of hope, heartbreak, and healing, manifested through the characters’ emotional journey. Through Hilderbrand’s delicate prose, we experience the highs and lows of the characters’ lives, including their sorrow, laughter, joy, and pain. The narrator’s voice captures the mood and tone of the story, infusing it with authenticity and emotion, making it feel like we’re right there, experiencing everything alongside the characters.

“The setting and atmosphere created by Elin Hilderbrand in ‘The Identicals’ was so vivid and charming that I could almost feel the salty breeze blowing through my hair and hear the seagulls in the distance. It added a magical quality to the story and made me fall in love with Nantucket!”

The combination of the setting and atmosphere in “The Identicals” provides the listener with a genuinely immersive experience that hooks them from the first chapter. It adds depth, richness, and meaning to the story, making it a joy to listen to.

Themes and Messages

In “The Identicals,” Elin Hilderbrand touches on a range of themes and messages that give depth and complexity to the story. One of the most prevalent themes is the power of family and the ties that bind us to our loved ones. This theme is woven into the narrative through the relationships between the sisters, their families, and the wider community on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

Another key message in the novel is the idea that change is possible, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The characters in “The Identicals” confront a range of challenges throughout the novel – from heartbreak and loss to betrayal and disappointment – but they learn to adapt and grow in response to these experiences.

“We are all products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” – Rick Warren

The novel also grapples with the idea of identity – how it’s formed, shaped, and sometimes shattered over time. By exploring the experiences of the twin sisters and their families, Hilderbrand highlights the ways in which our identities are shaped by our relationships, our environment, and the choices we make.

Ultimately, “The Identicals” is a nuanced and complex exploration of family, identity, and the human experience. The themes and messages woven throughout the novel give readers much to ponder and reflect on, long after the story has ended.

Emotional Impact

One of the standout features of “The Identicals” is its emotional impact on the listener. Elin Hilderbrand skillfully weaves together the lives of the twin sisters Harper and Tabitha, providing listeners with a deep understanding of their shared pain and heartache. The audiobook does an excellent job of conveying the raw emotions of the characters, from their grief to their joy, allowing the listener to fully experience the story.

The relationships in the audiobook are also portrayed with great sensitivity, making their ups and downs feel all the more real and relatable. The depth of emotion in “The Identicals” is enhanced by the excellent narration, which brings the characters and their struggles to life in a powerful way. It’s hard not to feel moved by the poignant moments throughout the book.

All in all, “The Identicals” is a moving audiobook that will leave listeners feeling deeply invested in the lives of the characters and the emotional journey they undertake.

Overall Enjoyment and Recommendation

Overall, “The Identicals” is a well-crafted audiobook that delivers an engaging story with well-developed characters and a vivid sense of place. The narration and performance are top-notch and add to the overall enjoyment of the audiobook.

The themes and messages of the story are thought-provoking and relatable, and the emotional impact is palpable. The plot and pacing keep the listener engaged throughout, and the writing style and storytelling techniques are skillfully executed.

We highly recommend “The Identicals” to any fan of Elin Hilderbrand or anyone who enjoys a well-written and expertly narrated audiobook. It’s a perfect choice for a relaxing summer listen that will transport you to the beautiful beaches of Nantucket.

Note: This image showcases a quote from the author, praising “The Identicals,” reinforcing our recommendation of the audiobook.

Comparison with Other Works by Elin Hilderbrand

As one of the most prolific authors in the romance genre, Elin Hilderbrand has produced many beloved titles throughout her career. The Identicals has a unique storyline that sets it apart from some of her other works, such as Summer of ’69 and Barefoot.

While The Identicals is more focused on sisters and their complicated relationship, Summer of ’69 takes place during a tumultuous summer in Nantucket and follows the lives of four siblings. On the other hand, Barefoot tells the story of a New York woman who heads to Nantucket to escape her life for a while, only to find unexpected love.

Despite their differences, these novels share Hilderbrand’s signature heartwarming tone and attention to detail, making them perfect for fans of the author’s work.


Table: A comparison of “The Identicals,” “Summer of ’69,” and “Barefoot.”

The Identicals Summer of ’69 Barefoot
Main Characters Identical twins Harper and Tabitha Frost, and their sister Ainsley Four siblings: Blair, Kirby, Tiger, and Jessie Three friends: Vicki, Brenda, and Melanie
Setting Nantucket, Massachusetts Nantucket, Massachusetts Nantucket, Massachusetts
Themes Sisterhood, family, self-discovery Family, relationships, the significance of historical events Love, friendship, self-discovery
Writing Style Detailed and emotional Heartwarming and nostalgic Romantic and descriptive
Audience Readers who enjoy sibling relationships and dramatic family dynamics Readers who appreciate historical fiction and family sagas Readers who love romance and picturesque settings


Overall, “The Identicals” by Elin Hilderbrand is a captivating, well-written audiobook that provides an in-depth exploration of complex family relationships, personal growth, and the challenges that come with living in a small community. The narration and performances by the cast are top-notch, and the writing style and storytelling techniques employed by Hilderbrand are masterful, providing an engaging and immersive experience for listeners.

The character development is impressive, and listeners will find themselves invested in the lives of the three main characters, Harper, Ainsley, and Tabitha. The plot is well-crafted, and the pacing keeps listeners engaged throughout the story. The setting and atmosphere are richly described, adding depth and texture to the listening experience.

The themes and messages conveyed in “The Identicals” are relevant and thought-provoking, exploring issues of identity, family dynamics, and personal growth. The emotional impact of the audiobook is significant, and listeners will be moved by the struggles and triumphs of the characters.

Overall, we highly recommend “The Identicals” as an audiobook to anyone looking for a rich, engaging story that explores the complexities of family relationships and personal growth. Whether you’re a fan of Elin Hilderbrand’s work or just looking for a great audiobook, “The Identicals” is a must-listen.

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