cover image The Island

The Island

Elin Hilderbrand, read by Denice Hicks, Hachette Audio, unabridged, 13 CDs, 15 hrs., $34.98 ISBN 978-1-60-788240-4

Denice Hicks effectively sets the tone for Hilderbrand’s latest crowd-pleasing beach tale exploring the ups and downs of sibling rivalry, divorce, and the rekindling of long-dormant romantic passions. Admittedly, keeping track of the back-and-forth flow of dialogue between protagonist Birdie Cousins and her sister India and also between Birdie’s two young-adult daughters, Chess and Tate, may not always be easy for the listener; however, Hicks does bring distinctive touches into her vocal depictions when specific plot points or scenes allow. In particular, she excels in her portrayal of the villainous—and generally inebriated—socialite Anita Fullin, Tate’s rival for the affections of hunky young widower and vacation-home caretaker Barrett Lee. A Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, May 17). (July)