Though catalyzed by the hoariest of women’s-fiction tropes, Island Girls is a satisfying beach read populated by memorable, well-drawn and sympathetic characters and propelled by an entertaining, if somewhat predictable, plot.
Three very different half-sisters must spend the summer in their philandering father’s Nantucket home or forfeit their inheritance. TV host Arden, the wild one, grabs the chance to network with the island’s wealthy summer residents, including her station’s new and very rich owner; smart but frumpy Meg works on completing her Ph.D. dissertation and forgetting a younger, brilliant colleague; and computer geek Jenny hopes they’ll bury the festering grudges that destroyed their relationship in childhood. Just as they’re learning to live with (and perhaps even love) each other, long-buried secrets threaten to destroy their fragile truce. (Ballantine, Jun., 320 pp., $26.00)