One is blond, socially fearless, a former catering director who still plans outrageous events and insists on introducing each guest to everyone else.

The other is auburn, only slightly less sociable, a veteran researcher who takes on gargantuan projects that everyone else insists are impossible.

While often serious-minded, Austin’s irrepressible Fontaine sisters sometimes resemble kooky characters from a romantic comedy of 1960s vintage.

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