Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

This book revisits the girls from the popular “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” series ten years after the end of the last book. For those not familiar with the series, four pregnant women met in an aerobics class, became friends, and gave birth to daughters in or around the month of September, and their daughters became firm and lifelong friends. In their teens, the girls bought a pair of most unusual jeans at a thrift store, jeans that fit them all perfectly, although they were all very different body types. They believed these jeans were special and had the power to bind them together even when they were apart. Although I haven’t read the books in years, so I don’t feel I can honestly review them on this blog without a more recent reading, I do remember I liked them and would not hesitate to recommend them to others.

In this book, ten years have passed, the girls are on the brink of thirty and all leading separate lives though they do their best to keep in touch. Tibby, who wanted to be a filmmaker, has moved to Australia with her boyfriend, Brian, and the time difference and distance makes it difficult to stay connected with her friends. Lena, an artist and art teacher in Rhode Island, still thinks of Kostos, the boy she met and fell in love with in Greece when she was sixteen, and wonders about what might have been. Carmen, a successful actress in New York, is engaged and the future looks bright. And Bridget, “Bee” to her friends, is living in San Francisco with her longtime boyfriend Eric, who she met at soccer camp the summer she was sixteen, torn between her old, familiar restlessness and the desire to settle down.

Out of the blue, Tibby sends her friends plane tickets to Santorini. It’s time for a reunion. But Tibby herself never shows. Instead, the police come. Tibby has been found dead. It is ruled an accidental drowning, but letters she left behind suggest it might have been a suicide instead and that instead of a reunion this was intended to be a farewell.

Each of the women copes with Tibby’s death in different ways. They stop communicating with each other as each of them stops and takes stock of their own lives and ponder whether they’re on the right course or if changes need to be made.

Will the letters Tibby left behind, addressed to each of her friends, to be opened on certain dates, bring them back together, and help them make the right decisions in their lives? If you liked the “Traveling Pants” series I highly recommend you read this and find out. If you’re like me and haven’t read the original books in years, this novel contains just enough information to refresh your memory so you can go forward and enjoy the story.

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