Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review: Sisterhood Everlasting (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) by Ann Brashares

**** 4 Fireworks

"I remember my mom once told me that a good family is built for leaving, because that is what children must do. And I've wondered many times, is that also what a good friendship is supposed to be build for?"

Sisterhood Everlasting returns us to Tibby, Carmen, Lena, and Bridget. They are all almost thirty, their friendship has more or less fallen apart, and each of them feels that absence to their soul's core. Out of the blue and after two years with almost no communication from her new home in Australia, Tibby sends them all tickets for a reunion in Greece. I can't describe the tragedy that strikes while the girls are in Greece without spoiler-ing, but it is world changing. The rest of the novel follows each of them as they deal with the aftermath of this personal earthquake.

The novel follows the same overall narrative arch: the girls are separated for some reason, they go through some personal traumadramallama, one of them reaches out to the others, they realize that they are MORE together. At times, I wanted to throttle each of the girls and tell them to DO something with their lives. I don't think they should forgo the grieving process, but letting it become all consuming made it painful to experience as a reader. Fortunately, Brashares has a way with words, and away with these four friends, and she managed to salvage the story well before the final curtain fell. 

Instead of the style used in the earlier stories, with chapters rotating between each of the four girls, this book presents a choppier format. Each chapter offers vignette-length snippets from several of the girls. Some of my fellow "Pants"-readers complained that this was jarring, but I feel like it fits the characters at this point in their lives. They are discombobulated, and this method puts the reader into that same mindset.

Almost a decade ago, Brashares published the first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book. I was 23, technically "too old" for it, but I've always been a sucker for oddball characters who create their own chosen kin. This book pleasantly/oddly puts the characters at only two years younger than me. So, what I'm trying to say is this - the series is technically YA, but if you've ever had friendships that came and went (and maybe came again), then this book and series are for you.

Blogger Sidenote: When I read the original books, I most often identified with Tibby. I was the weird, creative one in most of my chosen-kin groups, and the one who built the home for people to come back to. In this book, I almost solely connected with Bee. Not her pregnancy, but her restlessness and wanderlust and need to grown up, but in a safe harbor. Hmm...


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  2. I think more grown-ups should read these books. Love how they celebrate friendship instead of portraying catty competitive women.

  3. Thanks for reminding me of these! I picked the series back up at Forever Blue as a StoryFest finishing reward. :)