Saturday Read: Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
If you were between the ages of 11 and 16 around 2001, I’ll bet you’ve read the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It’s become somewhat of a YA classic and is revered by many of my friends as their favorite book. Around the time that this series was popular, I had 3 best friends and we all related to one character in the book, which was so much fun. However, as often happens, you grow apart from your high school friends, especially after four years at different universities. You make different friends, you get boyfriends and pretty soon, you have nothing in common. I don’t know about you, but for me it’s been pretty hard to maintain these friendships when you don’t run in the same circles and have nothing to say except “So, what’s new?” Mimicking my own growth, Ann Brashares has come out with the final chapter in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants saga- Sisterhood Everlasting- which features the four friends 10 years later.
The book begins by introducing you to each of the girls’ new lives. Carmen is a semi-famous actress and now a size 0. She lives in New York City with her fiance, Jones, and is obsessed with her iPhone. Tibby has run off to Australia with Brian and hasn’t kept in touch at all. Lena is an art instructor and spends her time with Drew, a sandwich-maker who she isn’t really interested in, but he’s better than no one. And Bridget is still her free-spirited self, with nothing steady in her life except Eric, her longtime boyfriend who supports them both. All 4 girls miss their friendship and close bond and hope is renewed when each receives a plane ticket from Tibby to meet at Lena’s grandparents house in Greece. They all set off, looking forward to getting their friendship back on track, but a tragedy so unthinkable shakes them to the core and sends them on a tailspin that tests them like nothing yet.
I’m not going to say any more about the story line of the book. I don’t want to accidentally hint at anything, because I think the surprises are what hit your the hardest in this one. However, I will say that this book could not have come at a more perfect time in my life.
At the core of this, and all the Traveling Pants books, is friendship. The boyfriends, the careers and even family all come second to this unbreakable bond between 4 girls. I’ll admit that my priorities have become slightly skewed in recent years and I’ve put school before everything and then fit the other aspects of my life into that, often leaving friendship for dead last. Like I said, it’s so hard to maintain something with someone who you have nothing in common with except each other. This book takes me back to when my friends meant everything to me and makes me nostalgic for the simplicity of high school. It makes me appreciate the good friends I have and remember great times with friends of my past.
Ann is a wonderful writer and I feel like she finished off the series perfectly. She tied up all the loose ends for each girl, often in the happiest way possible. I finished this book feeling satisfied with the direction of each girl and a little bit more at peace with myself. No matter what happens, true friends are there for you and even if you reconnect 10 years down the line, things will be like they always were.