Sunday, April 01, 2012

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

The fifth book in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series jumps ahead ten years to find the girls all grown up and falling apart.

Years after the traveling pants had been lost in Greece, the girls have gone their separate ways and created their own lives. Tibby is in Australia with Brian, Lena is teaching art in Providence, Carmen is a New York actress, and Bridget is in San Francisco with Eric. With space and time keeping them apart, especially Tibby who is hard to contact, they are all receive invitations from Tibby to reunite in Greece. Excited to finally be together, they are thrown for a loop when tragedy strikes, creating in chasm in them so deep they can't seem to move on with their lives or even find comfort in each other. Will the world ever make sense again? What could possibly bring these inseparable friends back together again?

This fifth book being ten years after the last book feels a little separate from the series, almost like you can read this book without having read the other books. Sure the other books help with background knowledge but there's enough of a sense of life before to make it through this book. For the most part the book is about loss - of loved ones and of yourself - and finding your way back to it all. However, since most of it is about loss and the characters all being unable to move on, it became a little overwhelming to the point of annoying, especially given how far removed the characters had grown before the tragedy (sporadic contact throughout the last couple of years). I understand why they were so deeply affected (they had been inseparable friends) and maybe I just can't sympathize because I've never gone through it, but the characters just behaved so radically I found them too much to swallow - especially Bridget. However, maybe her actions make more sense if I knew more about her if I had read the previous books. Just the same, it's not until the girls started to get their lives back on track that the book grew on me. It does have a good message about loss and friendship but it just drags a bit in the middle.

This novel is a good conclusion to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. While it does become a bit tedious in the middle, overall it's a good story. You feel for each character and hope for everything to work out. While I can't compare it to the other books having not read them, I think it is one that fans will love because it is about the characters and seeing where their lives go.

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