Book Review: Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

In 2001, Ann Brashares introduced young adult readers to Carmen, Lena, Bridget, and Tibby better known as the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Throughout the series, fans have watched these four friends survive their first summer apart, heartbreak, life changes, high school graduation, and their first summer after college. For many readers including myself believed that Forever in Blue was the closing chapter in the story of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. However, I was surprised to see an ad for the concluding novel in the series, Sisterhood Everlasting. Ann Brashares takes readers into the adult lives of Carmen, Lena, Bridget, and Tibby ten years after their first summer after their first year of college.

Synopsis of Sisterhood Everlasting

If you have read Forever in Blue, the girls finished their first year of college. During that summer readers watched as the girls transitioned from teenagers to adults. When their beloved pants go missing, theyl traveled to Greece to find them. They were unable to find their pants, but realized that it takes more than a pair of pants to keep their friendship alive.

Many fans may have lingering questions about these beloved four friends. Did anyone get married or have children? Did Lena and Kostos finally reunite? It’s likely that fans probably asked Ann Brashares these questions and or she took these questions into consideration.

Carmen, Lena, Bridget, and Tibby are adults leading separate lives. They realize that they don’t have the closeness that use to hold them together. Carmen is a successful actress in New York and engaged. Lena is teaching in Rhode Island, and still thinks about Kostos. Bridget is living in San Francisco with her longtime boyfriend Eric. Part of her wants to settle down, but on the other hand Bridget is not ready for commitment. As for Tibby, she is living in Australia with Brian.

Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance and plans a reunion in Greece. She sends the others tickets and they anxiously await their reunion. Carmen, Lena, and Bridget have no idea that the reunion will change their lives in ways they don’t expect.

Review of Sisterhood Everlasting

What makes Sisterhood Everlasting different from the other books in the series? Of course, the girls are almost 30 years old, and they don’t share the closeness that they use to. The tone of the novel is very different. Readers will notice as the third person narration alternates, we don’t get to look into Tibby’s life. All we know is that Tibby is planning the reunion and the girls can’t wait to get to Greece.

When they arrive in Greece, they anxiously wait for Tibby at the airport. She doesn’t show up. They wait for her at Lena’s grandparents’ house, but she never shows up. They realize that something is wrong and report Tibby missing. I will give away one major spoiler. Tibby was found dead. She drowned in the Caldera and authorities found her body later.

The tone of the novel changes from hopeful to sad. As a reader, it was tough seeing Carmen, Lena, and Bridget grieve. My heart ached for these fictional characters as they struggled through their grief. I think that Bridget took Tibby’s death the hardest. She was constantly on the move and finally decides to go to Australia to look for answers. Once she arrives, Bridget makes a surprising discovery.

Was Tibby’s drowning an accident or on purpose? The girls ponder this question and others as they read mysterious letters that Tibby leaves behind. Tibby planned another reunion in Pennyslvania for April 2. Will they find the answers they are looking for?

Throughout the story, Carmen struggles to plan her wedding. However, I could not see her getting married to Jones. I felt that he was unsupportive and just wanted Carmen to simply move on. How could she quickly get over the death of a friend who has been apart her life since birth? Tibby was like Carmen’s family. Carmen heads to a big audition in New Orleans, but she ends up taking a train because she missed her flight. On her train ride, she discover something about herself which changes her life course. I don’t think that she would have made this discovery if she was glued to her iPhone. Lena and Kostos resume their friendship. Will they finally have the relationship they were meant to have? How far are they willing to go to find out if they were meant to be together? Hopefully, fans of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series will find the answers to lingering questions in Sisterhood Everlasting.

Brashares, Ann. Sisterhood Everlasting. 2011. Random House. (ISBN: 978-0-385-52122-2).


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