I read Ann Brashare’s Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series a few years ago and enjoyed it immensely. I also enjoyed that movies that were made afterwards. Last month, I was surprised to learn that Ann Brashares had written a new Sisterhood novel, but that this one was aimed at the adult market. I picked up a copy and added it to my vacation pile, knowing there was no way I could miss out on the end of the series.
Sisterhood Everlasting: A Novel (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) takes place ten years after the last book in the series. Lena, Tibby, Bee, and Carmen have grown apart as their lives begin to move down different paths. I’ve been invested in the Septembers since the beginning, feeling like I was growing up alongside them. I think Brashares is a brave woman: many of the women who love Lena, Tibby, Bee, and Carmen are in their late twenties now so it makes sense that they would continue to connect with them as they close in on thirty years old. But at the same time, there is no way an author will make everyone happy. I struggle to summarize the plot of Sisterhood Everlasting because I don’t want to give anything away. Just know that the girls are adults now, so they are dealing with adult problems. Life isn’t simple and there are no easy answers. People grow and change, but the girls are the same at the core. They still need each other, whether they admit it or not.
The girls are growing up and have grown apart. While they consider the rest of the group to be their best friends, they aren’t in touch as often and life keeps getting in the way of planned reunions, emails, and phone calls. All of the girls are relatable and true to the personalities they have had all along. The stakes are higher in some ways, because they are adults now. But does that mean they don’t need each other anymore? This is the question they all struggle with as they grow up and grow older. Brashares explores this in a real and heart-wrenching way.
If you’re a fan of the Sisterhood book, read Sisterhood Everlasting. You owe it to yourself and the characters to see them through to the end. It’s well worth the ride, despite the tears along the way. I am so happy that Brashares made the decision to revisit the Septembers as adults and didn’t succumb to the inevitable pressure of the perfect “happily ever after”. If you haven’t read the series yet, don’t pick this one up! For one, I don’t think people who missed out on the series will be able to follow the Septembers through their adult lives. Too many nods to their past and important events mean newcomers may be lost. Plus, reading this book first will destroy the rest of the series for you. Just trust me on that one! You won’t be able to get through the first few books, because of the tears that will be falling.
Highly recommended for fans of Brashares’ earlier books.