Sisterhood Everlasting is the final book in the Traveling Pants series (for now, at least). I reread the series before starting this novel so I could know the characters, Lena, Bridget, Tibby and Carmen, once again. I read the series throughout high school and again in university and loved it every time I read it. The situations in these books are ones we all face, there’s joy, sadness, heartbreak, death, life, you name it, it’s in this series. Actually every one of the things I listed is in every novel in the Traveling Pants series, including Sisterhood Everlasting.
Let me start by saying that I absolutely hated this novel until about page 200 (there’s 344 pages in my copy). I hated it because Lena, Bridget, Tibby and Carmen aren’t themselves anymore.
– Lena is an artist and not a very successful one. She teaches, but she isn’t happy.
– Bridget is kind of drifting here and there, spending time with the homeless and not knowing what she wants out of life.
– Tibby lives in Australia and has only been able to keep contact with the others through email.
– Carmen is a somewhat successful actress. She’s engaged to a guy that’s not right for her.
When I began reading Sisterhood Everlasting I thought Ann Brashares took too many liberties with her characters. I felt like she didn’t care about these girls anymore, like she gave up on them. She had spent so much time giving all the readers faith that these girls will forever be friends, and in one book, she seemed to be taking that away. I hated her for it and I was ready to put the book away and never pick it up again, but something kept me going … I wanted a resolution, and not just one where the girls became friends again and lived happily ever after bla bla bla, but also a resolution to the circumstances presented in this novel. I guess I should give you some context for that …
Sisterhood Everlasting picks up 10 years after the girls were in Greece searching for the pants in Forever in Blue. They’re no longer close, in fact they consider themselves strangers. Tibby sends Lena, Bridget and Carmen plane tickets to Greece as a sort of 10 year reunion and everyone’s excited to see each other. It’s only in Greece that tragedy strikes when one of the girls dies. I won’t tell you who, but I was completely shocked, as I would be no matter which of them died. Not only did she die, but she appears to have committed suicide. Something already that’s already been dealt with in this series with Bridget’s mother, Marly. This girl speaks to the others from beyond the grave through the means of letters that she had written before her death. This is where I started getting even more upset with the author. I didn’t like that this character seemed to be suddenly killed off (and you’ll hate the way it happens too) and is now giving the other girls advice. She had no right … that’s what I kept thinking. So I was angry while reading, but I couldn’t stop. I needed a resolution … I needed to know why she did it.
After finishing Sisterhood Everlasting, the only way I can describe it to you is in one word: beautiful. I realized that this novel written in exactly the way it’s supposed to be written. You need to go through all the anger, all the hatred, all the grief, all the everything in order to appreciate what Brashares has written. After falling in love with each of the girls, Lena, Bridget, Tibby and Carmen, there’s no doubt any reader would grieve any one of their deaths. It’s a definite must read for anyone who fell in love with the Traveling Pants series the way I did. Grab a copy for yourself and give it a go.