Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness.
Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected.
Sisterhood Everlasting is a constant struggle. Even now I am still sorting through my feelings about it.
Having read and followed all of the girls throughout the Traveling Pants series, I do have an attachment to them. How can I not? I followed them for four summers of their lives, and am now transported ten years into their future. There is a reader-story-character bond going on.
That said, I think it’s this bond that threw me for a loop with Sisterhood Everlasting. To a reader that’s never encountered Bridget, Lena, Carmen or Tibby before, the story will just appear heartbreaking, depressing, sad. But to me, as someone that has followed them, it’s utterly devastating; there is no relief from what these girls go through. But while I don’t believe every story needs a happy ending, this just seemed very out of place to me. The mood in Sisterhood Everlasting is incredibly – surprisingly- painful. Sure, the Traveling Pants series showed their fair amount of pain and strife, but not to this degree. This, to me, seemed overdone and like overkill.
These girls don’t bloom – they plummet. They plummet deep into the worst parts of themselves, unable to get a grip on how they once were. Actually, they’re struggling to be what they once were, utterly unable to let go of the past. Honestly, it was painful for me to read. Their transformations are like nothing I ever expected. So, of course, this ruined the entire finale for me.
But I can’t pretend that Sisterhood Everlasting is a bad read. It is, in fact, a good read. A very good read. The pacing is tremendously slow, and the story drawn out, but the emotion cuts so deep and so true. Brashares has this way with words that works to present the girls out of their teenage years; the writing is truly beautiful and thought-provoking.
Just don’t expect a feel-good experience. This is rough, deep and will leave you with a heavy heart.