Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Four girls.  One Summer. One pair of pants.   That’s where it started.

This is where it ends.

Sisterhood Everlasting
by Ann Brashares
Random House
June 2011

In 2001, Ann Brashares introduced us to Lena, Bridget, Carmen, and Tibby.   They were four friends brought together by coincidence.  Their mothers were all pregnant together in an exercise class.  They were the Septembers, all born within two weeks of one another in the month of September.

Over the course of a decade, we have watched as these four friends have learned, loved, lost, and grown up.   They have figured out who they are, both together and apart.

Sisterhood Everlasting brings us forward ten years from when we first met these four friends, and they are closing in on their thirtieth birthdays.  Carmen is an actress, living in New York and engaged to be married.  Lena is teaching and painting in Rhode Island.  Bridget and Eric are in California, where Bridget does…well, I’m not really sure what it is that Bee does now.  And Tibby has wandered off to the other side of the world to work a project with Brian in Australia.

It is Tibby who will bring them back together.

I first read the Sisterhood books in my early twenties.  Even though they were teens at the time, I really connected to the story of four girls who worked to maintain the wonderful friendships.  I liked that Ann Brashares wrote real stories about real girls.  Their lives were not perfect.  They made stupid mistakes, which is exactly what you are supposed to do when you are young.  As they weathered each storm together, I loved these characters more and more.  I really was excited to read the final chapter in their stories.

What I got was not at all what I expected.  The book has an unexpected twist almost at the start.  What unfolds from there is a wonderful story of finding yourself, finding forgiveness, and finding your friends again.   Ann Brashares brings the girls full circle and writes a delightful ending to this series.

After the twist, I was prepared to really not like this book.  However, I can be unhappy about a part of the book and still enjoy the book overall.  What I like about this book is that Brashares doesn’t take the four girls so far away from the ones we have grown to know that they are unrecognizable.  They are older, yes, but they are very much the same four girls we met in the first book.  They are just older and in some ways wiser.

This is a bittersweet ending for me.  It is the same with any series I have enjoyed.  I love learning what has happened to my favorite characters and hate knowing that I have reached the end of my journey with them.  Thankfully, the ending that Brashares has composed is very satisfying.   No loose ends.  No feeling like “that’s it?”  It is a great ending to a great series.

 


Robin Gwaro is a founding book review blogger at Bookgateway.com and has generously supplied this review. She describes herself as “a woman just trying to keep it all together. Most days, I have the juggling act down! Others, I have the broom and dustpan handy to clean up the mess. My life is not always easy, it is not always neat, but it is always worth every minute!” Her personal blog is Just Wandering. Not Lost.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.