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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review: Sisterhood Everlasting

Author: Ann Brashares
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 349
Source: NetGalley
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Summary: From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares comes the welcome return of the characters whose friendship became a touchstone for a generation. Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting.

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.

As moving and life-changing as an encounter with long-lost best friends, Sisterhood Everlasting is a powerful story about growing up, losing your way, and finding the courage to create a new one.

My Favorite Lines: There were so many.  Seriously.
"She knew that when she got old it would be more fun to look back on a life of romance and adventure than a life of quiet habits. But looking back was easy. It was the doing that was painful. There were plenty of things she would like to look back on but wasn't willing to risk ...”

"Every day you put off your life makes you less capable of living it.” 

“They were here all at once, but not together. Survival took self-absorption, and it made them strangers with nothing to do and no way to relate. Emergencies gave you a shape and a plot to take part in, while death was no story at all. It left you nothing.” 
“She wondered again about her inclination to wish for things that made her so deeply unhappy.”

Why I Loved It: I have to admit.  I was wary about this book.  Very wary.  The Sisterhood books were a very precious part of my childhood, and this seemed like a big risk.  I didn't read any reviews on the book before I started.  I didn't even read the summary.  I just decided I had to take the leap because I had to know how it all ended.  And within about five chapters (?), I was weeping.  Full-on tears dripping on my Nook, reading through blurry eyes, weeping.  I know some people won't understand that.  "It's just a book.  They are just characters." Those people don't understand what it means to step into a book when you read.  As a child, I felt like Carmen, Bridget, Lena, and Tibby were some of my friends.  I understood them.  And for this book, I got to know them again as a woman getting to know four amazing women.

For those who read the Traveling Pant's books, this book is not full of the same "growing-up" youthful themes.  It truly is an adult book discovering and exploring what it means to grieve and lose and be alive with the time you have.  For the most part, the sisterhood has grown up.  But they haven't all discovered what it really means to be an adult living their life to the fullest.

It was hard to feel how much time had passed.  I felt so old reading this book.  It was a reflection of how quickly time has passed in my own life.  But that is the power of an good book.  You see beautiful reflections of yourself reflected among the paged lives of others.  They are relatable.  This book is incredibly relatable.

As a teen, I took a bit of my writing style from Mrs. Brashares.  So much of her writing is filled with little pieces of wisdom swept into these scenes that captured the very essence of what it means to grow up.  The quality of her writing in this book was just over and beyond.  As I read, I kept thinking "YES" that's what I want my writing to feel like.  I want those emotions captured.

I was swept away in this book, and into this world that had grown just a bit bigger since the last time I had traveled there.  As it stands, I'm an even bigger fan of Ann Brashares than I was when I started.  She is a powerful writer, and I am so grateful for giving me and her other fans the last sisterhood book to enjoy

Who Should Read It: Sisterhood fans for sure.  Really, anyone who loves powerful and emotional books that pull everything you have from you and give it back in the end.  Sometimes those are the best ones.

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