Sisterhood Everlasting

Ann Brashares, Author
Ann Brashares. Random, $25 (356p) ISBN 978-0-385-52122-2
Hardcover - 239 pages - 978-0-679-60509-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-91222-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-91225-1
Paperback - 364 pages - 978-0-385-52123-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61707-574-2
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Brashares revives the Traveling Pants sisterhood for a bittersweet victory lap that finds the sisters grown up and pretty much out of contact until Tibby, who now lives in Australia, proposes a reunion in Greece, where Lena has a family home and a lost love, Kostos. But what begins as a great idea turns tragic when Tibby drowns and letters she left behind hint it may not have been an accident. Brashares creates a sensitive panorama of grief in following how the friends react to loss: Carmen, now a television actress, throws herself into planning her expensive wedding, though she doesn't really connect with her icy fiancé. Bridget leaves her boyfriend to travel around California. Loner Lena reaches out to Kostos in a long-shot effort to rekindle what they had. And while each fears their friendship won't survive the distance between them or Tibby's death, they remain in one another's thoughts, even if they don't interact for most of the novel. Brashares freshens the well-worn tropes of chasing hopeless love and being honest with yourself with a prose that surprises despite its straightforward tone ("Effie wouldn't leave her alone. She would crawl into Lena's precious quiet like a tapeworm"). Series fans might be dismayed that the sisterhood's broken up, but Brashares proves that, even in death, this series has plenty of life left in it. (June)
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