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Tragedy of the traveling pants—no spoilers

I recently started reading Ann Brashares’s Sisterhood Everlasting (Random House, 2011), a ten-years-later installment of the popular YA Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series (Sisterhood is shelved in the grown-up section at my library). The story picks up with the girls (women) pushing thirty, successful in life and love (for the most part) but wistful for their teenage closeness. Everyone is beyond thrilled when Tibby, who lives in Australia, organizes a reunion vacay in Santorini.

I just got to the part where Carmen, Lena, and Bridget arrive in Greece. I was not prepared for what happens next. And then the book was recalled to the library.

Has anyone else read it? Is it worth trying to check out again? Even if I’m not in the mood for a tear-jerker? No spoilers, if possible. (I know, the book’s not new, but still…)

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.



  1. I read it and I loved it. It is a tear-jerker, most definitely, but it’s also more than that. It’s not just a book that makes you cry, it’s a book that makes you feel. (Meaning, it’s not a tearjerker just for the sake of it.) If you want to see how these girls (er, women) navigate their lives as adults (and there are some more surprises) – definitely check it out again. If I were you, I wouldn’t want to leave them where you left them!

  2. Melissa says:

    I read it and hated it. And it really doesn’t get any happier.

  3. Jessica says:

    I read this and hated it too. I persevered with hopes that it would get better–it didn’t.

  4. I too was shocked at the part you mention! I kept thinking it would get better but no, sad, sad, sad stuff. I think I went through a couple boxes of tissue in order to get to the end. It just felt so different from the other books that I kind of hated that was the way the series ended. I had to finish it because I really did want to find out what happened. Just be prepared if you do pick it up again it doesn’t get any happier.

  5. I will follow Ann Brashares into anything she does (‘My Name is Memory” is incredible!!), but I, too, was disappointed by how SAD this book is. Also, as a 28-year-old woman myself, I was really waiting for them all to grow up and get it together. I don’t think the kind of angst they go through in this book is really typical of the young professional experience–it was a little exasperating! BUT–the closure is nice to have, even if it did come about as a kind of deus ex machina. At the very least, the book goes quickly, so finish it if you have a free Saturday! But maybe don’t give it to your daughters as a case study for how to grow up. 🙂

  6. Elissa Gershowitz Elissa Gershowitz says:

    Speaking of growing pains… who saw Lena-slash-Rory as a sad sexpot on Mad Men?

  7. Meaghan says:

    It was really good! Try again!

  8. Liberry Ann says:

    Do I need to have read all the travelling pants sequels before reading this?

  9. I was glad I read it, although it wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for in terms of what happens to the characters. But my version wouldn’t have made for as much drama, now would it? I felt like it should have been a tearjerker, but it didn’t leave me sobbing. I’d say it’s worth finishing.

  10. Library Ann, I don’t have the sense that you need to read all the previous books before reading this one. I’ve done a combination of reading, skimming, and movie-version-watching of the series and didn’t have any problem being up to speed with the ladies’ lives. Though maybe if I’d read all the previous books carefully and “grown up” with the girls, I wouldn’t feel such ambivalence about reading this book. Though then again, a connection with the girls is part of what’s stopping me from keeping going with this one, if that makes any sense.

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