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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Ten years later, the story continues
On the cusp of turning thirty, Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget are now living separate lives, out on their own. Yet 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.
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About the Author
Ann Brashares is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, Girls in Pants, and Forever in Blue, which comprise an internationally bestselling, award-winning series that has inspired two major motion pictures.
Read an Excerpt
Once, when she was thirteen, Carmen remembered turning to Tibby with her CosmoGirl magazine in one hand and her eye pencil in the other and declaring that she could never, ever get sick of doing makeovers.
Well, it turned out she could. Sitting in the makeup chair in early October in a trailer parked on the corner of Bleecker Street and the Bowery in the East Village of Manhattan, getting her hair blown out for the seven millionth time by a girl named Rita and the foundation sponged onto her face for the eight millionth time by a girl named Genevieve, Carmen knew it was just another mile on the hedonic treadmill. You could get sick of anything.
It was true. She’d read an article in Time magazine about it. “You could even get sick of chocolate,” she’d told her mother on the phone the night before.
Her mother had made a doubting sound.
“That’s what I read, anyway.”
Being an actress on a TV show, even a moderately good and successful TV show, involved a few minutes of acting for every few hours you spent in the makeup chair. And even when you were done with the makeup—temporarily, of course; you were never done with the makeup—there was still a whole lot of sitting around drinking lattes. That was the dirty secret of the entertainment industry: it was boring.
Granted, Carmen didn’t have the biggest part in the show. She was Special Investigator Lara Brennan on Criminal Court. She showed up at least briefly at a crime scene in almost every episode and sometimes got to appear as a witness on the stand.
“Eyes up,” Genevieve said, coming in with a mascara wand. It was rare that Carmen needed a prompt. She knew exactly which way to turn her eyes for each portion of the mascara application. If she didn’t stay ahead of it, Carmen feared she’d end up like one of the many dolls she’d mangled as a child with her constant brutal efforts at grooming.
Carmen studied her hair in the mirror. She’d never thought she’d get sick of that either. She squinted down the highlights. They were a little brassy, a little bright this time. She would have liked to go darker, but the director wanted her light. Probably because her character’s surname was Brennan and not Garcia.
Carmen jiggled her phone in her hand and thought of who to call. She’d already spoken to Lena once and her agent twice. Her mind summoned a glimpse of Tibby’s face, more out of loyalty than an expectation of actually talking to her. Since Tibby had moved to Australia with Brian almost two years before, Carmen had almost given up hope of reaching her in real time. Tibby’s move had been hasty, somewhat disorganized, and just . . . far. The sixteen-hour time difference was a constant impediment. Tibby had gone from place to place at first and didn’t get a landline until long after Carmen had given up on the idea. International calls between their cellphones were plagued by stupid complications, mostly on Tibby’s side. In a couple of weeks. In a month. By next spring. Those were the times when Carmen told herself they’d resume regular contact. Carmen often thought of hauling over there for a visit. This past June she’d staked out a date on the calendar, and Bee and Lena had instantly agreed to the scheme. When she’d emailed Tibby about it, Tibby’s return had come more quickly than usual. “Now’s not a good time.”
Carmen took it personally for once. “Did I do something?” she’d asked in her next message.
“Oh, Carma, no. You did nothing wrong. Nothing. Just busy and unsettled here. It’ll be soon. I promise. I want to see you and Len and Bee more than anything else in the world.”
And there was Bee. Carmen hadn’t seen her since Bridget’s last swing through New York over the Christmas holidays, but there were long periods when Bridget and Carmen talked every day—that is, as long as Bee hadn’t lost her phone or neglected to pay her bill for too long. Bee was the best possible distraction from an hour in the makeup chair. But Carmen hesitated to call her now. It had been awkward between them for the last few weeks, since Bee had effectively called Jones an asshole.
Well, to be fair, Bee hadn’t just come out and said “Your fiancé is an asshole.” In fact, to be fair, it was Carmen who’d called him an asshole and Bee who’d lost no time in agreeing with her. But Carmen was allowed to say Jones was an asshole. She was the one marrying the asshole.
Carmen’s phone rang, saving her the trouble of dialing anyone, and she snapped it up. The earphones were already stuck in her ears. She was one of the few people she knew who answered the phone as she checked the caller ID, not after.
“In the chair still?”
“Yep.” Jones was in the business, so he knew how it went. Besides, he’d called her half an hour before.
“How late are you shooting tonight?”
“Till around seven, Steven said.”
“If you can, cut out a little early and come directly to the Mandarin, all right? It’s the pre-party before the big Haiti benefit. It’s important for you to at least show.”
“It won’t make a difference to Haiti if I don’t get there in time for the pre-party.” It was one of three benefits they had on the calendar that week.
“It’s not about Haiti,” Jones said, as though she were being dense. “It’s about the Shaws. They invited us, and I don’t want to stiff them. She’s probably going to be head of production by next year. We’ll be out of there by eight. Nobody’s going to stay for the whole thing.”
“Oh. Of course.” Cynical though she was, Carmen never remembered to be quite cynical enough. Why would she think the Haiti benefit was about Haiti and not about the Shaws? Why would she think the gala was about the gala and not about the party before the gala? If not for Jones, she could have been one of the boobs who thought it was about Haiti and stayed for the whole thing.
It was endlessly tricky being in the know. It was a state Carmen had achieved with a certain bravado, but she found it difficult to maintain. Without Jones, she could easily slip out of the know, relapse into her natural eagerness, and probably never get hired for another part in her life.
“It’s a game and you play it,” he often told her when she felt discouraged or repulsed. “If you want to succeed in this business, it’s what you do. Otherwise, you gotta pick a different business.” He was thirty-nine years old to her twenty-nine. He’d been doing it for sixteen years, he always reminded her. But he didn’t need to tell her. Whether or not she liked it, she was perfectly good at playing the game when she chose to.
“I’ll try to be there before seven,” she said.
Carmen felt vaguely dissatisfied as she ended the call. It wasn’t that Jones didn’t care about charities. He did. Every month he put five percent of his earnings into a charitable fund. You couldn’t fault him for that.
“Was that your boyfriend again?” Rita asked.
Carmen nodded distractedly. Sometimes it was hard to know what you could fault him for.
“He’s an executive at ABC, isn’t he?”
She nodded again. Everybody in this business was looking for another contact.
“Lucky you,” Rita said.
“Yes,” she said. And not just because he was her boyfriend, but because he was her fiancé. If she was lucky, then she was extra lucky.
And what if she wasn’t lucky? Then what was she?
Lena put her feet up on her desk. The pink polish her sister, Effie, had applied to her toenails during her last visit had long since started to chip. Lena balanced a sketchbook on her knees and began to flip through it.
She’d promised herself she’d clear out her apartment today. She was committed to filling a couple of trash bags with stuff—her place was too tiny to store anything extra—but of her twenty-seven sketchbooks, she hadn’t yet been able to throw away even one. This one, for instance, was an old one. On the first page was a pencil sketch of Mimi, Tibby’s old guinea pig, fat and asleep in her shavings. As long ago as it was, Lena vividly remembered the joyful chaos of pencil lines that had gone into sketching those shavings. There was a drawing of Bridget at sixteen, knees up on the couch, watching TV with a tipping sombrero on her head. It must have been a week or two after she’d gotten back from her soccer camp in Mexico. It was a loose pencil sketch, and Lena smiled at the hatching lines she’d used to represent the suntan on Bee’s cheeks. Every few pages was one of the inescapable drawings of Lena’s feet. There was a half-finished sketch of grumpy morning Effie at fifteen, too grumpy to let Lena finish it. There were three studies of Carmen’s hand from when she still wore a mood ring and bit her fingernails. How could you throw this away?
The later sketchbooks would be easier, Lena decided. They were mostly just feet and dated from about two years earlier, when Lena had mostly petered out on drawing. Instead, these last couple of years she had been putting her energies into her paintings, which were composed, formal, and largely abstract. You weren’t going to build a career out of making messy little sketches of your friends and family and your feet.
Why all the drawings of her feet? They were not her best feature, probably her worst. They were size nine and a half, ten in some shoes, and prone to sweating when she was excited or nervous. Her toes were kind of long, especially the second and third—the Home and the Roast Beef, as Tibby’s mother would call them. The only advantages her feet had going for them as subjects was that they were attached to the bottoms of her legs and at enough distance that she could look at them from different angles. They were living and stayed still when she told them to, and they didn’t charge modeling fees. She imagined the far future if anybody ever cared enough to look back at her drawings. This girl really had a thing for her feet, they would think. Maybe she would throw those last two sketchbooks away.
The phone on her desk rang. She plucked it from its cradle without moving her sketchbook. She didn’t have caller ID (it added $6.80 a month to her plan), but she knew it was almost certainly one of three people: her mother, her sister, or Carmen. Whichever one it was, she was on her cellphone, she was in a hurry, and she was calling to “check in.”
Lena cleared her throat before she hit the talk button. It wasn’t a teaching day, so she hadn’t spoken to anyone yet, and it was already three o’clock. She hated getting busted for that.
“Hey, Lenny, it’s me. Were you sleeping?”
Damn. “No. Just . . .” Lena heard an ambulance and a lot of honking through the phone. “Where are you?”
“On Greenwich Ave. I just got a facial. I look scary.”
It was either Carmen or Effie; still too noisy to tell which. Lena held the phone between her shoulder and her ear and went back to flipping pages. “What are you doing tonight?”
Three of many words were intelligible: “theater,” and “benefit” and “Jones.” It was Carmen.
“Great.” Lena couldn’t pick which of those words summoned the worst thing.
“Jones bought a table.”
Yes, she could pick. The worst was Jones.
“I would have invited you, but you wouldn’t have come.”
“And you are . . . staying home and watching a movie with Drew.”
“Yes.” Sometimes Carmen made it easy for her.
“That’s just sad.”
But never that easy.
“No, it’s not sad. It’s what I like to do. Anyway, we can’t all be rich and glamorous.”
“Len, I’m not demanding glamour. You’re just not allowed to be that boring.”
Lena laughed. “Hey, did you do the kissing scene yet with the renegade cop?”
“No, that’s Friday. He has terrible breath.” Carmen’s voice was swallowed by what Lena guessed was a bus plowing by.
From the Hardcover edition.
Reading Group Guide
1. Did re-encountering the Sisterhood in their late twenties change your perception of your favorite character? Has your favorite character changed over the course of the series overall? Why do you think she or he has or hasn’t?
2. What did you think about the relationship between Bridget and Brian in this novel? Did it surprise you?
3. Were you happy to see Lena end up with Kostos? Did you think she would end up with someone else? Why or why not?
4. What is your favorite chapter-opening quote? Why?
5. Have you ever lost touch with a close friend? Were you able to mend the relationship, or is it something that got put off for too long?
6. Did you expect the pants to come back in this book? Why or why not?
7. Did you read the series growing up or did you come to Sisterhood Everlasting on its own? How do you think it would change your reading of this novel if you had or hadn’t read the other books?
8. Were you surprised by some of the roads the girls had gone down since the last Sisterhood novel?
9. Have you ever felt unfulfilled by your job and relationship, like Carmen did in this novel? Did it take you a while to see it? When you did notice, how did you react?
10. What would you do if you were in Tibby’s shoes and knew that you were going to die soon?
When I started writing about the Sisterhood ten years ago, I wanted to create characters with big, open-ended lives—girls who wouldn't fit into a single novel. At the same time, I wanted to tell a proper story with a beginning, middle, and end. So I planned a four-book sequence to tell that story. And as I got to the end, I realized I was ready for the end of that story, but not remotely ready for the end of the characters. They were only nineteen, after all. They had so much life ahead of them! I didn't want to miss it. Would their friendship survive adulthood? Who, if anyone, would they marry? What about having babies? What career would Carmen choose? Would "someday" ever come for Lena and Kostos?
I promised myself that after taking a break from them and trying out some other things I would come back and find them later in their lives. So that's what I've done in Sisterhood Everlasting. I've rediscovered Carmen, Lena, Bridget, and Tibby on the cusp of their thirtieth birthdays. Though it felt right to be away—all of us off doing our different things—it felt wonderful to come back together. I don't think I would have appreciated the characters as much without the hiatus, and I hope the characters feel the same. I discovered I have certain ways of thinking and writing that are unique to those girls, and I had really missed them while I was away.
If you are familiar with the girls of the Sisterhood, I hope you will enjoy the reunion as much as I have. If you are coming to them for the first time, I hope you will find pleasure in the introduction.
So welcome (back) to the Sisterhood. We've missed you.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Thanks to 2 reviewers on here the book was ruined by spoilers! Shame on u! >:(
I was really looking forward to reading this and then I read someone's review who totally spoiled it. Why would you tell such a big part of the book? Some people don't want to know big things about the book until they read it themselves. At least say at the beginning of your review that you will be talking about details of the book so if we don't want to know we won't read your review.
I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.
I read this book in less than a day! Great book. Brought many tears to my eyes but I also found myself smiling at some parts and even laughing. I definitely recommend this book to any fans of the Sisterhood series! It helps if you are familiar with the series but I still recommend this book even if you have not read the previous books. Overall a great book and I was sad to have finished it.
SISTERHOOD EVERLASTING likely will be read almost exclusively by those countless fans who first encountered these four fast friends in the YA series. That's just as well, since the novel, although certainly poignant in its own right, would lose significant emotional intensity for those who don't feel (at least a little) like they've grown up alongside Carmen and company. Unlike the previous books for young people, SISTERHOOD EVERLASTING jumps from character to character in brief vignettes rather than longer, developed stories. The result is perhaps a more integrated narrative, but also one that can seem choppy and disjointed. Sisterhood Everlasting shows us the consequences and joys of life decisions and that while a friendship between girls may be undeniably strong, it cannot fix all problems. The book may not be the perfect storybook ending that many readers may have once desired for Lena, Carmen, Bridget, and Tibby (myself previously included), but after experiencing the fifth novel, I see why it was necessary. The girls are grown up and I am assuming most of the readers are as well, so grown up issues, struggles, and decisions seems logical and Brashares beautifully includes and interprets these in the novel. Happy is a relative term, and I definitely did not feel that way during or after my reading, but I was more than satisfied. This is a must read for any individual who has followed the girls growth throughout the first four novels, but I would not recommend this novel on its own. Read the first four and then you will not be disappointed.
Sad but hard to put down. A must read if you have read the previous books. And if u havent read them first...this book will make more sense and touch you more deeply
The author blew me away agin with her talented skills. I cried the whole book and i really hope another book comes out. But this book deserves more than five stars without a doubt.
When I heard that Ann Brashers was going to be writing another book I was thrilled. I loved the books when I was a sophmore in high school and was sad when they ended. They are still to this day one of my favorite series and I plan to read the whole series again soon. Sisterhood Everlasting was a wonderful way to end the series. I'm not going to lie I was a little mad at Ann Brashers in the beginning and wasn't sure if I wanted to continue reading. But boy am I glad I did! She really knows how to make these characters relatable and everything that happended in the book could happen in real life. After reading this it makes me really think about what I'm doing/where I'm heading in my life. It makes me want to pick up the phone and call all my friends and make peace with everyone. It makes me not want to worry about yesterday but only worry about today and what's happening right now. I love her as an author and wasn't dissapointed at the end of the book :) Now I think this one needs to be made into a movie like the others even though it will be a real tear jerker!
I read the first books as an adult; I mistaken bought the first book but read it anyway and fell in love with the series. I didn't know this book came out but was in the store one day and discovered it; I was so EXCITED! The book is great and I was surprised by some of it. I hope Ann will revisit the girls again and give us another istallment!
I couldn't it down, and ended up reading it all in one day.
Great book. I couldn't put it down. Took me two days to read and that's because I had to work. Make sure to read all the other Sisterhood novels before this one, as it is the last one in the series, and everything will come together. There are a lot of twist and turns. The story has all the emotions of happiness, sadness, excitement, and tragedy thats unexpected. I wasn't surprised due to a spoiler review but you will be surprised by the twist and turns of this story. Definitely a must read!
I absolutely fell in love with the book. Once i started i couldnt put it down. Its a must read and my favorite of the sisterhood series.
Seriously why do you feel the need to ruin the entire book for everyone? I didnt want to know what happened to her!! See i didnt even say the girls freaking name let alone the whole event. Jesus people! Have consideration for people next timee??
Young adult readers fell in love with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. The story of Lena, Tibby, Carmen and Bridget (a.k.a. Bee) and their infamous magical jeans brought to life the bonds of sisterhood that happen between girls who have been friends for life. These four young girls were all born in the month of September, to four moms who bonded during their prenatal classes. The four babies, though as different as the four seasons, became closer than friends, closer than sisters. They were a part of each other. Flash forward a decade from the end of the fourth novel. In Sisterhood Everlasting, the foursome are now approaching their 30th birthdays. They are scattered in four different directions, leading four different lives. Time and distance has had its toll on them. Each one is feeling her own kind of pain without her other selves, yet doesn't know how to handle it. Finally, Tibby surprises all of them with tickets to Greece for a sort of reunion. Upon their arrival, they are met with great tragedy. Their differences cause them to drift further apart as they deal with their own personal demons. Follow them on their quest for self-discovery and healing as they find their ways back to each other again. This is a beautiful story. As an adult a few years older than the characters, I can relate to their struggles. But even teens who read the first four books may be able to relate on some level to the struggles going on in their lives. If anything, it can serve as a reminder to young girls that adulthood doesn't mean that all of your problems are over. With the love and help from friends and family, you can endure any obstacles that come in your way. It is also a powerful reminder to cultivate true friendships and bonds and to cherish them forever. Readers will be able to find a way to relate to all four of the girls on some level. While this book has enough background information to be a stand alone novel, I recommend fans read the entire series to truly understand and feel their plights. Keep a few tissues on hand! I was provided a preview galley of the paperback version of this novel by the publisher for the purpose of reviewing through my association with NetGalley. All opinions are strictly my own. My review is also published on Andi's Young Adult Books.
I LOVE all ofhere books! They all pull you in and lock you to the book until you finish. I love all the characters and theire lives. This is the best series i have ever read, i wish she would write more to the series but what. It is as good as it gets.
I read all of the sisterhood books as a teenager and loved them because i could relate to the charactors. When i heard about this book i wasn't sure i would enjoy it as much since im older. I can honestly say i loved it. Couldn't put it down. Ann Brashares really pulled at my heart with this book and definitely gave a major twist to the sisterhood story.
Cried the entire time. Loved it.
best book i have read in a while!
It blew me away & was spectacular!
What an amazing ending to a wonderful series. This book touched my heart and made me cry.
I would highly recommend this unexpected fifth book in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, but make sure you have a box of Kleenex handy. To those who were upset about spoilers in the reviews, you find out all of this in the first 50-60 pages, so don't deny yourselves the pleasure of this wonderful book because of that. It was a wild ride, but definitely worth the trip.
A must reax
A perfect way to conclude the story of the Sisterhood!
Is it as good as the other books in the series. Ok this really weird my name is Lena got to admit weird