I am fascinated by the idea of sisterhood, so much that my freshman year of college I started my own with a pair of red Chuck Taylor high tops and a few faraway friends. We passed our sneakers around monthly, writing in a journal and taking pictures. We all had a band in common and a shared love for The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, a series of books by Ann Brashares.
The books were about four girls who grew up together. At the start of the first book they were about to spend their summers apart for the first time. And so upon finding a thrift store pair of jeans that miraculously fit all four differently shaped girls they decided to use those pants to keep them together in spirit while they were apart.
Maybe it does sound corny, but don’t you have tokens of friendship that remind you of who you are or who you were? There are parts to each friendship that make it unique, whether it’s a pair of pants or journals that as passed back and forth or a mini garden gnome wanting to travel. These are the aspects of friendship that attracted me to this series originally, when I was much younger. What kept me reading were the personalities, the fact that I could find something to relate to in each main character, sharing their memories and having another book to look forward to.
When the series ended on book four with the summer after the girls’ freshman year of college, I was sad but satisfied. I had the books to reread and there were two movies. The first one is one of my favourites, one of those movies I watch when I’m looking for comfort (and pretty Santorini landscapes) and I keep going back to it year after year.
But now there is a fifth book. Jump ten years later, and into the adult section of your bookstore, and you find another book full of stories of these same characters. Sisterhood Everlasting is devastating and it is beautiful.
Yet again I found myself identifying with different parts of each character and I was enveloped in the idea of sisterhood. The novel deals with the question “what happened to sisterhood when we start to grow up?” At the end of the forth novel, the pants are lost in Greece forever. The girls entertain the thought that maybe their friendship was lost with that pair of pants. But ultimately, friendship is not about a pair of unwashed jeans. It’s about the ties you make with the people you love and it’s about remembering that love and your past and the connection between friends despite all what the “real world” has to throw at you.