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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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 fianc . 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.