Monday, May 20, 2013

Sisterhood Everlasting, Ann Brashares

I read the first book in this series, but I haven't read any of the others, but that was ok-I wasn't ever lost. There were references to things that had happened in the other books, but enough was there to understand what you needed to. This was the June book for my book club (yes, for once, I'm ahead!)

I'm going to try REALLLLY hard not to spoil anything in an obvious way, but it will be tricky. Just consider yourself forewarned.

This book is full of emotion. Full of introspect for each character and thus, for you too. When tragedy hits the 4 best friends, Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget, they don't know how to deal. So a large majority of this book is them dealing alone-until they find each other again. But there are things that struck me-the love and innocence of a child. And how powerful it can be. There is a character almost 2 years old that you meet at one point. My little one is just over 2 years, so I had a vivid frame of reference for that; and how as a mom I get stuck in a rut when maybe, just maybe, I could see the world more like she does. Maybe I could be less stuck in my idea of how things SHOULD be going or what we SHOULD be doing or what SHOULD be getting done. Life is short. Why do I let myself forget? Probably because as all humans do, unless faced with it in our immediate presence, we feel we have all the time in the world. By the way....all the girls are about 30 in this book, and that is about my age, so I have a vivid frame of references for THAT as well. So yeah, I'd say lots of things struck a chord in eerie ways.

And in all matters in love-you also must make a choice to be fair to you and to the anyone else involved. But you also have to be prepared to love that person in the way they need to be loved. If there was one thing in the book I found preposterous it would be the amount of patience that the majority of men had towards the girls. It just doesn't seem like it would be normal for a guy to be treated in one way and to respond in the way it was written out. But then, again, I suppose it is possible. If you know someone so well, I mean, the relationships in question HAD been going on in one way or another for the better part of 15 years. I've been married almost 10, and I do have to say that for the most part, my husband and I know when to let each other ride our own storms for a bit and when to intervene-as long as we are true to our own character and don't throw the other for an insanely big loop, that is. For instance, I could NOT do what Bee did and get away with it. Because that's not who I am. So maybe that's another thing-to really KNOW who you are loving and let them know you. Don't give up easily. Be forgiving.

And one last thing-be understanding of everyone's individual way of dealing with hard things. Where one woman grieves the loss of a baby to be with a miscarriage at 6 weeks, another woman can accept it and move forward in her life without missing a beat. Neither way is wrong. The first should not learn to get over it, nor is the second a heartless freak. Some people have to deal with hard things privately. Some need to share it with the world and be validated in different levels from facebook to blogs or only with a few intimate friends. If someone leaves you out of a grieving process, they most likely have a good reason. One that we should respect and not feel offended by-or feel like you've done something wrong. Sometimes your ignorance of something is exactly what the person needs from you in order for you to help him or her. That's not always easy to accept.

Any how, I really enjoyed this book, the girls looking at their lives and really truly examining what will make them happy, what will let them truly live and be true to themselves. Even though it was sad and suspenseful at times, many times, it was truly beautiful.

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