July 08, 2011 Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Outing myself as a big geek, but in the Lois & Clark fandom, there's a term called WHAM which stands for "Wistful, Heartwrenching, Agonizing Moment" and is defined as "When something Really Bad happens." I had read somewhere in the press leading up to the release of a FIFTH book that there was a WHAM about halfway through Sisterhood Everlasting, but that was wrong.

It happens around page 50. And from then on, it just sort of settles on your heart.

Usually I don't give a fuck about spoilers because books aren't like TV shows and no one's going to read them in the order that you do, but in this particular case, I'm going to try to be vague because it really is worth the WHAM.

Given my particular history with the nature of the event, I almost put the book down and sent it back to Amazon. I've lived through the aftermath, more than once and had no inclination to relive that period in my life. So I put it down for a couple of days and tonight, I just picked it up again. I had to know how it ended for the Sisterhood girls. I read for three hours, straight through, just needing to know how it turned out.

The girls are all now 30, just like me. And even though I'm not an actress or a painter or whatever, I could see pieces of myself in them, just like always. I cried more than once and I still feel a little teary-eyed in the aftermath. I want to call my girls, the ones that have babies and dissertations and dogs and jobs, but we still find time to exchange 27 emails about finding a place for dinner two weeks ago.

So many books about women, the genre I read almost exclusively, has one character with a likeable flaw and a plucky best friend who tells them they are awesome or whatever and that flaw turns out to be a strength and the guy comes by with flowers and everyone lives happily ever after. I loved and hated this book because real friendship, especially after college, isn't like that. We all get busy with those babies and husbands and jobs and lives and it can be really easy to just let go or send the annual Christmas card with a bland update about vacations and first steps and promotions. I guess it just reminded me that even when I feel lonely, I'm so lucky to have my girls, who send me coupons for things that I need to save money on and with whom I can have massive discussions on Twitter about the latest gossip while we're all at work (totally on a break, of course!).

Life hits you with a WHAM every once in a while and it's easy to get stuck in that place where it never feels like it's going to be normal again. But I think if you've got your girls that you know you *can* call, even if you don't always, the boys and the babies and jobs, the rest of it, it all works out, usually in the weirdest, most perfect way.

I'm glad I finished the book. Read it on those days that you want to cry, but don't want to let yourself and blame the book. I didn't know I needed the closure with these girls, but I'm glad I got it. Yay for the Sisterhood, wherever you find them!

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