Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

I read the first of these books several years ago and loved it, but never read the others. But I bought #2 at a library book sale, and then I put #3 on hold at the library. I have now finished #2 and #3, and put #4 on hold--who knew there were four?

The third book, Girls in Pants, is not the best by most standards, and other readers haven't liked it as much--the consensus seems to be that #1 was the best, and they have gotten worse ever since. But I loved the third, and cried and laughed most of the way through, I think because I'm nostalgic about that period of life--the summer after your senior year of high school, before you leave those friends you've known forever, who've known you forever, and who are your friends in a different way than any friends you will ever have again. The kinds of friends who can walk into your parents' houses without knocking, who know your parents and your siblings and maybe even your grandparents or your aunts and uncles or your cousins or your neighbors. The kinds of friends who are family in a way no one else will ever be. I think that once you have your own family, and maybe children, there are friends, especially other friends with children, who are family in another kind of way, but I didn't realize before I went away to college that my friends in the future would be close friends, but they would not know my family, they would not know my family history, and for those reasons there would be a distance between us that I did not have with earlier friends. Of course, you grow apart from those earlier friends too, but what you share? It stays there.

Friends can be family later on in your life, but never in the same way. Which is not entirely a bad thing. But this book--these books, but especially the third--made me remember that and miss it.

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