Ten years after their adventures with the Traveling Pants, Lena, Bridget, and Carmen cope with the loss of their friend Tibby. When Lena, Carmen, and Bridget receive plane tickets to meet their long-absent friend Tibby in Greece, they are ecstatic. Their excitement soon turns to fear and then anguish, however, when they arrive in Greece to find that Tibby has apparently drowned herself, leaving her friends letters to be opened on specific dates, which they can only hope will explain her actions. Grieving, they try to return to their lives, but carrying on without their friend is next to impossible. Lena, a struggling artist, spends most of her time hiding away from the world, neglecting her sister and everyone around her. Carmen, a successful television actress, agrees to marry her boyfriend, whom she doesn't really love. Bridget, discovering she is pregnant, hitchhikes her way down the West Coast.
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Tibby's letters don't allow them to wallow forever, however. Lena finds herself returning to Greece, hoping to rekindle her lost love with Kostos, who left her ten years ago to marry another woman. Carmen, taking a train from New York to Louisiana for an interview, learns how to look at life differently and ends up breaking off her loveless engagement. Bridget, the most active of the three, takes off for Australia, determined to locate Tibby's boyfriend (now-husband) Brian, only to find both him and Tibby's secret daughter, Bailey, who inspires Bridget to keep her own baby.
Slowly, the girls realize that Tibby didn't commit suicide; having been diagnosed with a terminal illness, she wanted to break the news to them in Greece, but accidentally drowned after going for a swim. Before her death, she arranged for their happiness; her letters lead them (and Lena's love Kostos) to a farm she and Brian purchased in Pennsylvania, where they can all live happily together. The Sisterhood reunites with the hope of a new generation in both Bailey and Bridget's unborn child.
Best part of story, including ending:
Tibby's death was absolutely heartbreaking. Brashares captured the experience of grief perfectly.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was Bridget playing with Tibby's daughter Bailey in the stream, realizing in the process that she really does want her own child, and that she can be a good mother.
Opinion about the main character:
I intensely dislike Carmen's shallowness.