Lena, Bridget, Carmen and Tibby are back for one last summer — and it’s a hot, confusing and rollicking one at that. Separated once more by distance and, really, their own new dilemmas, these four best friends from Maryland begin to rely so heavily on their beloved Traveling Pants — a pair of jeans that mysteriously fits each of the girls’ unique figures like a glove — to keep their friendships alive. Of course, this turns out to be a mistake. Like all relationships that aren’t given attention and love, even the unbreakable bonds of the sisterhood begin to fray.
Ann Brashares’s Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood is the final book in the Sisterhood series, and I think it finished with a very satisfying conclusion. The jeans shared by all four girls were once the bond to unify them as they would often spend their summers apart — at camps, visiting family — and then reunite in the fall, just in time to resume classes at their high school in Bethesda. But as young women often do, they all grew up — high school graduation gave way to college courses and dorm rooms, and the continuity they once shared in living close together their entire lives was broken.
Lena stays in Providence, Rhode Island to continue painting classes — and meets a fellow classmate who teaches her quite a bit about what it is to let go; Bee signs up for a dig in Turkey, where she spends all day in the dirt — and thinks about who really misses us when we’re gone; Carmen and her bossy, arrogant “friend” Julia attend a theater camp, where Carmen realizes true friends aren’t the ones bringing you scones that may or may not be laced with a laxative or something!; and Tibby fights her own demons in New York City, holding on to Brian while simultaneously letting him go.