Published April 22nd 2003 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
For their second summer in possession of the pants, things are a little different. Lena, Carmen and Bridget all plan to stay in Bethesda and earn money. Meanwhile, Tibby is heading off to a filmmaking course in Virginia.
But just as the summer is beginning, Bee discovers letters from her grandmother. Letters she’s never seen before. She decides to leave for Alabama to visit her grandmother and maybe find a way to be closer to her mother. Once there, she hides behind her new appearance and pretends to be someone else so that she learn things without being too close.
Lena is trying to get over her lost love. She works at a clothing store and tortures herself for the decisions she made regarding Kostos. As the summer progresses, Lena learns that her own mother could have a lot of helpful insight, if she would only share it with her daughter. And is it possible that Lena could get another shot at love?
Carmen is having mother troubles. There’s a new boyfriend on the scene, and as far as she is concerned, her mother is acting completely inappropriately for a woman her age. Carmen can’t focus properly on her own love life – namely, several dates with the fetching Porter – because she’s putting all her energy into being disgusted with her mum’s relationship.
Tibby makes some new friends in Virginia. But they are the kind of people she would have been impressed with pre-Bailey. Are they really worthy of her time and attention? She’s aware of what Bailey would think, but she hides from that knowledge.
All the while, the pants circulate and work their magic, helping the girls to learn lessons in heartbreak, grace, second chances, grief and acceptance of change.
This summer, all the girls go through a kind of crisis or sea change. They each need to grow to move forward. There’s more conflict than in the first book. At times, the bad choices they make are hard to read through. But despite the lows, there is ultimately hope.
Once again, random moments and feelings from your own experiences seem to be reflected on the page. It’s probably why I feel so attached to these books.
The ending is tragic but the final pages are beautiful, I think, in that way that you want to cry but you’re not exactly sure why.
The writing is great, as are the characters. They stay true to their roots. Also, they probably act even more like real teenagers. With the hormones and emotions and reactions to things and all that stuff!
There’s a lot more to do with family relationships in The Second Summer of the Sisterhood – mostly mother/daughter. There’s the whole thing with Carmen’s mother falling in love, as well as a pretty important role that Lena’s mother plays, and of course, we learn some more tragic truths about Bridget’s mother.
This is a worthy follow up to the original.
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.74/5