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Posts Tagged ‘Ann Brashares’

As of last night, I have another convert. Not, perhaps, in the traditional southern evangelical sense, but in the sense that I’ve introduced someone to something I love, and they love it. There’s nothing I love more than turning people on to good books. And I’m thrilled that it’s happened again.

Last night, I came home and found my roommate Leigh Ann watching Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which is a wonderful chick flick based on one of my favorite series of books. Since she was only about 20 minutes into it, I sat down and watched it with her, and afterward we got to chatting about life and friends and boys and summers and who knows what all. I mentioned at one point that there’s a trio of books in the Traveling Pants series, with at least one more to come (we hope), and that she was free to borrow them any time she liked. Perforce, she came into my room and took not just one, but all three of them. She stayed up till “well past two” (her words) reading the first one last night. And as I walked through the living room just now, she gave a sheepish smile and confessed, “I’m well into Book Two [The Second Summer of the Sisterhood] already.”

The Pants books have a history in my own life – you see, I’m a convert too. Two years ago August, I was helping Kyle and Jenny Carter move into their first house, and they gave me the job of unpacking and shelving books (always a dangerous thing). I asked Jenny about lots of books as I unpacked, and when I got to Traveling Pants, she practically made me borrow it. “Katie, it’s so good. You’re going to love it. It’s such a good story…” So I took it home. Before long, both my roommates and I had read the book and its sequel, and were anxiously awaiting the release of the third, Girls in Pants.

While we waited, we converted our other friends: Charity, Val, Tori, Julie, Kisha, Stephanie and Dani. Jenny’s well-worn copy of the first book traveled to many Abilene houses before it came back to her. Bethany and I went to see the movie last summer, and Krissi and I both read the first two books again in Hawaii. The story is simple: four best friends find a pair of jeans at a thrift store that mysteriously fit them all perfectly (they have four very different body types and senses of style). During their first summer apart, they share the jeans, mailing them back and forth each week, from Greece to Charleston to Baja California to Bethesda, Maryland. And the pants bear witness to lots and lots of changes: falling in love, first jobs, new blended families, travel over land and ocean, even death. And through it all they bear witness to something that doesn’t change: friendship that began before birth and will last until after death.

The second book follows the next summer in their lives, which is deeply affected by the events of the summer before. That one breaks my heart right in half when I read it – but I love it, especially because of the redemption at the end. I haven’t read the third book as many times, but it captures all the fear and excitement of graduating from high school. And sprinkled throughout all three books are pages featuring a pair of jeans and fun quotes, by everyone from Shakespeare to John Keats to Jack Handy.

Perhaps it’s fitting that the girls I’ve “converted” to Traveling Pants have all played, or do play, some important role in my life. Tori and I have been friends since our first week at ACU. Charity and I have shared Oxford, weddings, funerals, countless songs of the choral and praise/worship type, and so much more. Val, Julie, Dani and Kisha made up House 9 – our Oxford headquarters for two years after we came back, and each of them enriches my life in a special and shining way. Stephanie brightens all our lives with her sweet smile and heart of service. And Bethany, my sweet little roommate, has made my last two years SO much happier.

Leigh Ann and I are relatively new friends – although we’ve known each other since we were six, when her mom was Betsy’s first-grade teacher, we just met again last August, when she transferred to ACU. (We actually met again through Jeremiah, who had met Leigh Ann and a bunch of her friends at church camp in high school.) We’re only roommates for the summer, but we’ve already shared some good bonding time over movies and stories and fun pictures and such. And I’m glad that yet another one of the important women in my life is picking up this story I love so much.

To quote from the end of the movie: “To the Pants. And the summer. And this moment. And the rest of our lives.”

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