Reading guide for The Second Summer of The Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Second Summer of The Sisterhood

By Ann Brashares

The Second Summer of The Sisterhood
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Apr 2003,
    373 pages.
    Paperback: Dec 2004,
    416 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. The novel opens with a first-person narrative by Lena. Why do you think the author selected this character to frame the story? If you could change it, would you select another character, and if so, what would he or she say?
     
  2. Self-destructive and hurting, Bridget impulsively decides to journey to Alabama and conceal her identity from her estranged grandmother. “She didn’t look like Bee Vreeland. Who said she had to be her?” (p. 21). Have you ever wished you could be someone else? How does posing as Gilda help Bridget learn to be comfortable in her own skin?
     
  3. Each of the girls is embarrassed by her mother (or mother figure)–Carmen by Christina’s new romance, Lena by Ari’s Greekness, Tibby by Alice’s Mozart-playing cell phone and diaper-wipe-trailing shoes, and Bridget by Greta’s life, “so small, and so simple, and so completely unremarkable” (p. 280). In turn, each girl does something to embarrass her mother, with behavior that is often cruel. How could the girls have handled their situations differently? By humiliating their mothers, what do the girls of the Sisterhood learn about themselves?
     
  4. Tibby gets caught up in trying to appear cool and sophisticated in front of Alex and Maura. “She wondered. Had she not brought Brian because she was worried about how he would seem to Alex and Maura? Or was it because she worried about how she, Tibby, would seem to Brian?” (p. 105). Do people judge you by the company you keep? Sometimes people rebuff the ones they love . . . why do you think Tibby pushes Brian away? If you were Brian, would you give up on Tibby? Why or why not?
     
  5. In The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Tibby’s friend Bailey is the only one outside the Sisterhood who wears the Pants. In The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, Christina has that role. Carmen notes (p. 156), “The sick thing was, Christina looked beautiful in the Pants, slender and young. They fit Christina. They loved her and believed in her just as they’d loved Carmen last summer, when Carmen had been worthy of them. This summer they eluded Carmen. Instead, they chose her mother.” And on Bridget’s fifth day in Alabama, the Traveling Pants arrive–and they don’t fit her anymore. What is the emotional impact of these incidents on Carmen and Bridget? Is there a larger issue at play?
     
  6. Epigraphs (short quotations) from a variety of sources–song lyrics, remarks by real-life personalities, fictitious sayings by the novel’s characters–are used to separate sections of the book. Which one is your favorite, and why?
     
  7. Lena loves being in Carmen’s kitchen. “It felt safe and contained” (p. 81), and the food is comforting as well. Do you have a favorite place that makes you feel protected and secure? How do people make a place special?
     
  8. Does Bridget find what she’s looking for in Alabama? How does spending time with Greta teach her about Marly? How is Bridget changed by this experience?
     
  9. Ari tells Lena intimate details of her love affair. Do you think Lena is prepared for such information? Is it better for parents to shield their children from some of their own experiences–or do you think sharing them can help prevent heartache? On page 345, the narrator writes, “Lena was starting to need to go back to being the daughter again.” Have you ever been the recipient of knowledge that you didn’t feel equipped to handle?
     
  10. Which of the girls would you most like to be? Which girl would make the best friend for you? Which mother–Christina, Ari, Alice, or Greta–would you most like to have?
     
  11. Is Kostos a man of honor or a coward? How do you view his behavior? Lena broke up with Kostos–is she justified in thinking, “But that didn’t mean you were allowed to stop loving me” (p. 193)?
     
  12. Carmen and Lena remain at home for most of the novel. Do you think the girls’ friendship would be stronger if all four girls were together? Or do you believe Lena, who tells us in the prologue (p. 4), “We didn’t realize that we are bigger and stronger and longer than the time we spend together”?
     
  13. At the end of the novel, the remaining original Septembers–Alice, Ari, and Christina–are reunited. What does this teach the girls of the Sisterhood? Think about the women in your own life–mothers, grandmothers, aunts. Can you imagine their having a life before you?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.