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THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS ONLINE BOOK SUMMARY
“There Is No Such Thing As Fun For The Whole Family.” - Jerry Seinfield
Lena’s grandparents were about to serve the first meal Lena and her sister, Effie, would eat in Greece. The beauty out her window and her hope for good luck on this trip prompted Lena to take out the Traveling Pants and put them on. Downstairs, her sister was being her usual extroverted self while Lena hung back shyly. That was the way it had always been - Lena’s beauty prompted the first attention from people, but Effie’s affectionate, exuberant self soon drew their attention away. Grandma told Lena that she wanted her to look special, because a nice boy was coming to dinner. Lena hated being set up, but that was what Grandma was doing, and they had been there less than six hours. Effie said that Lena was hard on boys, but Grandma was convinced Kostos would be different, because he was the grandson of their dearest friends.
The action shifts to Carmen. Her dad met her at the airport, and Carmen rushed to embrace him. Carmen felt great pleasure, because her dad called her “bun” and “baby” and said she was beautiful, but he didn’t care about her mom anymore. For some reason, that made his attention even more special. However, Carmen began to receive clues that perhaps things weren’t as she expected with him. First, he had traded in his Saab for a station wagon, an odd vehicle for a single man, and then, he was reluctant to talk about his place. Finally, he pulled up in front of a large Victorian house in a suburban neighborhood and told her that it was home. He told her that he hadn’t mentioned he’d moved, because he wanted to explain all the big stuff in his life in person. Then, he led her into the house where she was greeted by a woman, a girl about her own age, and a boy who looked to be about eighteen. The woman, Lydia, turned out to be her dad’s fiancée, and the girl, Krista, and the boy, Paul, were her children. He also explained that they were getting married on August nineteenth.
Carmen was shocked and only asked to be shown where she would sleep. The room was decorated in peach carpet and matching accessories and her dad told her it was the guest room. Carmen’s anger was beginning to boil up, and she tried to tell her dad how harsh it was to walk into this house and discover how his life had changed. But she couldn’t get the words out, because, like him when he was with her, when she was with him, she didn’t like to say the hard things.
Carmen wrote a letter to Bee in which she vented how much she hated surprises. She emphasized that she was a guest in family that would never be hers.
Both Lena and Carmen are met with surprises as they try to adjust to a new environment. Lena is being set up with a nice Greek boy by her grandmother and it upsets her, because she is so shy and wary of boys. Her experience had always been that they come on to her because of her beauty, and she feels used in that way. Carmen is surprised to learn that she has a new family. Springing this news on her this way is harsh and cruel, and she feels like she has lost the special summer she had envisioned with her dad.
“Love Is Like War: Easy to Begin, Hard to End.” - Proverb
This chapter returns to Greece. Effie told Lena that all her worries about Kostos are over, because he is absolutely stupendous. Lena put on the pants and they looked even better than usual on her. Kostos was stupendous, but Lena still didn’t trust boys, because her experiences have all been negative. However, she was pleasantly surprised when he commented that she and Effie looked like sisters. People usually noticed how different they were instead of how much alike which often made Effie feel badly.
Lena wanted Kostos to like Effie, so she deliberately avoided him during the party. However, he followed her out to the terrace and showed her his house far below in the village and then, even though she was giving him clues that she didn’t want his company, he asked her to go for a walk around the village. She just said, “No thanks,” and he walked away disappointed. Lena thought to herself that if he hadn’t asked her out, she might have liked him.
The action switches to Bridget at soccer camp. She came to realize that of all the guys at the camp, there was one who really stood out. He was a coach, and he was beautiful! His name is Eric Richman and he was from L.A. He was a sophomore at Columbiana and played soccer there. Ollie, one of the other girls at the camp, gave Bridget all the information she knew about him, but warned her not to get her hopes up, because there as an anti-fraternization policy at the camp and he followed it strictly. Connie, the head coach, then called them together and explained how they would be divided into six teams, and they would have the honor of naming their own teams. All Bridget wanted was to be on Eric’s team. Unfortunately, she was disappointed when she didn’t make it, but she was gratified when she saw he was not immune to her blonde hair. She wrote a letter to Carmen in which she explained how only she could fall in love at an all-girls soccer camp.
This chapter juxtaposes two possibilities of romance. One is Lena who is encouraged to fall in love with beautiful Kostos, but rejects him, because she doesn’t trust boys. The other is Bridget who is discouraged from falling in love with beautiful Eric, but is determined to have him. There is a sense of foreshadowing here that both are going to be disappointed at the outcome of their “romantic” summer.Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version