Breaking news: I am happy to report that I have found it! Sorority Sisters, by Claudia Welch, is the book I have been looking and waiting for. Let me explain...every year beginning in May I start looking for 'THE' summer read. It needs to have great 3-dimensional characters, a memorable (and believable) plot, and in general be a fun read. As the weather gets warmer I like to plant myself outside with a book as I work on saying 'Bon Voyage' to my pasty skin. I always search for a fun summer read to lose myself in as my daughter plays in her sandbox and my feet dangle in her kiddie pool. My hopes began rising as I started reading Sorority Sisters. It only took me a chapter or two to realize that Claudia Welch had delivered my Summer 2012 read. Thank you Claudia!
Sorority Sisters begins in 1975 and follows four diverse University of Los Angeles students. For various reasons, strangers Karen, Ellen, Laurie, and Diane decide to pledge and join the Beta Pi Sorority. In turn they form strong and loyal friendships with each other that last a lifetime. The women are there for each other through hookups, breakups, midterms, and family strife. They may not be blood related, but the four Beta Pi's form bonds closer than that of their own families.
Each chapter is told in the view point of one of the girls. It is through these different first person points of view that the reader is shown the inner workings of each character. They may put up a barrier to the world but it is through their thoughts that you can see the depth of Karen's neediness, Ellen's sarcastic personality, Laurie's backwardness, and Diane's insecurities. Welch did an excellent job in her smooth chapter/character transitions. I was never in a Sorority but after reading Sorority Sisters
I feel like I have a good understanding of how they work. Claudia
Welch took her readers through pledging, Rush, and sorority life in
general. I'm kinda sad I missed out!
Sorority Sisters doesn't stop when the four graduate. Instead, the novel continues on through marriages, divorces, and motherhood. Let me stop right here and say that I LOVED this about Sorority Sisters. Too many books focus on one point in its characters life. Childhood, or young adulthood, or 'the best time of their lives.' Sorority Sisters follows Karen, Ellen, Laurie, and Diane through life. It was so rewarding for me as the reader to watch them grow and mature, all the while being there for each other. I laughed with them and even cried with them. The story concluded in 2001 in a VERY fitting way that tied everything together.
I wholeheartedly recommend Claudia Welch's Sorority Sisters. I give it 2 thumbs up...if I had 4 thumbs I would rate it that! If there is only one book you read this summer, please let it be this one. Trust me, it will not let you down!
Berkley Books and BookPleasures.com has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, Sorority Sisters, for the purpose of review.