Saturday, May 30, 2009

3 Willows, by Ann Brashares

Three girls (Jo, Polly, and Ama) have a memorable summer. Jo goes to the beach and spends the summer bussing tables, struggling between trying to impress the older girls with which she works and staying true to Polly and Ama. Ama goes out on a hiking expedition, even though she can't stand the outdoors. And Polly tries to pursue a career as a fashion model as well as deal with an absent mother. In the end, all three girls learn a lot about themselves.

Sound familiar?

At a basic level, Brashares is producing another installment of her successful formula. After four Traveling Pants books, though, that franchise was pretty much exhausted, so we now have a new set of girls -- all ready for their own set of books. But hey, it works and it is the literary equivalent of comfort food. Brashares is a good writer, so there is little pain in reading any variant of the theme. The shame though is that she really isn't stretching her talents any.

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