This book sat on my to-read list for quite some time. It found its way there because, like me, the author Claudia Welch is a sister of Alpha Phi. It wasn't until Brianna at Royally Pink reviewed Sorority Sisters on her blog that I knew I needed to read this book and I couldn't have read it at a better time. As I enter my senior year, this book was exactly what I needed to read.
Sorority Sisters follows the lives of Ellen, Laurie, Diane, and Karen from the time they meet as pledges of Beta Pi as freshman in college in 1975 and through the rest of their lives.
On the inside of the cover, the author writes a brief description of the four main characters' individual reasons for joining a sorority. Laurie's stuck out to me the most:
"Laurie was looking for a place to call home, even if it was only for the four years of college. She knew whatever bonds she made wouldn't last. Life had taught her that."
Like Laurie, I wasn't sure what I would find when I joined Greek life my freshman year and I hoped I would find a place to call home. Now as a senior, I know the relationships that I have made with the women in my chapter will continue long after graduation and Alpha Phi is my home. Sorority Sisters solidified this.
The four women share a bond that is stronger than friendship and their bonds grow throughout the story; it's true sisterhood. As Claudia Welch wrote, "with sisters, it's not about what happens. It's about no matter what happens."
I loved that Claudia Welch chose not to put the entire focus on the sorority and life in college. We follow the characters through their college years for only half of the story. We then transition with them into the "real world". We witness them stick together as sisters through bad relationships, weddings, careers, divorces, childbearing, and even death.
During a particular raw and emotional scene, Laurie, again, stands out to me. She says the following quote that stops me in my tracks and I'm not going to lie - I cried (if you know me, you know this is a big deal). I cried because it's everything I've ever felt about my own beloved Alpha Phi but couldn't put into words on my own. I think Brianna hit the nail on the head when she said, "you don't know what sisterhood is until you are so far gone you don't even know where it began." Laurie says,
"I didn't know what love felt like before I became a Beta Pi, I didn't know what it looked like. These girls taught me, showed me, year after year, heartache upon heartache, laugh upon laugh, they taught me that love is tough. It endures tragedy and joy and monotony. Love makes you laugh."
I think sorority sisters everywhere can relate to Laurie's heartfelt quote.
Welch did a wonderful job with making the characters relatable. The way they speak, the banter and arguments between them - they feel real. I would highly recommend this book to my fellow Greek sisters, especially those entering senior year, and women who are looking to join a sorority. Sorority Sisters will put into words all the feelings you've had about sisterhood and what it really means.
|My little and I at our annual Red Dress Gala|
Sisterhood really isn't just for the four years of college, it's for life.