Sam is the boyfriend who Rachel broke up with four years before the events of the book. This breakup left her with very little money and virtually no social life, and she coped with these circumstances by totally dedicating herself to work for four years (until the year she started riding the buses with Beth). At the end of the book, Rachel finds the confidence to reconnect with Sam, and they eventually get married. This outcome shows how her time with Beth has taught her to love more courageously and authentically.
Sam Character Timeline in Riding the Bus with My Sister
The timeline below shows where the character Sam appears in Riding the Bus with My Sister. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. January: The Journey
12. May: Lunch with Jesse
13. May: Matchmaker
...isn’t interested in a relationship. But secretly, she is. One evening, she hears one of Sam’s favorite songs playing in the supermarket and realizes how much she misses him. She worries... (full context)
15. June: The Earth Mother
...win.” Rachel admits that she’s struggling to accept her own insecurities—she can’t stop thinking about Sam and wondering if they should try to get back together. One day, she calls him,... (full context)
31. November: The Girlfriend
...want to take things further yet because she still isn’t totally over her breakup with Sam. She wonders if “we are all Beths, boarding other people’s life journeys, or letting them... (full context)
32. November: The Eighteenth Hole
35. December: Iz Gonna Be All Right
37. A Year and a Half Later: The Miracle Maker
...start dating again. This May afternoon is special because it’s Rachel’s wedding day—and she’s marrying Sam. She called him 10 months before, and they feel like their new courtship is “a... (full context)