Review From User :
5 stars and a high-five to quite possibly the most memorable book I've read this year!
Jennifer WeinerI've been reading her books for close to twenty years. I first read Little Earthquakes, but it was In Her Shoes that I fell for most and had to read all of her backlist. And that movie Loved it!
In my mind, Jennifer Weiner gets better and better, and this book Mrs. Everything It's right at the pinnacle, tippy-top of what she's accomplished! And that said I'm already ready for her top herself next time because I know she can.
Regardless of me already dreaming of her next book, Mrs. Everything is an enormous treasure of a read. It's technically historical fiction, taking place in 1950s Detroit. Two sisters with differing personalities grow up in the same family and experience many of the same traumas and unique family dynamics only to have vastly different experiences (isn't that the way so often with families).
Bethie and Jo's personalities could not be more different. Jo, the older sister, lives her early life without abandon while Bethie plays it safe with paper dolls. Then, later, they switch roles, and Bethie becomes the wild child during the 60s, while Jo takes the safer route to a traditional life in Connecticut as a young mom. Neither sister is happy, and each is seeking the happy life.
The storytelling in Mrs. Everything is so rich, so all enveloping, it's like a warm hug when you fall into this story of these two sisters. There's some darkness here, too, and traumas these sisters live through. The way it's written with honesty makes it all so relatable.
Mrs. Everything is epic in proportions, too, as it follows Bethie and Jo throughout their lives. Everything they experience is something any reader could have experienced. I can't stress enough how innately human these characters are.
Mrs. Everything accomplishes much more than the average book. It felt me feeling affirmed and hopeful. In other words, it left me feeling understood.
Thank you, Jennifer Weiner, for this masterfully drawn warm hug (and a big high five, too).
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
Do we change or does the world change us?
Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise.
Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.
But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?
In her most ambitious novel yet, Jennifer Weiner tells a story of two sisters who, with their different dreams and different paths, offer answers to the question: How should a woman be in the world?