Score: 5/5 Bookmarks
Mrs Everything by Jennifer Weiner takes us along a winding journey as we see the lives of two sisters unfold. We get to know them through the complex relationships they have with each other, with their mother, and their struggles to find who they really are and how to live the big lives they want.
The story weaves through the challenges of being jewish and gay in Detroit in the ‘50s and ‘60s, as well as dealing with issues of racism, equality, sexism, drugs, courage, and sexual abuse. It’s heavy at times, but very real and a book that I think all women should read.
My heart ached for the characters, and being a mother, and thinking about my own mother protesting in the ‘60s and ‘70s to make sure I lived in a better world, it brought me to tears more than a few times. It is full of conversations about the pressure we put on ourselves as women, and the pressures from society that have changed, but not all that much. This book really IS everything, and I highly recommend it.
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From Jennifer Weiner, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes, comes a smart, thoughtful, and timely exploration of two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places—and be true to themselves—in a rapidly evolving world. Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history—and herstory—as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives.
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?