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?
My Mini Thoughts:
I’m going to be the odd one out and say this book caught my attention, but failed to keep it. In my opinion the book was too long. There were points when I wanted to stop it and come back later. I kept with it, and I’m glad I finished it, but it took longer than I had hoped for.
Going in I knew there would be talk about sexual abuse, sexual assault, race, death, and same sex relations. That didn’t bother me. What bothered me was that I felt like a lot of the bad things that happened, happened to just one of the sisters.
Then there’s their mom. At one point the mom favored Bethie, but when Bethie’s life didn’t go the route she wanted it to, she favored Jo. I think this was the saddest relationship. It also relates to the pressures that come from within. A lot of pressure was put on Bethie to be the perfect daughter when she was growing up since their mom always thought Jo was a disappointment. Especially when the rumors started about Jo and another girl.
I did like reading how Jo and Bethie’s relationship evolved through the years with each other. No matter how angry they got with each other, they always came back together. Jo was Bethie’s savior when nobody else was.
I like reading about relationships between sisters, even though I don’t have one. All of my closest girlfriends have sisters, and it’s interesting to me to watch them together.
Overall I would still recommend this book, it just wasn’t for me.
Book Rating: 🍷🍷🍷 and 1/2
For the grand finale, this would pair nicely with Rosé All Day 2017.