Mrs. Everything
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.

Mrs. Everything Details

TitleMrs. Everything
Author
ReleaseJun 11th, 2019
PublisherAtria Books
Rating
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit

Mrs. Everything Review

  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    “Maybe I am different. Being different isn’t the worst thing.” Ms. Everything is just that—she’s everything and every woman. She’s the collective voice of you, me, our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, friends, neighbors and acquaintances. She’s the gamut of emotions, triumphs, sacrifices, and heartbreak that feed into the way we view the world. She’s a piece of fiction that hits home with the notion that self-discovery is a continuous journey for each one of us.In a story that spans gener “Maybe I am different. Being different isn’t the worst thing.” Ms. Everything is just that—she’s everything and every woman. She’s the collective voice of you, me, our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, friends, neighbors and acquaintances. She’s the gamut of emotions, triumphs, sacrifices, and heartbreak that feed into the way we view the world. She’s a piece of fiction that hits home with the notion that self-discovery is a continuous journey for each one of us.In a story that spans generations, Jennifer Weiner taps into the heart of life. From the expectations we set for ourselves to the varying degrees of reality that often take shape instead.On the longer side, this novel follows two sisters—Jo and Bethie—for the entirety of their existence. From childhood to the trying times of adolescence and the woes of adulthood, their dueling storylines bring forth topics likely to resonate with women from all backgrounds. The beauty of the extensive timeline is witnessing the influence of an ever-changing society on the hopes and dreams of the two sisters. Jennifer Weiner is an author that hits the high notes when it comes to relatability. From the characters she presents on the page, to the topics that formulate, her words speak the language of everyday women. Chances are, we’ve all faced challenges similar to Jo and Bethie or know someone who has. There are those times when we read to breathe in a different life than our own. And others when we seek out novels like Mrs. Everything, an experience that offers a sense of solidarity and sisterhood.*A HUGE thanks to Atria for providing a copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. ♥
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  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    “She wondered whether they would ever not try to have it all and do it all and do all of it flawlessly. Would the day ever come when simply doing your best would be enough?” Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, aunt, caretaker, career women: Mrs. Everything attempts to cover it all. Spanning decades and told through the alternating narrative of two sisters, Jo and Bethie, who grew up in Detroit in the 1950s, Weiner explores the complex relationship between women, while at the same time, ex “She wondered whether they would ever not try to have it all and do it all and do all of it flawlessly. Would the day ever come when simply doing your best would be enough?” Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, aunt, caretaker, career women: Mrs. Everything attempts to cover it all. Spanning decades and told through the alternating narrative of two sisters, Jo and Bethie, who grew up in Detroit in the 1950s, Weiner explores the complex relationship between women, while at the same time, examining and subverting gender norms. Mrs. Everything tries to be everything: family saga, drama, women’s fiction, and a feminist manifesto. At times, Mrs. Everything struggles to find its place, but there is an ease about the narrative that draws the reader into Jo and Bethie’s lives. Both sisters’ stories are equally interesting. The lengthy timeline allows the reader to watch Jo and Bethie struggle with finding fulfillment. It’s a long journey towards self-acceptance. Mrs. Everything serves as a tribute to the brave women who try to do it all and think that they have to do it all. In the end, it had me ugly crying as I reached the final pages and said goodbye to Jo and Bethie.“I want to be brave like that.” I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Atria Books in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    "Please, God, or whoever's up there, please just give me enough time to make it right."For me, this was a 3 star read with a 5 star message, so I went with a 4 star rating. It's the type of book that you want to say so much about and also nothing at all. You want to say so much, because it's a very timely message and is being published at the most opportune moment. In a world in the midst of the #metoo movement and feminism on the rise, it's the type of book that women can rally behind and promo "Please, God, or whoever's up there, please just give me enough time to make it right."For me, this was a 3 star read with a 5 star message, so I went with a 4 star rating. It's the type of book that you want to say so much about and also nothing at all. You want to say so much, because it's a very timely message and is being published at the most opportune moment. In a world in the midst of the #metoo movement and feminism on the rise, it's the type of book that women can rally behind and promote with ease. It's also a book that I'm struggling to talk about, because it's an epic, sweeping saga of sisters, mothers, and daughters, and to divulge any details would be to take away from your own reading experience. In the forward of my arc, Jennifer Weiner writes a preface that describes where the inspiration for this story came from. Her own mother was born in the 1940's, married a man and had children, divorced him and ended up falling in love with a woman. I think the vulnerability and raw appeal to this novel is the fact that it covers a lifetime, not just a year or two, and the choice to delve into something deeper and a little more serious was an excellent choice for the author. You'll laugh, you'll cry, but you won't forget Mrs. Everything after you finish it. Highly recommended for those looking for a relevant historical fiction that expresses the journey of what it means to be female, past and present. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    Josette (Jo) and Elisabeth (Bethie) Kaufman were sisters who came of age in 1950s Detroit. Jo is a tomboy, more comfortable in old clothes and running around playing sports, while young Bethie was content with being the pretty, talented one, the center of attention. Not much changed as the two approached their teenage years, much to their mother's chagrin. Jo became more outspoken in trying to understand civil rights and social justice, while Bethie starts understanding that her beauty gives her Josette (Jo) and Elisabeth (Bethie) Kaufman were sisters who came of age in 1950s Detroit. Jo is a tomboy, more comfortable in old clothes and running around playing sports, while young Bethie was content with being the pretty, talented one, the center of attention. Not much changed as the two approached their teenage years, much to their mother's chagrin. Jo became more outspoken in trying to understand civil rights and social justice, while Bethie starts understanding that her beauty gives her an interesting form of power.But a family tragedy leads to a traumatic incident for one sister and self-discovery for the other, and both impact their lives and their relationships. As time moves on, Bethie becomes a free spirit, traveling the world, never putting roots down in one place, immersing herself in the counterculture and embracing the idea that women should have whatever they want. Jo, on the other hand, becomes a traditional housewife in Connecticut, raising two daughters and wondering how she wound up living the life she is. Both are content in their own ways but aren't truly happy, but at the same time, aren't sure they are willing to shake things up enough to make change happen. Mrs. Everything follows Jo and Bethie to the present day, chronicling the journey of these two women as they struggle for happiness, love, and fulfillment, even when they believe they can't have all three simultaneously. They have triumphs and deal with tragedies, they turn toward each other and turn away, and try to be true to themselves and who they are. It's a novel that has an almost epic feel to it."'We lose ourselves,' she repeated, forming each word with care, 'but we find our way back.' Wasn't that the story of her life? Wasn't that the story of Bethie's? You make the wrong choices, you make mistakes, you disappear for a decade, you marry the wrong man. You get hurt. You lose sight of who you are, or of who you want to be, and then you remember, and if you're lucky you have sisters or friends who remind you when you forget your best intentions. You come back to yourself, again and again. You try, and fail, and try again, and fail again."I've never read anything that Jennifer Weiner has written, so when I was offered the opportunity to read Mrs. Everything I jumped at it. Weiner says in a note that appears at the start of my advance copy that she was inspired by Michael Cunningham's A Home at the End of the World and Susan Isaacs' Almost Paradise (two books I loved) to write a book that followed its main characters all the way through their lives. She also said she wanted to write about a character like her mother, whose life moved in unexpected and unbelievable ways.The arcs that Weiner's characters' lives follow are very believable. These are women whose stories have been told so many times yet they need to be told many times more. This is a fascinating exploration of the roles women play within their families, within their marriages and relationships, and within society. There isn't necessarily anything surprising in this book but that doesn't matter; it's still a powerful book with strong messages.I really enjoyed the way Weiner writes and felt completely immersed in the story. I felt like things dragged a bit at times, but real life isn't always exciting either. I do read a fair amount of so-called "women's fiction," but this is one book that I'd imagine will resonate more with women than it did with me, although I still felt moved by it.NetGalley and Atria Books provided me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!This book will be published June 11, 2019. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    A high 4 stars!Wow! I really didn’t expect to like Mrs. Everything as much as I did. I’ve read some of Jennifer Weiner’s novels in the past, and I think of them as entertaining but generally quite light. This felt different. The story spanned four generations, covering what felt like complex situations while delivering real emotions. I found myself fully engaged and was oh so grateful to have a leisurely Saturday to plough through most of the book — and grateful for a few tissues too. The story A high 4 stars!Wow! I really didn’t expect to like Mrs. Everything as much as I did. I’ve read some of Jennifer Weiner’s novels in the past, and I think of them as entertaining but generally quite light. This felt different. The story spanned four generations, covering what felt like complex situations while delivering real emotions. I found myself fully engaged and was oh so grateful to have a leisurely Saturday to plough through most of the book — and grateful for a few tissues too. The story focuses on sisters Jo and Bethie — I hadn’t made the Little Women connection until now — starting in the 1950s when they are children. At first, it feels like Weiner is portraying Jo and Bethie as overly recognizable types — Jo is boyish and at odds with her mother and the world, while Bethie is pretty, feminine and popular. But things turn out to be way more complicated. And the complications reverberate through the generations. I don’t want to say too much to avoid spoilers, but I will say that I loved how Weiner wove in political issues about women’s roles, sexual politics and race relations without letting politics make her characters unidimensional. The only thing that kept me from giving this novel 5 whole stars were a couple of coincidences that irked me, but these were minor flaws. Overall, this was a powerful contemporary tableau of women in the 20th and 21st centuries. I’ll definitely be on board to read Weiner’s next novel. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book, which focused on two sisters. Jo, the older sister who’s great at sports and hates dresses, and Bethie, who is constantly dieting so she can be the lead in school musicals. From the fifties through the sixties up until modern times, their lives don’t go in the way you might have predicted when you first met them as kids. Some of this was hard to read. There is sexual abuse that isn’t described explicitly (at least not the rape), but how it impacts the character and the other I enjoyed this book, which focused on two sisters. Jo, the older sister who’s great at sports and hates dresses, and Bethie, who is constantly dieting so she can be the lead in school musicals. From the fifties through the sixties up until modern times, their lives don’t go in the way you might have predicted when you first met them as kids. Some of this was hard to read. There is sexual abuse that isn’t described explicitly (at least not the rape), but how it impacts the character and the other characters is not easy reading. Weiner never goes for the easy happy ending, but pointing out that religion, gender, sexual orientation, and race ensure that there is no such thing as an easy life with easy choices. So why I can’t say this is a super fun summer read, it is a good one that will keep you turning pages to find out what happens. Recommend. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this novel, which RELEASES JUNE 11, 2019.For more reviews please visit http://www.theresaaalan.net/blog
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 for bellbottoms and Beatles--but oh so much more!!What a great surprise! I thought I was signing up for some nice-and-light chick lit, but oh, was I ever wrong! We follow two sisters, Jo and Bethie, from childhood to seniorhood. Their lives are anything but nice and light, and I got pulled in immediately. There’s drama coming out their ears, yet it’s not gratuitious, overdone, or unrealistic. Weiner, who I’ve always thought was a good writer but definitely on the light side, created a more s 4.5 for bellbottoms and Beatles--but oh so much more!!What a great surprise! I thought I was signing up for some nice-and-light chick lit, but oh, was I ever wrong! We follow two sisters, Jo and Bethie, from childhood to seniorhood. Their lives are anything but nice and light, and I got pulled in immediately. There’s drama coming out their ears, yet it’s not gratuitious, overdone, or unrealistic. Weiner, who I’ve always thought was a good writer but definitely on the light side, created a more serious and expansive story here (which was her plan, as she says in the Intro). Her storytelling chops are on full display. The plot is well paced and nearly flawless. And it’s juicily unpredictable; I loved having no idea what was going to happen next and getting slapped in the face with some dramatic, unexpected turn of events. The characters are complex and vivid, and they pressed my emote button. I even cried once!—and I’m not a crying kind of reader. Although the language isn’t jazzy, I liked how clear and smooth it is—not pretentious or convoluted. And her descriptions, they’re something else! Women baby boomers, you MUST read this book! Down memory lane we go! And if you were in the counter-culture (especially if were wild and crazy), you will really get your mind blown. Weiner has the 1960s and 1970s down pat; I was transported! Remember putting your pajamas under the pillow when you made the bed? Remember the deep pink indentations that your garter do-hickies made on your thighs? Does Metrecal ring a bell? All these images (and hundreds more) from a long-ago past are apparently stored on the hard drive inside my skull, and it was a kick to make them dance. I had no idea they were still up there in the old noggin’, just waiting to be reactivated! And of course, the images stirred up memories and that was when I’d daydream for a bit, taking little side trips of my own. (Maybe some of our senior ADD happens because we get distracted by our memories?) Weiner really did her homework; she’s not a baby boomer herself. You’d think she was, based on how well she understands that time period. I’m betting her mom was the key source, as Weiner mentions her in the Intro and it seems that the story is loosely based on her life.So yes, the descriptions are out of this world. I usually whine relentlessly about writers’ detail-itis, but here, I’m not poo-pahing it one bit. I was glued to the page. I couldn’t take my eyes off any of it—the clothes, the rooms, the colors, all the spot-on pop-culture references. Weiner is one of those excellent writers who makes you feel like you’re watching a movie. Usually, a writer talking about the color of bellbottoms would annoy the hell out of me. Here, I appreciated being able to see the movie in technicolor. (I’d love it if they took this story to the big screen. They’ve made one of Weiner’s books, In Her Shoes, into a blockbuster movie, so maybe it will happen again.)So it was the first third of the book, where Jo and Bethie were kids and teens in the 60s and 70s, that made me crazy happy. I was hopping around on my pogo stick while wearing my bellbottoms and holding a transistor radio blasting the Beatles’ “We All Live in a Yellow Submarine.” (Pretty impressive that I can hold a radio while hopping on the pogo stick, huh?) I couldn’t stop talking about the book; it was magical. I give that part of the book 10 stars, hands down. Don’t’ worry, I’m not saying that the rest of the book was bigtime inferior; it just wasn’t as intense, and I didn’t have the memory game going so much. I still loved it. But there was one thing that kept me from giving the book 5 stars, and it’s that the women’s lib part was too pushy. I don’t think the book needs an agenda. Sexual abuse was a topic, and Weiner handled those scenes expertly—and they got my dander up like they were supposed to. But there was a consciousness-raising scene in the early part of the book that I found embarrassing—way too cliched. I know Weiner was going for authentic, and authentic it was (women really did attend official consciousness-raising meetings). I just was bored and annoyed reading it. She could have left out the dialogue, which in its rhetoric seemed sophomoric. Later in the book, there’s more sexual politics, and it felt a little male-bashy—not terribly so, but I didn’t like it.It was so exciting to take this long journey with the two sisters and to watch their internal turmoil. I liked how realistic the book was, and I enjoyed their complex and intense relationship. Some of their choices made me cringe, others made me sad—oh please don’t do THAT! Do you really think that’s a good idea? Don’t you see you’re messing up?! Only a great writer can make me get so wound up about characters in a book! They’re not real people, Debbie, take it easy! She also made me shut my mouth and not rail against angsty teens. You won’t hear a peep from me this time, even though there was ample angst. Maybe it’s because she made Jo and Bethie so likeable. And their angst seemed so real and justified and understandable.There’s probably something in the book that every female can relate to—I found several things, including living with a hyper-critical mom. And of course, I identified with some of the unsavory choices made during the hippie days. And the kind of bizarro scenes that you’re thrown into, and which catch you off guard and leave you speechless and sometimes traumatized. There was at least one harrowing scene that had me by the throat and will stay with me a long time. It reminded me of the trouble you can get in when you make bad decisions in your early 20s (before your prefrontal cortex is fully developed).There were a couple of super minor things that should have been resolved and a couple things that didn’t ring true. (For example, a character paid their bills when they went bankrupt, even though bankruptcy means you don’t have to pay your bills.) Oh, and I ran across a joke that I recently heard Jay Leno make! The writer should have referenced it as a public joke; instead, I felt Weiner was trying to pass it off as an original funny. But we’re talking picky picky picky here. This was one satisfying read.I’m surprised that this book isn’t touted as an LGBT book, as Jo is gay. The beginning of the book chronicles her trying to come to terms with her budding sexuality; it was so well done and very intense. I really got a feel for how insanely difficult being a lesbian in the 60s and 70s would have been.Also depicted: life in a Jewish family, sexual abuse (and its aftermath), weight issues, drugs, the good and bad of the free-love days. It made me think about the death of dreams, what people want versus what they settle for, the wandering lost souls of the young, the price of bad decisions, the loss of innocence, longing, discontent, internal conflicts.What a book! I’m still reeling and it has been a while since I finished it. Definitely a favorite book of 2019! Grab it when it is published in June.Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Jennifer Weiner, you have truly outdone yourself with this one. Having read every single one of Weiner's books, it's safe to say that I was reallllllllllly waiting impatiently for her to release new fiction (it's been four years since Who Do You Love was released). Well, I can truly say it was worth the wait. Mrs. Everything is the story of Jo and Bethie, over their entire lifetime - sisters who are as different as they come but the most important person in the world to the other. This is the st Jennifer Weiner, you have truly outdone yourself with this one. Having read every single one of Weiner's books, it's safe to say that I was reallllllllllly waiting impatiently for her to release new fiction (it's been four years since Who Do You Love was released). Well, I can truly say it was worth the wait. Mrs. Everything is the story of Jo and Bethie, over their entire lifetime - sisters who are as different as they come but the most important person in the world to the other. This is the story of the lives of two Jewish women who grew up in a confusing time as descendants of immigrants in Philadelphia. This is the story of love, family, self-discovery, exploration, friendship, relationships and what it means to be yourself. I cannot recommend this book enough, Bravo, Jennifer Weiner.Thank you to Atria for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Erin Clemence
    January 1, 1970
    Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. Jennifer Wiener’s newest novel, “Mrs. Everything” is more socially relevant today than any other novel I’ve read this year. Jo and her sister, Beth, grow up in a world of bell bottoms and mind-altering drugs, a society where women are the primary caregivers and homemakers, and the men are the breadwinners. As they grow together throughout changing decades, Beth and Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. Jennifer Wiener’s newest novel, “Mrs. Everything” is more socially relevant today than any other novel I’ve read this year. Jo and her sister, Beth, grow up in a world of bell bottoms and mind-altering drugs, a society where women are the primary caregivers and homemakers, and the men are the breadwinners. As they grow together throughout changing decades, Beth and Jo begin to see the changes in society, but also the parts of life that have not changed that much, at least for women. Wiener has touched on a very politically charged topic in “Mrs. Everything”, while still tugging on heart strings with her depiction of the relationship between two very different sisters, over the course of many decades. Both Jo and Beth face entirely separate struggles, but they are both strong and powerful characters, full of likable characteristics. Their relationship with each other is honest and real, turning to each other no matter what has happened between them, when the world around them caves in. “Mrs. Everything” is entertaining, heart-warming, emotional and powerful, with memorable characters and a bittersweet ending. I enjoyed the ups and downs of the sibling relationship, and the struggles and challenges faced by Jo and Beth (and their mother, Sarah, as well as Jo’s daughters) and this kept me engaged in the novel. Although I do not claim to be ignorant of the issues in today’s society, I tend to shy away from novels with any form of political message, not because I wish to bury my head in the sand but because novels are my form of escape from the outside world of chaos and insanity. A well written novel with well-developed characters and a powerful message, “Mrs. Everything” has something that every female will connect with. It is surely a novel that will resonate with the feminine side of any reader, and will definitely leave you cheering and determined to make everyone stand up and listen.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    When I learned the premise of Jennifer Weiner's latest novel, I was intrigued, but also skeptical as to whether this would be a good fit for me. However, as soon as I started it, I knew I would love it. And I was right! Mrs. Everything is a powerful story that I think women (and possibly even men) of all ages will appreciate. I liked the nostalgic feel of this novel and it gave me insight to what it was like for my mom growing up. Jo and Bethie were relatable, even when we had nothing in common When I learned the premise of Jennifer Weiner's latest novel, I was intrigued, but also skeptical as to whether this would be a good fit for me. However, as soon as I started it, I knew I would love it. And I was right! Mrs. Everything is a powerful story that I think women (and possibly even men) of all ages will appreciate. I liked the nostalgic feel of this novel and it gave me insight to what it was like for my mom growing up. Jo and Bethie were relatable, even when we had nothing in common aside from being Jewish. I couldn't help but feel what they were feeling. (Side note: I loved all the Jewish references, especially the Purim shpiel.) There were times I felt I could identify more with Jo, but I appreciated reading Bethie's perspective. Sometimes they reminded me of myself and my sister, but for different reasons. Both women brought up some interesting issues about women's roles over time and those went along with what they were experiencing. For those who have survived sexual abuse and assault, there are some trigger warnings in this novel. Some parts are hard to read even having not experienced that. Since I was reading an ARC, I shouldn't complain about dates and ages not syncing correctly, as I'm hoping they will be fixed in the final print. However, it's hard for a "time nerd" such as myself to read ARCs. That was the only issue I had and it will probably become a non-issue soon enough. I definitely recommend Mrs. Everything and look forward to discussing it with others who have read it. I'm already hoping Jennifer won't make us wait as long for her next novel. The other minor gripe was that it was really hard for a "movie casting nerd" such as myself since it spans so much time and people have specific looks that I can't seem to find on IMDb. However, I did come up with these two choices:Jo (30s and 40s): Daniela RuahBethie (30s and 40s): Aidy Bryant
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  • FMABookReviews
    January 1, 1970
    A story which spans decades, Mrs. Everything closely explores women's roles in society, homosexuality, ethnicity, race, sexual assault, and family relationships. It is a well-written, character-driven, fast and easy read. I was provided a review copy by Atria; this did not influence my opinion of the book nor my review.
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  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to be sent an early copy, and this book was truly wonderful. Rich, complex characters with plot-driven narratives that kept the pages turning, coupled with stellar writing. For sure my favorite Weiner book to date. Proudly feminist without being preachy. Look for it in June - it's excellent.
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  • Martie Nees Record
    January 1, 1970
    Genre: Literary Fiction/Women’s FictionPublisher: Atria Book (Simon & Schuster)Pub. Date: June 11, 2019 This multigenerational novel spans the 1940s to the present. The weight of the novel is devoted to how women’s roles in society have changed and yet remained the same over the decades. The author states in her prologue that after the 2016 election she wanted to write about a woman like her mother. A woman, who married, had children, divorced, fell in love with another woman and married her Genre: Literary Fiction/Women’s FictionPublisher: Atria Book (Simon & Schuster)Pub. Date: June 11, 2019 This multigenerational novel spans the 1940s to the present. The weight of the novel is devoted to how women’s roles in society have changed and yet remained the same over the decades. The author states in her prologue that after the 2016 election she wanted to write about a woman like her mother. A woman, who married, had children, divorced, fell in love with another woman and married her. This reviewer applauds Weiner for her honesty and ambitious effort. The novel takes on many issues: ethnicity, race, bias, class, religion, sexual assault. Most of all, the relationships between mothers, daughters, and sisters—shades of “Little Women.” The reader will go through the civil rights movement to the #MeToo movement. Fittingly, Weiner tries to work everything into “Mrs. Everything,” but the result often feels bloated with detail and explanation. Overkill. The novel is narrated by two sisters, Jo and Bethie. The reader will follow them from their childhoods until they are senior citizens. Jo is a tomboy. She prefers playing sports rather than with dolls. Her choice of clothing is masculine. Bethie is content with being pretty, loving all things girlie, and being her mother’s favorite. The family is Jewish, and the parents’ immigration, due to persecution in Europe, plays a large role in the novel. The religious and cultural parts of their lives did not read like overkill. Weiner manages to ‘show’ their heritage, rather than ‘telling’ it. Meaning it doesn’t feel jammed in. If all 500 pages were written in this manner, the book may have become a classic as well as a (probable) bestseller. Sometimes Weiner seems to struggle with making her characters' arcs believable, or how the story's developments can feel forced, at times, by the author's desire to subvert expectations. (Spoiler: In the early 1970s, Beth will find drugs in college, drops out, and worst of all, for her mother, Beth gets fat.) Since Joe marries and has children she now becomes the apple of her mother’s eye. This is hard to swallow because the mother is cringe-worthy cruel towards Jo as she was growing up. The mom always guessed Jo’s sexuality and couldn’t make peace with it.Oddly, with so much packed into the story, it is still a fast read. The novel is marketed as Literary Fiction/Women’s Fiction. It is really more Women’s Fiction—good women’s fiction, well researched. If you enjoy the genre you may feel this critique is too hard on the author. Indeed, there are parts in this sweeping saga where Weiner nails women’s personal struggles spot on. She especially shines when writing about sexual assault or how hard it can be for females to like their bodies or simply like themselves for who they are. Her book has a very important message. If you can get through the information overload, it is worth the read. I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.Find all my book reviews at:https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...https://books6259.wordpress.com/https://twitter.com/NeesRecordhttps://www.facebook.com/martie.neesr...https://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/amz...https://www.pinterest.com/martienreco...\
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  • Neanderthal
    January 1, 1970
    MRS. EVERYTHING follows the Kaufman sisters, Jo (6) and Bethie (4) from their move in 1951 into a single-family home in a new Detroit neighborhood, “the American Dream,” as their dad calls it, into the intense friendships and experiences of their teenage years, to the University of Michigan, communes, rock concerts, protests, drugs, adulthood, second and first marriages, motherhood (or not), entrepreneurship, etc.—in other words, Everything, good and not-so-good, the changes that have allowed wo MRS. EVERYTHING follows the Kaufman sisters, Jo (6) and Bethie (4) from their move in 1951 into a single-family home in a new Detroit neighborhood, “the American Dream,” as their dad calls it, into the intense friendships and experiences of their teenage years, to the University of Michigan, communes, rock concerts, protests, drugs, adulthood, second and first marriages, motherhood (or not), entrepreneurship, etc.—in other words, Everything, good and not-so-good, the changes that have allowed women to live lives not possible in 1951.(I received pre-publication access thanks to Edelweiss.)
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Immense thanks to Netgalley, Jennifer Weiner and the publisher for providing me an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. I have read several books by Ms. Weiner in the past and almost always loved every story told. I didn't hesitate to download this novel knowing that my previous experiences always provided much enjoyment.From the very beginning, Ms Weiner makes her own vulnerability known to readers. She openly discusses her desire to write a lengthy epic novel spanning many de Immense thanks to Netgalley, Jennifer Weiner and the publisher for providing me an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. I have read several books by Ms. Weiner in the past and almost always loved every story told. I didn't hesitate to download this novel knowing that my previous experiences always provided much enjoyment.From the very beginning, Ms Weiner makes her own vulnerability known to readers. She openly discusses her desire to write a lengthy epic novel spanning many decades and acknowledging the pitfalls of that effort. She essentially places her heart and soul in our hands as we delve into her fictional world of Jewish families, relationships between siblings and mothers and daughters and much, much more.The story alternates from the perspectives of two sisters, Jo and Bethie (*Little Women* nod perhaps?), from their youth in the 1950s to their elder days in the 2010s. Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, their parents search for the ultimate American Dream, purchasing a new home and providing the girls with a traditional Jewish upbringing. The girls are as different as two sisters can be: Jo, an unapologetic tomboy, and Bethie, the princess with goals of grandeur. As time passes by, the girls suffer many hardships, often marked and defined by the culture of the times, yet maintain their relationship as much as possible. Earlier this year, I read Herman Wouk's *Marjorie Morningstar*, published in 1952, which chronicled a similar tale of women stymied by the pressures of the American culture and Jewish tradition. Marjorie's story also spanned decades of her life, where she tried to break out of the mold and create her own independent life despite a myriad of tragedy and hardship. It felt like *Mrs. Everything* picked up where Wouk left off, and took on the role of storyteller and champion of women in the 20th century. My only suggestion to the author would be to either slow down the pace of the last third of the book and expand the relationship between Jo and her three daughters or to end the book after Jo and Shelley reunite for the final time. The last 25-30% of the book felt rushed, and the daughters weren't fleshed out enough to really put ourselves in their shoes. Lila in particular was a character I would have loved to dig into and learn how she became the rebellious teen in response to Jo's failures as a mother. We didn't really learn why the two eldest sisters became such successes (seemingly effortless) while Lila went off on her own path, other than a brief description of Jo's lack of attention and care to Lila after her marriage crumbled.I read 90% of the book in one sitting while crocheting over the weekend. It was so compelling even with the last bit being frustrating. I would definitely recommend this book to any of my friends, male or female.
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  • Tiffany Foskey
    January 1, 1970
    OMG this is one of the best books I have read this yr and I read ALOT!!!!!!! I found myself pausing in my reading because I didn't want it to end. I totally see a book hangover for the rest of the day from this book. You fall right into the characters lives and feel like you know them. I felt myself triumphing for them, my heart hurting with them, feeling their happiness. I don't think I've gotten this in tune with characters in a long time. Probably 6 years since Jennifer Weiner's last book lol OMG this is one of the best books I have read this yr and I read ALOT!!!!!!! I found myself pausing in my reading because I didn't want it to end. I totally see a book hangover for the rest of the day from this book. You fall right into the characters lives and feel like you know them. I felt myself triumphing for them, my heart hurting with them, feeling their happiness. I don't think I've gotten this in tune with characters in a long time. Probably 6 years since Jennifer Weiner's last book lol. This novel introduces us to Bethie and Jo, 2 sisters, at a young age and follows them all through their lives. Through their trials and tribulations of life. We follow right along with them as they grow up and become women and everything that comes with. If you have never read a Jennifer Weiner novel you are solely missing out. Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Books for my honest review and the opportunity to read and review this amazing novel
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  • Caroline Bertaud
    January 1, 1970
    This tale for the outcasts—the Jews, the “Negros”, the interracial couples, the homosexual couples and, yes, women—gives a real sense of the life in the 60s and throughout the 80s with the protests, the raising of awareness and differences and injustices, the rigid roles that women were expected to conform to, and the evolving world toward the end of the 2010s. Great characters, carefully drawn and breathing their struggles across the pages, round out this well-written story filled with historic This tale for the outcasts—the Jews, the “Negros”, the interracial couples, the homosexual couples and, yes, women—gives a real sense of the life in the 60s and throughout the 80s with the protests, the raising of awareness and differences and injustices, the rigid roles that women were expected to conform to, and the evolving world toward the end of the 2010s. Great characters, carefully drawn and breathing their struggles across the pages, round out this well-written story filled with historical and cultural references, and the best “trip” description, ever—if that doesn’t convey “kids, don’t do drugs!” I don’t know what will! If the book doesn’t open eyes on women’s condition, I don’t know what will, either.I was fortunate to read an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Warm thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for the opportunity.
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  • lovebooks
    January 1, 1970
    Mrs Everything is about how life is for two steps Jo and Bethie. How America changes from the 50s to today for women. Very interesting and heartfelt book. I love Jennifer Weiner’s Boos and this is of no exception.
  • Marisa
    January 1, 1970
    This book struck me in the hesrt from the author letter! I loved it.Jennifer Weiner is a wonderful story teller. She creates relatable women characters who you fall in love with. I could tell thst this story was personal and real and it made it that much better.From the hard relationships between mothers and daughters, to the bond of sisters and then the societal pressures woman place on themselves and have placed on them this book covered it all.There were some funny moments and many moments th This book struck me in the hesrt from the author letter! I loved it.Jennifer Weiner is a wonderful story teller. She creates relatable women characters who you fall in love with. I could tell thst this story was personal and real and it made it that much better.From the hard relationships between mothers and daughters, to the bond of sisters and then the societal pressures woman place on themselves and have placed on them this book covered it all.There were some funny moments and many moments that made me cry. I loved it! Told through the eyes of two very different sisters and through the span of 4 decades. It made a mad men feel and completely transports the reader to that time. Loved it and cant wait to share it
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    This was my first Jennifer Weiner book & it was a good one!!This was a story of 2 sisters, started in the 50's until present time.They were very different from each other, loved each other. Their mom was tough but I think part of her "way" had to do with the times & how people worried about appearances, etc. She especially had problems with her older daughter, Jo. Jo had a clumsy nature, liked sports, didn't like to dress up & dad seemed to try his best & then the younger sister, This was my first Jennifer Weiner book & it was a good one!!This was a story of 2 sisters, started in the 50's until present time.They were very different from each other, loved each other. Their mom was tough but I think part of her "way" had to do with the times & how people worried about appearances, etc. She especially had problems with her older daughter, Jo. Jo had a clumsy nature, liked sports, didn't like to dress up & dad seemed to try his best & then the younger sister, Bethie was more of a girlie girl. This story will take you through all the emotions- love, acceptance, change, gender, race & all types of relationships, mom/daughter, sisters, lovers, friends, fathers, husbands. Not all good. But mostly about women & how we have evolved, or have not.I especially loved Jo, she was strong through it all & as time went by, I grew to like & respect the person Bethie became. This is not a fluffy, light, chic lit ( not that there's anything wrong with that!) book. It is deep, emotional, raw at times & it was a great read!!Thank you to the publisher from sending me an ARC of this book
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    What a magnificent book! Spanning from the 1950's to present, Weiner tells the story of women. Mothers and Daughters, Daughters and their Friends, Lovers, Spouses and the next generation of daughters. Her writing is, as always, perfection. She is a natural storyteller. This book goes deeper than her others into very serious topics of sexual abuse, sexual identity, grief and ultimately love and the forms it can take. Bravo on a masterpiece of a novel.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    "We lose ourselves...but we find our way back." from Mrs. Everything by Jennifer WeinerMrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner is an emotional roller coaster about Baby Boomer sisters Jo and Bethie. Pop culture and political landmarks set the novel in specific times and places, beginning in 1950s Detroit. When their father suddenly dies, their mother Sarah struggles on her own, finding affordable housing and a job at Hudson's. Jo was the rebel, resisting girly dress and activities and early becoming "We lose ourselves...but we find our way back." from Mrs. Everything by Jennifer WeinerMrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner is an emotional roller coaster about Baby Boomer sisters Jo and Bethie. Pop culture and political landmarks set the novel in specific times and places, beginning in 1950s Detroit. When their father suddenly dies, their mother Sarah struggles on her own, finding affordable housing and a job at Hudson's. Jo was the rebel, resisting girly dress and activities and early becoming involved in Civil Rights protests. She also falls in love with her best friend Lynnette. Lynnette buckles under social pressure unable to accept her sexual orientation. Younger sister Bethie was always the perfect Jewish middle-class girl, her mother's favorite. She becomes a victim of sexual abuse and begins to alternately binge eat and starve herself. She is in a school play with Harold, who is African American, but they do not act on their mutual attraction.Jo goes away to the University of Michigan, meeting the love of her life, Shelley. Bethie comes to visit where she is picked up by an older, drug-dealing, man who turns her onto drugs and sex, beginning a long spiral of bad choices. When Shelley elects to marry, Jo is devastated and allows a man to woo and marry her. She loves being a mom, but as the children grow so does the distance between Jo and her husband until he betrays and leaves her.Passivity allows bad choices to take the sisters further from their true selves while misunderstanding and anger drive a wedge between them. Meanwhile, Jo's three girls grow up and her youngest, Lila, makes her own series of bad choices.Their stories become a synopsis of women's history from 50s housewives to the women who juggle career and family to the last question of what kind of death to choose.As entertaining as the book was, for a long time I was not sure what its purpose was until near the end of the story when Jo summarizes a woman's struggle between expectations and self-fulfillment, how we find ourselves far from our deepest truths and struggle to come home again. I was offered a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased.Note: The story takes place almost parallel to my own life and the cultural references were a trip down memory lane. We moved to the Detroit area in 1963 and I enjoyed all the references to the places and stores and radio stations mentioned. But...I take issue with one thing in the book--The sisters go to Suzy Q's for burgers. Burgers! It was known for its chicken! Why would they go there for burgers!
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  • Carla
    January 1, 1970
    This book's title is aptly chosen. How many of my generation, and now having read this book obviously other generations, thinks they had to do it all? Be all? I don't now, but so many years of stressful living had me making poor decisions because of that belief. This is a generational book of two sisters growing up in Detroit, their formative years, and their own adult years. Roads they took, and didn't. Their relationship with each other, their Mother, and their children. Page-wise, the length This book's title is aptly chosen. How many of my generation, and now having read this book obviously other generations, thinks they had to do it all? Be all? I don't now, but so many years of stressful living had me making poor decisions because of that belief. This is a generational book of two sisters growing up in Detroit, their formative years, and their own adult years. Roads they took, and didn't. Their relationship with each other, their Mother, and their children. Page-wise, the length of the book seemed like I might lose interest, but this is character driven, and I finished it quickly. The message transcends generations and speaks to being true to yourself. It's out June 2019. Thanks to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for an advance readers copy without promise of a positive review.
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  • Kati Berman
    January 1, 1970
    Mrs Everything I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Jennifer Weiner is one of my favorite writers, I have read all her books, so I was excited to get this advanced copy. I was not disappointed. The book covers over 60 years of the life of two sisters Jo and Beth. They grew up exactly the same time as I did, and dealt with the same issues, growing up in the 50’s and 60’s , becoming adults, wives and mothers in the 70’s and 80’s. The novel addresses all the importa Mrs Everything I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Jennifer Weiner is one of my favorite writers, I have read all her books, so I was excited to get this advanced copy. I was not disappointed. The book covers over 60 years of the life of two sisters Jo and Beth. They grew up exactly the same time as I did, and dealt with the same issues, growing up in the 50’s and 60’s , becoming adults, wives and mothers in the 70’s and 80’s. The novel addresses all the important issues of the time through the life of these two sisters: civil rights, Vietnam war, flower children, drug abuse, sexual revolution, gay rights, feminism, just to name a few. It is through trials and tribulations that these sisters find themselves able to overcome prejudices. The fact that Jo was living in Avondale, Connecticut was an extra treat for me, as I lived in Connecticut for 27 years and was familiar with many of the Connecticut sites, publications, etc. discussed. Overall, definitely 5 stars, just one comment that one other reviewer mentioned, the last third of the book was a little rushed compared to the rest.Thanks NetGalley, Atria Books and Jennifer Weiner for the opportunity to preview this novel.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Jo and Bethie are two sisters growing up in Detroit, Michigan during the 1950’s. A typical Jewish middle class family living in the suburbs; mom cleans and cooks, dinner on the table at 5 every night. Jello for dessert. The American dream. Jo and Bethie are nothing alike as youngsters and even more different as adults but their sisterly bond is deep and true. Exploring race, sexual identity and the women’s liberation movement throughout the sixties and seventies, best selling author Jennifer Wei Jo and Bethie are two sisters growing up in Detroit, Michigan during the 1950’s. A typical Jewish middle class family living in the suburbs; mom cleans and cooks, dinner on the table at 5 every night. Jello for dessert. The American dream. Jo and Bethie are nothing alike as youngsters and even more different as adults but their sisterly bond is deep and true. Exploring race, sexual identity and the women’s liberation movement throughout the sixties and seventies, best selling author Jennifer Weiner takes us on Bethie and Jo’s journey for equality in the work place, abortion rights and the racial divide in America. The decades pass too quickly and while triumphs are slowly made, many still remain out of reach even today. Though this was a very different tone for Jennifer Weiner - no romantic comedies here - I thoroughly enjoyed her exploration of family dynamics and the consequences of choices we make every day. Emotional at times, Mrs. Everything touches on many tough issues and would be an excellent book club discussion. Highly recommend this solid summer read. Pub date June 11th 2019. #stockupforsummer This one is a winner.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    I inhaled this book in and could not exhale until I finished it. Really one of the best books I've read all year easily. It could have been 1,000 pages and I would have enjoyed it.
  • Meg
    January 1, 1970
    I first discovered Jennifer Weiner when my college roommate lent me Good in Bed, so I’ve been reading Weiner for a long time now. Ok, so I didn’t love the musical-theater interlude in All Fall Down, but in general, these are great character-driven, culturally Jewish fiction, about developed characters doing their best in the face of setbacks.Her next novel, Mrs. Everything, is a family saga, beginning with two sisters in 1950s Detroit. (But did it really begin with them, or with, Sarah, their mo I first discovered Jennifer Weiner when my college roommate lent me Good in Bed, so I’ve been reading Weiner for a long time now. Ok, so I didn’t love the musical-theater interlude in All Fall Down, but in general, these are great character-driven, culturally Jewish fiction, about developed characters doing their best in the face of setbacks.Her next novel, Mrs. Everything, is a family saga, beginning with two sisters in 1950s Detroit. (But did it really begin with them, or with, Sarah, their mother? Or her mother in the old country?) In Good in Bed, and then in Certain Girls, she explored some generational themes, showing how Cannie was reflected in her daughter. In Mrs. Everything, we see family relationships grow and evolve over the years.Big sister Jo is a tomboy, uncomfortable in the mandatory skirts and dresses. The novel opens with a reference to Jo’s wife, so I knew going in that she’d eventually find happiness in a relationship with a woman, but the path isn’t smooth. Bethie seems like the pretty, pliable daughter, but as she gets older, she discovers the men, music and drugs of the sixties. The story takes us through the twists and turns of the sisters’ lives from there. Each time a new phase started, I didn’t exactly see it coming, but I though, oh, yeah, she’d do that. Bethie living in an all-woman commune? Jo teaching fitness classes? Ok, I can see that.I had serious hopes for Jo’s first marriage, even if Bethie didn’t. Dave seemed like a friendly neighborhood boy who liked and respected Jo, and didn’t want too much intimacy so she could keep her secret. (Also, Nonie Scotto?!?!?)The secondary characters are so well-developed, too. There are the commune women, who don’t want to participate in capitalism by making too much money from their hugely successful homemade jams. The ex-husband who won’t pay for college, but will pay for a nose job. The immigrant against affirmative action because she worked and struggled, everyone else should too. Near the end of the novel, Jo has her beloved wife, a mature relationship with her sister, and three daughters. When they watch Hilary Clinton in her white pantsuit, there’s such a feeling of hopefulness for women and the future. It really highlights how much has changed over the course of the novel, both for Jo and Bethie personally, and for the expectations on women. Of course, the 2016 election showed how much our country really hates successful women, so I guess that’s not quite an uplifting ending. Still, there’s a feeling that Jo’s daughters and their children, and their children will continue the story.
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  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    4 - 4.5 StarsReview to follow...
  • Pat
    January 1, 1970
    I started out underwhelmed by yet another story of repressed women keeping family secrets in the unenlightened '50s and '60s. But in the last hundred pages I felt this story came to life more realistically and emotionally as we reached the modern era, and so it ended in a satisfying and insightful way. However her lack of attention to historical details was annoying -- couldn't she have asked someone a bit older to help get the dates and fads and expressions right?
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  • Andrea Nourse
    January 1, 1970
    Where do I even begin? This book had my attention and heart from the first words in the author’s note. Mrs. Everything follows Jo and Bethie, two Jewish sisters growing up in Detroit in the 1950s. The book tells each of their stories as they grow up, leave home, get married, have kids (or not) and find (or hide) themselves.Jennifer Weiner’s books have always been among my favorites and her books are pretty much auto buys for me. The instant I saw she had a new one coming out, I preordered it. Wh Where do I even begin? This book had my attention and heart from the first words in the author’s note. Mrs. Everything follows Jo and Bethie, two Jewish sisters growing up in Detroit in the 1950s. The book tells each of their stories as they grow up, leave home, get married, have kids (or not) and find (or hide) themselves.Jennifer Weiner’s books have always been among my favorites and her books are pretty much auto buys for me. The instant I saw she had a new one coming out, I preordered it. When I saw it on @Netgalley, I immediately wished for it and nearly died when the publisher, @atriabooks, granted my wish for the book. (Still keeping my preorder, because I fully believe in supporting authors and buying their books.)Mrs. Everything just might be my top book of 2019. I know it’s still early in the year, but this book masterfully tackles hard and triggering topics. Weiner painted a beautiful narrative and presented two wildly different characters, yet I was drawn to and related to both in different ways.As I read, my heart broke, not only for the sisters, but also for all the women who’ve followed similar paths and found a way to fight so no woman ever has to walk alone or broken.This book was perfect from the beginning until the very last page.
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