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Mrs. Everything

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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 her 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?


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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 her 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?

30 review for Mrs. Everything

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    “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. ♥

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    "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.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    “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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Regan

    Read for BN Book Club so no rating!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    5 stars and a high-five to quite possibly the most memorable book I’ve read this year! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Jennifer Weiner…I’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 5 stars and a high-five to quite possibly the most memorable book I’ve read this year! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Jennifer Weiner…I’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

  6. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    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/.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    The Beach boys, the Beatles, Bob Dylan.... The Baby Boomers and Bell Bottoms..... We journey through the 50s and 60s right up to 2016... with sisters - (night & day opposites) - Jo and Bethie Kaufman. Sexual inappropriateness/family molestation, sexual -graphic experimentation between two women (a detailed-graphic sex scene was much more explicit than all the ‘sex-chatter’ combined in “City Girls”, by Elizabeth Gilbert), — which by the way, in my opinion, the author’s strongest scene - as it was The Beach boys, the Beatles, Bob Dylan.... The Baby Boomers and Bell Bottoms..... We journey through the 50s and 60s right up to 2016... with sisters - (night & day opposites) - Jo and Bethie Kaufman. Sexual inappropriateness/family molestation, sexual -graphic experimentation between two women (a detailed-graphic sex scene was much more explicit than all the ‘sex-chatter’ combined in “City Girls”, by Elizabeth Gilbert), — which by the way, in my opinion, the author’s strongest scene - as it was the most bold and fearless scene of the entire - almost 500 page book. ....Jews, Christians, religion, heritage, immigration, whites, blacks, betrayal, diets, ( weight gain & weight loss), class, race, beliefs, opinions, fears, family death, single mother, relationships of all kinds, description upon descriptions of fashion .. (clothes, shoes, handbags, hair, home designs, and trends, ( smoking, drugs, war, music, art, politics)... TIMES WERE CHANGING... THE SISTERS WERE CHANGING.... I found most of this book a little dull, simplistic, and predictable. It’s a tale that’s been done many times. There wasn’t anything particularly new or unique. A better book with family psychodrama - tragic comedy and our self-righteousness about our obsessive society ...is “The Nix”, by Nathan Hill. Both books begin in Chicago. Both books enter the pop culture..but where Nathan Hill’s novel felt fresh- creative and nostalgic...”Mrs Everything” felt stale. 150 pages could have easily been cut. This is another one of those books where I can understand a wide range of ratings. I get that many readers found this novel alluring. I get it. I can understand the appeal. But... I had 1 foot in and 1 foot out in the ‘yes/no’ ‘enjoyment/ not’, camps. My cynical mind had an inner voice speaking to me My curious mind - was interested enough to finish, 3 stars... ( the middle rating) I didn’t hate this book... but I wouldn’t call great either. This was my first book by Jennifer Weiner.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    4.25 Stars “Mrs. Everything” by Jennifer Weiner speaks to the masses. In this day and age, it is both timely and full of heart! It’s a story about connections. Women who are mothers, sisters, wives, lovers, friends, supporters, heroes and oh so much more. Jo and Bethie are sisters and “Mrs. Everything” is their story. It takes place over the course of decades. There are trials and tribulations as each woman struggles and tries to be everything to everyone, including each other. As sisters, the re 4.25 Stars “Mrs. Everything” by Jennifer Weiner speaks to the masses. In this day and age, it is both timely and full of heart! It’s a story about connections. Women who are mothers, sisters, wives, lovers, friends, supporters, heroes and oh so much more. Jo and Bethie are sisters and “Mrs. Everything” is their story. It takes place over the course of decades. There are trials and tribulations as each woman struggles and tries to be everything to everyone, including each other. As sisters, the relationship between Jo and Bethie is real and true. When experiencing hardship, the pain Jo and Bethie feel is palpable, as is their joy. There were times when I raised my fist in a “yes, you go girl” moment and times when my eyes were filling with tears and I just cried my little heart out. As someone whose only sibling is a sister, this story resonated with me. My sister and I are four years apart and are very different, thus we were treated very differently by our parents, just like Jo and Bethie. Though I am the younger sister, I resonated with certain parts of Jo, the tomboy, the girl who loves jeans and who is hard working, no nonsense and serious. I am equally sure that my sister would relate to Bethie, beautiful, popular and successful. I will be sure to send my sister a copy of this book upon its release to find out for sure! That’s the thing: “Mrs. Everything” is relatable to everyone, especially here and now - with what is going on these days. This is a story that will make you feel intensely and is one that makes you think - about what others are going through and how you can help. I very much enjoyed reading this novel as I loved the story of Jo and Bethie. “Mrs. Everything” is on the longer side and is therefore a slower read, thus it is one to be savored. This is now the third book that I’ve read by Jennifer Weiner and it is my favorite by far! Thank you to Ariele Friedman at Atria Books for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 5.26.19. Will be published on Amazon and Twitter on 6.11.19

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    3.5 rounded up 4 in the name of bellybuttons, sack dresses, obladi oblada life goes bra la la how the life goes on stars! I’m going back and forth between 3 and 4 so much time, normally I’m not defined as decisive person but at least 150 pages should be edited, I lose my objectivity when I’m reading a women power story so I turned into a generous grader! That’s my weakness! This book might be dedicated all the women out there! Wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts,grandmas ! It’s one of the g 3.5 rounded up 4 in the name of bellybuttons, sack dresses, obladi oblada life goes bra la la how the life goes on stars! I’m going back and forth between 3 and 4 so much time, normally I’m not defined as decisive person but at least 150 pages should be edited, I lose my objectivity when I’m reading a women power story so I turned into a generous grader! That’s my weakness! This book might be dedicated all the women out there! Wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts,grandmas ! It’s one of the good manifestation for uprising women history! Lately starting from City Girls, Summer of 69, I’m so blessed to make another beautiful time travel, this time I found myself on 50’s and move back to 2016! This book was angsty by telling us so many emotional traumas from rape, abandonment, betrayal, problems of same sex marriage but mostly it’s about the importance of CHANGE! Two sister, one is popular, beautiful, the other is tomboy, smart, their differences and their parents’ treatment to them differently caused so many deep emotional barriers between them. But as the years pass, they had so much harsh experiences what made them more mature, tormented and also strong! I enjoyed sisterhood parts, the history lesson( sometimes it was a little bit excessive as like a full package of information bombardment but it is well crafted story telling) The book was too long and slow reading, sometimes edgy, angsty, dramatic parts could be a little exaggerated but it was still a great woman fiction and summer reading! I could give three stars to this one but my conscious didn’t let me do it! I have a sister and I felt the same differences as soon as I started this book! My empathizing about characters and soft, capturing parts of the story changed my decision! This book’s message is embracing the change and learning to accept differences and make peace with your loved ones and your past! I got the message and I’m determined to apply on my own life!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Norma * Traveling Sister

    Emotive, all-embracing, & a sweeping saga! MRS. EVERYTHING by JENNIFER WEINER is a timely, rich, emotional, gripping, and thought-provoking saga that spans decades between two sisters, Jo and Bethie. We get an intimate look into each of these character’s lives as we follow along their story. MRS. EVERYTHING gives us a realistic and true to life story about women that well deals with everything. This was definitely an eye-opening reading experience for me as it delves deep into their everyday Emotive, all-embracing, & a sweeping saga! MRS. EVERYTHING by JENNIFER WEINER is a timely, rich, emotional, gripping, and thought-provoking saga that spans decades between two sisters, Jo and Bethie. We get an intimate look into each of these character’s lives as we follow along their story. MRS. EVERYTHING gives us a realistic and true to life story about women that well deals with everything. This was definitely an eye-opening reading experience for me as it delves deep into their everyday struggles as well as giving a voice to all women in a much broader stance. JENNIFER WEINER delivers an interesting, engaging and beautifully written story here that was easily one of the most important, entertaining, and memorable books that I will ever read. This being my very first JENNIFER WEINER novel I was thoroughly impressed with how easily she was able to instill such an important message in her storytelling. I felt that the novel at times was quite deep but so worth spending the time with these two sisters. It was definitely a heartfelt story that was so heartwarming and felt perfectly complete in the end. Norma’s Stats: Cover: I love the look and feel to this cover and think that it is such a bold, striking, meaningful and fitting representation to storyline. Title: Intriguing, thought-provoking, relevant, and a fabulous representation to storyline. Writing/Prose: Engaging, effective, effortless, readable, beautiful, and well-written. Plot: Steadily-paced, relatable, interesting, thought-provoking, touching, hopeful, heartfelt and powerful. Ending: An impactful and bittersweet ending that moved me and left me feeling that I read something really special here. Overall: This was not a quick and easy book for me to read as it was quite deep, emotional, and raw. It is one to savour! Would recommend! Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada and Jennifer Weiner for my complimentary copy. Review can also be found on our Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading book blog: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/2...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    This book was EVERYTHING! So powerful, so emotional, so beautiful, so absorbing. I was completely invested from page 1 in these character’s lives, I did not want the book to end. This book spans five decades as we watch sisters Jo and Bethie figure themselves and the world out. From Detroit to Atlanta, from the 50s to the 2000s we watch these sisters and those they love navigate their way through this thing we call life. We see them succeed and fail, grow and stumble, love and lose, laugh and cr This book was EVERYTHING! So powerful, so emotional, so beautiful, so absorbing. I was completely invested from page 1 in these character’s lives, I did not want the book to end. This book spans five decades as we watch sisters Jo and Bethie figure themselves and the world out. From Detroit to Atlanta, from the 50s to the 2000s we watch these sisters and those they love navigate their way through this thing we call life. We see them succeed and fail, grow and stumble, love and lose, laugh and cry. Jennifer Weiner evoked every possible emotion in me with her words. I laughed, I cried, I smiled, and I shook my head. Life is hard and it is complicated. Neither Jo or Bethie had it easy, but they fought and loved their way to their best lives. This was an unforgettable book that left me with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye. I wrote the above last night and I was going to add to it today, but I don’t think I need to. But I will say this being pride month I think this book really did a wonderful job with Jo’s struggle to truly accept herself. Of course this became easier as the country became more tolerant, but still can you imagine having to repress your true self for years and years and years? And I’m sure this was much more common than we know. I hope that one day everyone will be accepting of who people choose to love. This book really brought home how far we have come, but we still have so far to go. OK I will stop preaching! Just do yourself a favor pick this book up and read it, it is quite fabulous! *** Big thanks to Atria for my copy of this book ***

  12. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    3.5 stars Mrs. Everything is the story of two sister's lives from the 1950's to the present day. The book showcases the sister's different personalities, their similarities, their struggles, how they both changed over time, how they responded to their mother, how they responded to each other, how they came together, what drove them apart, their loved ones and their hopes and dreams. This is their journey through the times in which they lived, through their family, through their individual experie 3.5 stars Mrs. Everything is the story of two sister's lives from the 1950's to the present day. The book showcases the sister's different personalities, their similarities, their struggles, how they both changed over time, how they responded to their mother, how they responded to each other, how they came together, what drove them apart, their loved ones and their hopes and dreams. This is their journey through the times in which they lived, through their family, through their individual experiences and how those experiences shaped their lives. Fans of Jennifer Weiner will not be disappointed. I have read many of her books and enjoyed this one as well. It had me thinking of my relationship with my sister, who is also my only sibling. We had different roles in our family, each other's lives and the paths we have taken. I thought this book could have done with some editing but overall found it to be thought provoking, relate-able, insightful and moving. Thank you to Atria books and NetGalley who provided me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Women had made progress — Jo only had to look as far as the television set to see it — but she wondered whether they would ever not try to have it all and do it all and do it all flawlessly. Would the day ever come when simply doing your best would be enough? I'm sure the quote above will be used in many other reviews, but I felt like it summarized the underlying theme the best. As the title (and above quote) suggests, this is a story of two sisters, Joe and Bethie, who are battling the ever cha Women had made progress — Jo only had to look as far as the television set to see it — but she wondered whether they would ever not try to have it all and do it all and do it all flawlessly. Would the day ever come when simply doing your best would be enough? I'm sure the quote above will be used in many other reviews, but I felt like it summarized the underlying theme the best. As the title (and above quote) suggests, this is a story of two sisters, Joe and Bethie, who are battling the ever changing landscape of what it means to be a woman. Told over the span of 70+ years, the girls go through the Eisenhower era, the Civil Rights movement, free love and expression of the 60s, (which could be three separate books in itself), through various women's rights movements all the way up to the 2016 election. While this book does seem a little long at times, taking a look back at the scope of everything these characters went through, Jennifer Weiner masterfully brings it all together and I do not think it could have been done better. To me, this is *the* book on how complicated and wonderful it is to be a woman and should be required reading for us all. Every emotion possible is experienced, while learning something about yourself too. I think Ms. Weiner set the tone of the book up perfectly with her author's note. She mentions she always wanted to write a sweeping saga of a lifetime and she absolutely accomplished that here. One common theme I've seen among reviews is how relatable this book is. You might not connect with one particular plot point or attribute of a certain character - but give it time and you'll find something. I think if anything, the message that spoke the most to me is how ridiculously tough we all are on ourselves and to each other. I think we all need to cut ourselves some much deserved slack and reach out and support others if we see someone struggling. At some point, we all have and will. Ultimately, reading is an escape from our daily lives, and if we are lucky, we come away with the experience of walking in someone else's shoes. I know I'm a better person for reading this book and I will try in future situations to look past my emotions and work to resolve conflicts with other women with patience, understanding and compassion. Isn't that what we all deserve? Thank you to Ariele Fredman at Atria Books, Netgalley and Jennifer Weiner for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book. Special shout out to my friend Susanne for doing exactly what this book preaches - Being kind. She went out of her way to help me when she didn't have to. Review Date: 6/6/19 Publication Date: 6/11/19

  15. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    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

  16. 4 out of 5

    Britany

    Two sisters spanning decades -- this is the story of their lives. Bethie & Jo grow up in the 60s in Detroit. Where they are raised in a home where their father worked while their mother took care of the house. We follow these sisters through each decade and all that comes with growing up. Times with rage, happiness and riddled with disappointments. You wonder if these characters will ever survive and be happy. It has been said that Weiner poured everything she had into her newest book. This h Two sisters spanning decades -- this is the story of their lives. Bethie & Jo grow up in the 60s in Detroit. Where they are raised in a home where their father worked while their mother took care of the house. We follow these sisters through each decade and all that comes with growing up. Times with rage, happiness and riddled with disappointments. You wonder if these characters will ever survive and be happy. It has been said that Weiner poured everything she had into her newest book. This has been touted as her most ambitious and timely work yet. I believe it-- unfortunately, I don't think it landed. She created compelling characters but spent too much time weaving so many hardships that none of them worked effectively. I dare you to come up with a plot device that wasn't used in this book. I get it, I get that our lives are messy and rarely pain free. I just find it a bit of a crutch to use to generate emotions from the reader. I think it could have been stronger if she focused on a couple of major plot devices and spent the time making these more compelling so that they would have really hit home. It was distracting having SO many pieces. I can certainly appreciate Weiner's approach and writing about some tough topics. I appreciate the research she did and the storyline that she drew. I think this could be a great pick for many readers- especially those that are fans of Weiner's writing, but it just wasn't for me. Thank you to Atria Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Esil

    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.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tucker

    Many thanks to Atria for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds. Man, I love Little Women. Hmm, what’s that? This isn’t Little Women. Well, you could have fooled me. This book read almost exactly like Little Women but not in a bad way. It wasn’t as though this was an exact copy. It was more like Jennifer Weiner took the framework and themes that made Little Women amazing and made it her own. I just love being immersed in someon Many thanks to Atria for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds. Man, I love Little Women. Hmm, what’s that? This isn’t Little Women. Well, you could have fooled me. This book read almost exactly like Little Women but not in a bad way. It wasn’t as though this was an exact copy. It was more like Jennifer Weiner took the framework and themes that made Little Women amazing and made it her own. I just love being immersed in someone’s life. It’s so enthralling to watch a character grow and change throughout their life. Who needs children when you have books like this? ➸ Jo - Jo is just your average white girl. She grows up in a middle-class home. Even though she was not at all that unique of a person compared to some of the other characters I’ve read about, I still really enjoyed following her journey. As I mentioned earlier, the author expertly plunges the reader into this family's story. I also really loved seeing Jo explore her sexuality. ➸ Bethie - From a young age, Bethie was always broken. After being sexually abused by her uncle, she develops an undiagnosed eating disorder. It truly broke my heart to see a girl, albeit fictional, hurting so bad. It’s stories like these that are the reason that I am so passionate about mental illness and its treatment. But all hope is not lost. As she gets older, Bethie gets stronger and makes a good life for herself. I loved her character arc. It was so inspiring to see a young woman pick herself up out of the lowest of lows and, step by step, start to get better and stronger. Family - I think the biggest and most important theme in this whole novel was the idea of family. The idea that we are born with supporters. The moment we cross the vaginal threshold into the world, we already have people waiting to help us. To clean our cuts, wipe our tears and encourage us. Yes, as we get older, we do fight. I have yelled at my parents and them at me more times then I can count. But we always come back. We always forgive each other. Now, I know that certain situations don’t always allow this. Throughout the novel, Bethie and Jo are constantly switching back and forth between being in deep sh*t. One is in trouble and the other picks them up. It’s both heartbreaking and inspiring. Lifetime - I’ve only read one other book like this one, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna. The basic idea is that, in one book, the reader is shown an entire lifetime. From birth until death. As with Stella Fortuna, it’s always very weird to live an entire life on the page when I’m only a little over 14% done my own. (Assuming I live to 100. Who knows. Maybe a Scythe like future is coming.) But this time, we get to read two lives. Switching POVs between Bethie and Jo made for a very entertaining, quick and superbly captivating novel. On the note of lifetimes, I loved getting the feel of both historical fiction and contemporary. I believe the book started in the 1950s and ended in 2016. It felt as though I was time traveling, different eras and cultures flying past my eyes at breakneck speed. You don’t need to worry about being bored as all of the above-mentioned techniques will keep you glued to your seat not wanting to stop reading even for food or water. This book also covers a lot of heavy topics. Early in the book, as I mentioned earlier, Bethie is molested by her uncle at a young age which leads to an eating disorder. We also see Jo exploring her sexuality and why she feels differently about boys than other girls her age. As she begins to embrace her feelings, she is looked at differently by her friends and, worst of all, her mother who should be supporting her. I don’t want to share any of the other heavy themes so as to avoid spoilers but damn… this book will hit you right where it hurts the most. It’s not all bad, though. There were quite a few scenes that legitimately made me giggle out loud. Yes, this book is very heavy but have no fear. It will balance that heaviness with a good dose of humor. This writing style will keep you constantly switching back and forth between laughing, crying and everything else in between. Overall, this book definitely is not your average historical fiction or chick lit. Whatever you're in the mood for, comedy, historical fiction, or drama, this book will most certainly deliver. Don’t read if you don’t want your heart to be shattered, pieced back together and all over again. Bottom Line: 4.5 Stars TW: Rape, Suicide, Racism. Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Death, Sexual Abuse (yeah, there’s a lot) Characters: 5/5 ~ Plot: 4/5 ~ Cover: 4/5 ~ Audio: 4/5 Genre: Chick Lit/Historical Fiction Publication Date: June 11th, 2019 Publisher: Atria Books | Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest |

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    "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 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." Take a journey through the decades and bare witness to women's rights, civil rights, sexuality, gender roles "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 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." Take a journey through the decades and bare witness to women's rights, civil rights, sexuality, gender roles, and the lives of two sisters as they evolve in a dysfunctional world. Each sister has her own very layered story which allows multiple issues to shine. This is my favorite Jennifer Weiner novel to date. Check it out. My favorite quote: "Imagine knowing that if you walk in that store, you're going to be followed and watched and treated like a thief. Imagine seeing your father and your brothers getting pulled over, getting arrested, getting locked up for nothing, trying to find jobs, trying to hold jobs, with everyone assuming they are criminals. Imagine every day you go to a school where the building's run-down and the textbooks are outdated and there's forty kids in every class, and you put your hand over your heart for the pledge - one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all - but you know it's a lie, and there's no liberty for you, no justice for you." Audiobook narrated by Ari Graynor and Beth Malone.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    This was a gorgeous story about love, motherhood, sisters, and feminism. This story follows two sisters: Jo and Bethie, from their childhood in the 1950's through the rest of their lives. Jo is a struggling-to-be-accepted lesbian, wanna-be writer, and a strong activist when it comes to equal rights for females. Bethie is a strong, beautiful young girl who should've been famous. This book is so great because of its diversity with a lesbian lead character, and lgbt relationships as well as interrac This was a gorgeous story about love, motherhood, sisters, and feminism. This story follows two sisters: Jo and Bethie, from their childhood in the 1950's through the rest of their lives. Jo is a struggling-to-be-accepted lesbian, wanna-be writer, and a strong activist when it comes to equal rights for females. Bethie is a strong, beautiful young girl who should've been famous. This book is so great because of its diversity with a lesbian lead character, and lgbt relationships as well as interracial relationships in this book. But this book is also tough to read at times because of so many trigger warnings for things like: homophobia, rape, sexual abuse (mental and physical), sexism, eating disorders, etc. It covers a whole lot of important topics in this book. Jo actually reminded me a lot of myself with her desire to be a writer but failing to make it happen, and her wanting to do everything she can to make the world a better place and putting all her thoughts and energy into making sure females have equal rights but not really knowing where to start. I felt so much for Bethie and Jo in this novel, and all the hardships they faced in this book. I feel like every woman out there can relate to some aspect of this book. This book really displays the struggles of being a woman, especially in the older days and how we always had to fight to prove we were equals. This book especially shines a light specifically on mother/daughter relationships and how complicated and complex those can be, especially when mothers set false expectations for their daughters. It was just a really great story about two incredibly strong and brave sisters, and it's probably one of the most feminist stories I've ever read and it made me feel a whole lot.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Meredith B. (readingwithmere)

    4 Stars! Maybe I am different. Being different isn’t the worst thing. I feel like I went into this book with different expectations. I was expecting more of a light chick lit, per other books by Jennifer Weiner, however this book dives DEEP into women's issues whether you are a mom, sister, daughter, wife, etc. Although my expectations were different, I'm glad they were as it was a pleasant surprise! Jo and Bethie are sisters. They grew up in a typical home in the 1950's. Bethie was a beauty quee 4 Stars! Maybe I am different. Being different isn’t the worst thing. I feel like I went into this book with different expectations. I was expecting more of a light chick lit, per other books by Jennifer Weiner, however this book dives DEEP into women's issues whether you are a mom, sister, daughter, wife, etc. Although my expectations were different, I'm glad they were as it was a pleasant surprise! Jo and Bethie are sisters. They grew up in a typical home in the 1950's. Bethie was a beauty queen and was the "perfect" child and Jo was more of a tomboy trying to find her way during childhood. Their Dad worked and their Mom stayed at home. Jo didn't get along with Mom and Mom loved Bethie. Both girls were definitely daddy's girls. One day, their Dad dies unexpectedly and they need to find their way as three girls. They all get to work and start to find their ways. Due to the unexpected family member passing, Jo and Bethie start to explore outside sources of love and their personalities start to change. Jo becomes more confident in who she is and Bethie stops putting pressure on herself and becomes more of a hippie. These personality changes don't come without hardships. Both girls explore their sexuality, happiness, family life, etc. as they go through their adult lives. They always seem to take care of each other and they truly do try to be everything... As I stated before, this book was so much more than what I was expecting. It explored what life was like for women in the 1950's all the way through present day and boy has it changed. It explored what it meant to try to be yourself in the 50's and how women were expected to be a certain way. It also showed how far women have come when standing up for themselves. Back when the main characters were little girls, they were expected to do whatever men wanted them to and be the perfect housewives. Nowadays things have changed and some women are head of households. For me, the content of this book was so strong. I think it covered almost every topic that women struggle with on a daily basis. Sexuality, family life, being taken advantage of, eating issues, drug issues, depression/anxiety, etc. I felt that Weiner touched on each bit just enough that it was realistic but didn't dive so deep that it triggers anything, at least for me. The only thing I wish was different was the book length. This is a hefty read - 460+ pages and I think it could have been about 100 pages less. There are times it draws out a little bit and I think that could make some readers disinterested depending on what kind of reader they are. Nonetheless, it's definitely 5 star content! This one published today and I highly recommend you pick it up if you love reading about women's issues over time. Thank you to Atria books for my ARC!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine from How Useful It Is

    I started reading Mrs. Everything on 5/30/2019 and finished it on 6/3/2019. This book is an excellent read! A wholesome story from childhood to adult life, growing up and having children to finally having grandchildren; multi-generational. Bethie’s middle and high school seems so bright with her success in acting and singing, I just couldn’t believe the choices she made starting first year in college. Jo’s high school and college seems tough being different but I’m also really surprised how she I started reading Mrs. Everything on 5/30/2019 and finished it on 6/3/2019. This book is an excellent read! A wholesome story from childhood to adult life, growing up and having children to finally having grandchildren; multi-generational. Bethie’s middle and high school seems so bright with her success in acting and singing, I just couldn’t believe the choices she made starting first year in college. Jo’s high school and college seems tough being different but I’m also really surprised how she ended up being a housewife with children. I do like the unexpected twists and turns of events for Bethie and Jo throughout their life because I couldn’t have guessed it. I like that Bethie reunite with her high school fellow actor later and the unforeseen success that came to her in later years. This book is told in the third person point of view following Josette (Jo). Jo has a wife and 3 daughters. Jo has been cancer-free for 5 years, but now she’s receiving a call from her doctor about a lump on her other breast. She wants time to fix everything and worry that this cancer thing will prevent her from doing them. This book started out in year 2015 and then divided into different parts starting with part 1 in year 1951, part 2 in year 1962, part 3 in year 1974, part 4 in 1987, part 5 in 1993, part 6 in 2006, and part 7 in 2016. The second view is Elizabeth (Bethie), Jo’s younger sister. Each chapter Jo and Bethie, both are Jews, grow older and experience anything life throw their way: inequalities, biracial marriage, unexpected external forces, unplanned personal decisions, etc. Jo and Bethie were forced to grow up quicker when an unexpected event takes place. Mrs. Everything is well written and very detailed. At times I find myself getting tired of reading about Jo and Bethie’s lives because of how in-depth it was. Each area of their lives are well carved out and same goes with their kids. In general, that should make this book a good read but I feel it just drags on. Besides that, I love seeing how one decision affects another and how a future could be lost based on an impulse decision. I love that Jo has a family of her own but I also wanted her to have that life that she planned for in college. I like learning where Jo went wrong with her youngest. It’s interesting how Bethie drift around for a decade and still her life doesn’t turn out too bad, though there are sacrifices. This book on family should be read at least once and I highly recommend everyone to read it. Pro: multi-generational family, growing up, timeline starting 1951, perspectives from a Jewish family Con: detailed therefore the length of this novel I rate it 4.5 stars! ***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Atria Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest. xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details

  23. 4 out of 5

    Erin Clemence

    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.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cathrine ☯️

    3 ★ Mrs. Everything has just about every right or wrong anything that could happen to two sisters unfolding through 462 pages and it took me 8 days to get through all the drama. It was faster paced in the beginning, then overtaxed and bored me. If you came of age during the 60s there is some wonderful nostalgia going on. For me it was just too long and too Lifetime movie-like with a been here, done this before vibe. I liked it enough to finish and would probably have really liked it at a younger a 3 ★ Mrs. Everything has just about every right or wrong anything that could happen to two sisters unfolding through 462 pages and it took me 8 days to get through all the drama. It was faster paced in the beginning, then overtaxed and bored me. If you came of age during the 60s there is some wonderful nostalgia going on. For me it was just too long and too Lifetime movie-like with a been here, done this before vibe. I liked it enough to finish and would probably have really liked it at a younger age.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    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.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kate ☀️ Olson

    (free review copy) I’ve been a career-long fan of Jennifer Weiner, so this one was at the very tippy top of my most-anticipated list for this summer.....and I liked it! I really did. It was compelling and addresses so many women’s issues - I’ll be thinking of it for quite awhile. . Did I LOVE it? Well, not passionately. I honestly like contemporaries best, and if I’m going to read hist fic I want it to be WWII and earlier. This one starts in 1950, so I was immediately set up to have clear that hur (free review copy) I’ve been a career-long fan of Jennifer Weiner, so this one was at the very tippy top of my most-anticipated list for this summer.....and I liked it! I really did. It was compelling and addresses so many women’s issues - I’ll be thinking of it for quite awhile. . Did I LOVE it? Well, not passionately. I honestly like contemporaries best, and if I’m going to read hist fic I want it to be WWII and earlier. This one starts in 1950, so I was immediately set up to have clear that hurdle. And I did, but reluctantly. Again, this is personal preference, so I’m not knocking the book or the author for the setting! . Should you read it? Sure! If you’re a patient reader who wants to confront everything from religion to race to rape and the essence of womanhood from 1950-2015, through the eyes of two Jewish sisters from Detroit. Know what you’re getting into - I do think this book is full of book club discussion opportunities 😊 If I’m going to pull from the big guys and choose from Buy, Borrow or Skip, I’d say Borrow. . Can’t wait to hear other thoughts on this one! And to see what Weiner writes next.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    Jo and Bethie, sisters growing up in 1950s Detroit, are leading rather rigid lives. Jo is the troubled and angry older sister--the "different" one, while Bethie is the adored, perfect younger sister. Jo feels completely misunderstood by their mother, Sarah, but at least she has their father to act as a go-between. But, as the sisters grow up and move out, they somehow find their roles and lives changing. Bethie becomes the free spirit: the one unable to settle down and please their mother. Meanw Jo and Bethie, sisters growing up in 1950s Detroit, are leading rather rigid lives. Jo is the troubled and angry older sister--the "different" one, while Bethie is the adored, perfect younger sister. Jo feels completely misunderstood by their mother, Sarah, but at least she has their father to act as a go-between. But, as the sisters grow up and move out, they somehow find their roles and lives changing. Bethie becomes the free spirit: the one unable to settle down and please their mother. Meanwhile, Jo marries and leads a picture-perfect life with her husband and children. Yet, deep down, neither sister is truly happy. Is it too late for either Jo or Bethie to find the life they really want? This is a really wonderful novel from Jennifer Weiner. In the beginning, she states that she always wanted to write about a woman like her mom, who was born in the 40s, came of age in the 60s, married and had children, but then divorced and ended up falling in love with a woman. By then, times had changed and she could live a very different life than when she was born. Framing the story in this way makes perfect sense, and I think Weiner has more than fulfilled her goal. She's written a gorgeous and sweeping epic novel, starting with Jo and Bethie as children and continuing throughout the majority of their lives. The novel, as mentioned, starts with Jo and Bethie as kids, moving into a new house in Michigan. Each is hopeful for a new start to their small kid-sized lives. Already Jo is feeling different. The book is told from both Jo and Bethie's perspectives, and Weiner does a wonderful job of not only capturing each of their own unique voices, but telling the story from their perspective at that particular time period. "But maybe, in this new place, she could make a fresh start. Maybe here, she could be a good girl." From the beginning, we clearly see how much trouble Jo is to her mother, and how she struggles with her feelings of being different. She's a tomboy who hates dresses and loves sports. She doesn't want to date the boys that her other classmates fawn over. I had no idea that the book was going to cover Jo's sexuality in this way, and it was such a pleasant surprise. It's so well-done. I loved the unexpected storyline about this intelligent and strong girl/woman struggling with her sexual orientation during a time period where it not at all accepted: it was very poignant and touching. "I am going to leave here, she thought. I am going to read, and I am going to write. I am going to find a girl who is brave enough to love me, and I am going to have the kind of life I want." So this book touches on a lot of tough subjects--racism, immigration, feminism, sexual orientation, religion, sexual assault, and more. It offers a discussion on womanhood, motherhood, marriage, and the options available to women (or not). Perhaps in the hands of a lesser author, this would all be too much, but through Weiner's deft writing, it's really truly beautifully done. The book spans a huge time period, but it never feels rushed or as if too much is crammed in. Once you get into Jo and Bethie's story, you're there: you are part of the family. And truly, this is a story of family at its core. A bitter family, perhaps, at times. It's a story of how certain moments can change the course of your life. But it's also a story of love and sisterhood, in all its many forms. "'You think I ruined your life? Well I think you ruined mine.'" Overall, this is a really lovely book. It's heartbreaking at times, for sure, and I cried at the end, but it's a testament to how much I fell for these two sisters. Its story of strength and love is a wonderful theme. It's a book for and about women, with some excellent messaging about women and society. (Wow, so much has changed and yet so little, it seems.) I certainly recommend this one. 4.5 stars. I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley and Atria Books in return for an unbiased review (thank you!); it is available everywhere as of 06/11/2019.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Martie Nees Record

    Genre: Literary Fiction/Women’s Fiction Publisher: 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 Fiction Publisher: 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/NeesRecord https://www.facebook.com/martie.neesr... https://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/amz... https://www.pinterest.com/martienreco...\

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I received an advanced copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway. I've read almost everything by this author, and even traveled 5 hours one-way to meet her at a talk/book-signing event. I was excited to read this, but I really did not like this book. The problem for me was that most of the book seemed very cliched and it dealt with every type of serious issue you can think of under the sun. For me it was just too much. I would rather have seen this author have written several books, each one dea I received an advanced copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway. I've read almost everything by this author, and even traveled 5 hours one-way to meet her at a talk/book-signing event. I was excited to read this, but I really did not like this book. The problem for me was that most of the book seemed very cliched and it dealt with every type of serious issue you can think of under the sun. For me it was just too much. I would rather have seen this author have written several books, each one dealing with one or two of these topics, as I think it would've been an opportunity to discuss them in depth. But when 5 or 6 things happen to one or two characters all within the first part of the book, it left me feeling skeptical, and I never developed an interest or attachment to any of the characters. I felt bored most of the time I was reading it, and I wouldn't have finished it, but I felt I needed to give an honest review in exchange for receiving the book and wouldn't have felt right writing the review unless I read the whole thing. Believe it or not, I am a huge Jennifer Weiner fan, and I never thought I'd give one of her books a 1-star raring (which I've only given to one book before, despite reading several books a week). This book just didn't do it for me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kendall

    Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner speaks to the heart! This novel is truly full of emotions and love. Women who are sisters, heroes, mothers, wives, daughters, friends, and a whole bunch more! Jo and Bethie are quite the pair of sisters that envelops this beautiful story. This story spans over their lives and the different struggles one another faces as they continue to grow. As a reader, you feel the pain that these sisters go through and you feel the joy that they go through. I think this sto Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner speaks to the heart! This novel is truly full of emotions and love. Women who are sisters, heroes, mothers, wives, daughters, friends, and a whole bunch more! Jo and Bethie are quite the pair of sisters that envelops this beautiful story. This story spans over their lives and the different struggles one another faces as they continue to grow. As a reader, you feel the pain that these sisters go through and you feel the joy that they go through. I think this story will resonate with many and the lesson behind this beautiful novel was quite breathtaking. I do have to say that it was a tad longer than I had hoped which is more of a slow build but the message was truly so beautiful. This was my first novel by Jennifer Weiner but can see why she has so many fans. This is a wonderful novel to pack in your beach bag for the summer. Overall, 4 stars! Thank you so much to Atria and Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review. Publication date: 6/11/19 Published to Goodreads: 5/27/19

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