A Powerful Page-Turner That Makes You Think About The Women in Your Life and Finding Your Place in the World

Ariele Fredman
April 10 2020
Share A Powerful Page-Turner That Makes You Think About The Women in Your Life and Finding Your Place in the World

After reading Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner, I can say without an ounce of doubt that this novel is her most powerful, emotionally resonant, and timely work to date. 

In my decade-plus years as a publicist, I’ve formed a theory: the novels that really strike a chord are those in which readers see their own lives reflected and validated – some form of a story about people who feel like them, look like them, or have faced similar hurdles, experiences, and triumphs. Mrs. Everything is all that and more. It’s an exploration of women’s rights, sexual freedom, and the changing landscape of American politics. It’s the perfect mix of poignancy and levity – what you’d expect from a Jennifer Weiner novel, but on emotional and socio-political steroids. This is a big, juicy page-turner, infused with characters that will engage you and social issues that will illuminate the world into which it’s being published. 

From 1951 to 2016 and beyond, Weiner covers 70 years of American history through sisters Jo & Bethie; from bell bottoms to shoulder pads, from Jell-O to Julia Child, from Peter, Paul & Mary to the Indigo Girls, from the Me Generation to #metoo. Painting on a broader canvas, Weiner explores not only the arc of two specific women’s lives, but also how the place of women in society has changed over the course of the 20th century. The novel ultimately asks if women today are any freer or more fulfilled than those of their mothers’ and grandmothers’ generations and speaks to the paradigm-shifting power of women who tell the truth about their lives. 

Mrs. Everything intelligently examines how the changing tides of culture can affect individuals, whether you strive for progress or feel left behind in a rapidly evolving world. 

Mrs. Everything
Jennifer Weiner

In this instant New York Times bestseller and “multigenerational narrative that’s nothing short of brilliant” (People), two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the present are explored as they struggle to find their places—and be true to themselves—in a rapidly evolving world from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner.

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 sprawling and intensely personal novel to date” (Entertainment Weekly), Jennifer Weiner tells a “simply unputdownable” (Good Housekeeping) 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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