Mrs. Everything

Mrs. Everything is an absolutely gorgeous and sweeping novel about expectations, surrender, suffering, forgiveness, and healing – as seen through the lives of two very different sisters.
 

Synopsis:

Mrs. Everything is a story that spans over 6 decades as we watch two sisters, Jo and Bethie, grow up in the 1950s to the present. They come of age through all the social upheaval and political transitions, as well as personal transformations. It’s a coming of age story for two women striving to find themselves and each other in between the lines of policy and assumptions and expectations.

…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. Wouldn’t you feel like burning something, too?

 

Review:

Jennifer Weiner wanted to write a story about a woman like her mother – a woman born in the 1940s, who married and had children, but then divorced and fell in love with a woman. By that time, societal norms had changed enough that she could live a very different life than the generation before her. Framing the novel in this fashion felt honest and real, and I think Weiner has depicted what a beautiful struggle that life would look like.

Weiner definitely packed in all the relevant issues that have been a struggle for the past 60 years, and continue to make headlines and tear apart (or bring together) communities. She highlights disparities in equal rights in all realms – race, gender, and sexual orientation. There’s a tangible fear of being true to yourself, of hiding who you are to avoid being hurt – even to the people who are meant to love you the most. The lives of these women and what they’ve had to overcome really shows how far we still have to go as a society for equality for all people.

The characters are so vulnerable and have massive flaws (and often make cringe-worthy choices), and there’s such an underlying need for acceptance and forgiveness. Jo and Bethie (and many of the novel’s smaller characters) struggle to heal and offer more compassion to each other. They try to love and help, sometimes in the wrong ways. They just try to carve out a little bit of peace and belonging in the midst of all the mess that is life.

I really enjoyed this book and the messages it brings to light. It deeply resonates with me, and I hope it helps start conversations that open hearts and change lives.
 

Mrs. Everything
Jennifer Weiner
Kindle Edition, 480 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Atria Books

Summary

Two very different sisters just try to carve out a little bit of peace and belonging in the midst of all the mess that is life. I really enjoyed this book and the messages it brings to light. It deeply resonates with me, and I hope it helps start conversations that open hearts and change lives.

— Cassie
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