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?
Growing up in 1950s Detroit, Jo and Bethie Kaufman 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 differently than 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, or 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?
“Mrs. Everything is like ‘Beaches’ but with mothers and daughters and sisters. I may never recover.” - Jill Grunenwald
“A multigenerational narrative that’s nothing short of brilliant.” - People