Jennifer Weiner's 'Mrs. Everything' Is Untraditional in Every Sense

Plot, format, characters—and that's what makes it so great.

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Jennifer Weiner has written nearly two decades worth of beloved booksGood in Bed (2001) and In Her Shoes (2002) are two of her most famous—which is why it comes as no surprise that her latest novel, Mrs. Everything, has #ReadWithMC reviewers calling it the "perfect end of summer read."

In Mrs. Everything, Weiner brilliantly documents the lives of Jo and Bethie Kaufman, two Jewish sisters who grew up in Detroit, over the span of 50+ years. The chapters switch between each sister's perspective, detailing the unfiltered emotions and experiences that come along with, well, life: Grappling with identity and sexuality, marriage, family, happiness, grief, loss, sexual assault, and overall growing up in a world that doesn't want you to succeed simply because you're a woman.

#ReadWithMC agreed the beginning was a bit tough to get through, but once you're past the first 50 pages, you won't be able to put the book keep pushing! Here, readers share their honest thoughts about Mrs. Everything.

"This bold, sweeping book covers decades, delves into questions of race and women’s rights, and breaks your heart over and over again—and when it’s done, you still wish there were more. Like The Goldfinch or One Day, it slowly and with ease reveals characters’ growth over time. Nothing remains stagnant, but that change feels organic, not forced. I loved it." —@jennyhollander

"Mrs. Everything is terrific. Jennifer Weiner clearly has a lot of love for her characters, but doesn’t shy away from the reality of trauma or suffering. It’s all the more relevant today, and should be required reading for just about everybody." —@kjigoe

"Mrs. Everything was one of the most anticipated books of the year for me and with good reason. Jennifer Weiner succeeded in writing a smart, relatable, and incredibly timely book for women. This book was so engrossing and captivating from the writing to the relationship between Jo and Bethie. This book covers a lot of topics including sexual assault, abortion, death of a family member, eating disorders, and same-sex relationships, but speaks of them with such eloquence and importance. This definitely isn’t a light and easy read, but it’s an important one that every woman should take the time to read. It would be a great book club book because it provides a great discussion. This one stayed with me for quite some time after reading it." —@enw_reads

"Finished it yesterday...I wanted to like it, but it felt very predictable and dragged on at times. Though there were heartfelt moments." —@margiepoo28

"A beautifully-written, multi-decade story about two sisters born in 1950s Michigan. Sisters Jo & Bethie couldn’t be more different—Jo protests for equal rights, dreams of living as a writer in New York, certain she’ll never have a husband to boss her around. Bethie, on the other hand, is a housewife in training: obsessed with her slim waist, armed with impeccable cooking skills, boys trailing behind her. It’s amazing, and almost shocking, then, to watch the two sisters swap lives as they grow older. This is a story about sisterhood, feminism, and being honest to yourself about what you want. It’s a story about regret, righting your wrongs, and realizing you can’t make everyone happy. And though it’s a good story, it may not be for everyone: it can be a bit slow in parts, especially if you’re the kind of reader who needs a strong plot to propel you forward. There’s no traditional plot here; there’s nothing the characters are working towards, per se, except the end of their lives, really. But if you enjoy a multi-generational story & are interested in the way feminism took form throughout different decades, this is definitely an enjoyable read." —@elissa.reads

"The 1st Jennifer Weiner I have read. Perfect! Characters and thoughts not hard to follow. Exchanged another book by different author for this one. Went to discussion at Barnes and Noble. Reading her biography now. Jennifer please come to Omaha, Nebraska!" —@judymeyer9259

"This is my first experience reading a @jenniferweinerwrites book and thanks to Mrs. Everything it won’t be my last. Weiner creates authentic, relatable characters with such beauty. We follow Jo and Bethie from childhood to old age, spanning decades, so we get an in-depth look into their struggles with love, family, friendship, self-discovery, and fulfillment. I was completely immersed in the story and appreciate the overall concept of the book. Weiner acutely focuses on the females in the story: wife, daughter, mother, sister, aunt, and friend. She examines the complex relationships between women and subverting gender norms. You will not forget this multi-generational, sweeping saga long after you finish it." —@shereadswithcats

"I really enjoyed the read, it had a bit of a Forrest Gump feel to it." —@mehidable

"I absolutely loved it! As a daughter and a sister and a mother of a daughter. I loved it. My biggest recommendation in years. Such an insightful read. Thank you @jenniferweinerwrites 💖"—@del.libby

"The best book I read this summer and all year!! Bravo, Jennifer Weiner! 👏🏼👏🏼" —@alexshansalcan

"What I love about this book is how it’s broken up into two narratives: Jo and Bethie. Even though the two are so different, I could empathize with both characters. Their stories made me realize we’re all struggling and learning the lessons of life. There is no 'right' path to becoming an adult and even when you are one, the growing never stops. This is one of my favorite books for summer!" —@marinaa2214

"Loved Mrs. Everything! A quick read despite its length. Jennifer Weiner had me invested in the characters from the very first chapter. I really liked that it covered a whole lifespan—no wondering how things might’ve turned out. Would definitely recommend, especially for the end of summer." —@danismcnally

Missed out on our August pick? Starting September 1, we'll be reading New York Times bestselling author of Brother, I'm Dying Edwidge Danticat's short story collection, Everything Inside. Learn more about the book and read an exclusive interview with the author here.

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Rachel Epstein

Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.