Mrs. Everything – A book review

Mrs Everything book review Cover

I picked Mrs. Everything without any idea what the general theme was about and I was pleasantly surprised that it was a historical fiction, a genre I rarely read. Let us see how it turned out for me in my book review, shall we?

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About the book

Mrs. Everything book review cover

Book Name: Mrs. Everything

Author: Jennifer Weiner

Genre: Fiction –  HistoricalDrama

Characters: Sarah, Bethie and Jo Kaufman, Harold, Dave, Shelley

Setting: Detroit, MichiganThe United States of America

The plot

Mrs. Everything follows the story of two sisters, Jo and Bethie Kaufman, right from their childhood when they move into Detroit in the 1950s. Jo, the elder one, is quite tomboyish and feels uncomfortable in skirts and frills who Bethie bonds with their mother through the pretty, girlie things. 

Jo grows up edgy, socially aware/woke and outspoken while Bethie loves being the mother’s pet, pliable and the center of attention. Over the years, we see them grow into their rebellious teens alongside the political and societal changes in the USA. 

As more matured adults, their roles reverse. Jo gets into the more traditional mother/wife role and Bethie becomes the free spirit and joins a woman only commune. What does it take for these sisters, and the world, to stick together despite all their flaws forms the rest of Mrs. Everything.

My initial thoughts

Mrs. Everything is pretty predictable and the plot by itself has been told countless times. The lives of Jo and Bethie can be yours, mine or any other woman – it is about the roles we play to keep the world running. It is relatable and has happened to each of us, in pieces at the least, and hence “Mrs. Everything”. 

I have read a few Jennifer Weiner’s books in my late teens. I remember them being lighthearted (I may be remembering it wrong), so I was surprised Mrs. Everything being so intense with multiple themes like civil rights, women rights and LGBTQA. And she has done a great job with it. 

I found Mrs. Everything a bit longer than it could have been. While I loved reading about the sister’s lives, the history part felt longer and repetitive in places. 

Things that worked for me

  • The plot and the characters felt relatable.
  • The author has done a great job handling multiple themes. 

Things that didn’t work for me

  • Mrs. Everything felt a longer than it could have been.
  • The history part felt repetitive in places. 

Bottom-line

Mrs. Everything does a perfect job of interweaving the historical facts with the lives of ordinary women, that are so closer to every other woman. If only it were shorter it would be my go to recommend for woman fiction genre, easily.

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Let us chat

Have you read Mrs. Everything? Do you read historical fiction or literary fiction? Have you read any of Jennifer Weiner’s other books? Let us talk.

20 COMMENTS

  1. I loved Mrs. Everything, and the history reflected a lot of my own, so I immersed myself in it.

    I recently read Jennifer’s newest book, Big Summer, and enjoyed it; I also read her memoir, Hungry Heart. Also great.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. It’s interesting to see how they cross over from their early lives and take on opposing roles. Sounds like a lot of scope there to cover some interesting social and political ground!

  3. Great review! This is another I haven’t read, and although set before my time, I’m familiar with the history of that time in Detroit as told to me by my parents. I grew up in a suburb of the area (south of Detroit) and live there now.

    • Oh it must be good to read about your hometown right? Well, that is another fun thing about being in the US, so many books that are set in your own place.

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