I mentioned in my last post, that I am going to try and parlay my efforts to write Goodread book reviews, into regular blog post. My goal, for now, is once a week. Given my propensity to prattle on, I’ll be grateful if folks are willing to tune in and read, that often… for now. (Hard to believe I once posted 3x per week, regularly!)
This is an ironic one, given the times. I think many of us are trying to be Mrs. Everything right now. Homeschooling kids; working to stand up for social justice and equality for all, getting out the vote (yeah, you can help with that! I ordered 1,500 to write by October); becoming medical and science experts, as we navigate the crazy-ass pandemic; pseudo-therapists––talking family and friends off the ledge, as we all go a little insane; chefs (I’ve cooked more in the past 5 months, than in the previous 5 years, it seems!), and ever-endeavoring to work on self-care.
Um, right. If it wasn’t already hard to be a woman in 2020, frankly, I believe it’s gotten much harder since Covid-19 came to town. I haven’t spoken to a single woman who isn’t feeling emotionally and physically stretched. And yes, men are feeling it, too. Women don’t own the market on suffering or challenge, but as caregivers, and more often the emotional captains of the ship, it’s been an especially rough five months.
All the more “interesting” a time to pick up a book that leads readers down many paths, of being female in the United States. I’m sure there’s a way to slip from 5 stars to 4, but Jennifer Weiner just makes me so happy. Her previous books have been funny, entertaining, fun chick lit treats. Mrs. Everything goes in very different directions, and I loved it.
Following the lives of Bethie and Jo, two Jewish sisters who grow up in the 1950s, and who we follow to the present (in ten year increments), Weiner does a delicious job of reminding us that there is no one size fits all, when it comes to the lives of women. We are defined by our experiences; by the people we love and those who love us, and by the history we live in. Nature vs nurture? It’s an interesting backdrop to this story.
No spoilers here, but following two sisters who experience life so very differently, thru’ the filter of decades, allows the reader to grow with each character. So many things resonated for me, even though my life has been very different from both women. There are inherent ties that bind, and Weiner delves beautifully into those uniquely female experiences.
Beyond the two main characters, Weiner peppers this book with women from varied head spaces, backgrounds and experiences; it’s inevitable that readers will recognize themselves and connect with experiences in the story. I believe that Weiner intended you to. Are we the product of our upbringing, our role models, etc, or are we, as women, limited by the options the world provides women. Do we come out fully fledged, and our lives simply clip or free our wings? I found the female characters in this book so interesting, for their strengths and their vulnerabilities. And the rich (Jewish) cultural back drop made it that much easier to get lost in this wonderful story of personal journey, searching and hoping… to be our authentic selves. Loved Mrs. Everything!
Have you read this book? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts. I am physically distancing and socially connecting; join me!
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