New York Times bestseller author Jennifer Weiner’s new book, Mrs. Everything, will not disappoint fans. While differing slightly from her typical narrative arc, Weiner tackles not only the story and relationship of two sisters, but also society over a 70+ year story arc. Two sisters, Jo and Bethie (names may ring a bell to those familiar with Little Women) move to Detroit in the 1950s and not long after, their father passes away. Weiner uses changing America as a backdrop for the relationship between the sisters and how they relate to each other and find their place in a changing world.
If this is your first foray into Jennifer Weiner, she has plenty of other titles you are sure to love. Her novel Best Friends Forever also dives into family dynamics and small town secrets. Although, instead of focusing on two sisters, she focuses on two best friends who experience more than their fair share of ups and downs. If you really want to dive into Jennifer Weiner, she did write an autobiography, Hungry Heart, in which she explores the many facets of her life through poignant and often times hilarious essays.
An author that is oftentimes used as a read alike for Jennifer Weiner is Emily Giffin. Emily Giffin has written a number of bestselling books and even had one turned into a movie, Something Borrowed. If you enjoyed the way Weiner uses her female protaganists, Emily Giffin may be someone you also fall in love with. In her novel, All We Ever Wanted, the main protagonist marries into money in the South.She starts to question how she raised her son and how privilege finds its way into every part of society.
If strong female protagonists fighting decades of stereotypes is what you are looking for, you will love When the Men Were Gone by Marjorie Herrera Lewis. Tylene Wilson is an assistant principal in 1940s Texas. When the war is threatening to derail her community’s obsession - football - she steps up and becomes acting coach of the high school team. Inevitably, she experiences opposition from just about everyone, except from the team.
Lastly, Joshilyn Jackson’s Almost Sisters hits all the emotional notes with her novel about Leia Birch, a graphic novelist who becomes pregnant out of wedlock, a social faux pau for her Southern family. As she travels south to Alabama to tell her family, the world around her starts to fall apart. Fans of Jennifer Weiner will love the real and gripping struggle of the female protagonist as she navigates tricky cultural waters.