Mrs Everything A Novel Weiner Jennifer Literature Fiction

Mrs Everything A Novel Weiner Jennifer Literature Fiction
Mrs Everything A Novel Weiner Jennifer Literature Fiction

Jennifer Weiner is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen including Big Summer Mrs Everything Good in Bed and an essay collection Hungry Heart Adventures in Life Love and Writing A graduate of Princeton University and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Opinion section Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia Visit her online at JenniferWeiner Excerpt Reprinted permission All rights reserved Jo Jo The four Kaufmans stood at the curb in front of the new house on Alhambra Street as if they were afraid to set foot on the lawn even though Jo knew they could The lawn belonged to them now along with the house with its red bricks and the white aluminum awning Every part of it the front door and the steps the mailbox at the curb the cherry tree in the backyard and the maple tree the driveway the carport and the basement and the attic you could reach a flight of stairs that you pulled down from the ceiling all of it belonged to the Kaufmans They were moving out of the bad part of Detroit which Jo s parents said was crowded and unhealthy full of bad germs and diseases and filling up with people who weren t like them they were moving up in the world to this new neighborhood to a house that would be all their own Oh Ken said Jo s mother as she squeezed his arm with her gloved hand Her mother s name was Sarah and she was just over five feet tall with white skin that always looked a little suntanned shiny brown hair that fell in curls to her shoulders and a pursed painted red mouth beneath a generous nose Her round chin jutted forward giving her a determined look and there were grooves running from the corners of her nose to the edges of her lips but that morning her mouth was turned up at the corners not scrunched up in a frown She was happy and as close to beautiful as Jo had ever seen Jo wrapped her arms around her mother s waist feeling the stiffness underneath the starch of Sarah s best red dress the one with a full skirt flaring out from her narrow waist and three big white buttons on either side of the bodice A smart red hat with a black ribbon band sat on top of Sarah s curls Her mother put her arm around Jo s shoulders and squeezed and Jo felt like someone had pulled a blanket up to her chin or like she was swimming in Lake Erie where they went in the summertime and had just paddled into a patch of warm water So girls What do you think asked Jo s daddy It s like a castle said Bethie her little sister Bethie was five years old chub and cute with pale white skin naturally curly hair and blue green eyes and she always said exactly the right thing Jo was six almost seven tall and gangly and almost everything she did was wrong Jo smiled dizzy with pleasure as her dad scooped her up in his arms Ken Kaufman had thick dark hair that he wore combed straight back from his forehead His nose Jo thought gave him a hawklike aspect His eyes were blue underneath dark brows and he smelled like the bay rum cologne he patted on his cheeks every morning after he shaved He was only a few inches taller than his wife but he was broad shouldered and solid Standing in front of the house he d bought he looked as tall as Superman from the comic He wore his good gray suit a white shirt a red tie to match Sarah s dress and black shoes that Jo had helped him shine that morning setting the shoes onto yesterday s Free Press working the polish into the leather with a tortoiseshell handled brush Jo and Bethie wore matching pink gingham dresses that their mother had sewn with puffy sleeves and patent leather Mary Janes Bethie could hardly wait to try on the new dress When Jo had asked to wear her dungarees her mother had frowned Why would you want to wear pants Today s a special day Don t you want to look pretty Jo couldn t explain She didn t have the words to say how she felt about pretty how the lacy socks itched and the fancy shoes pinched and the elastic insides of the sleeves left red dents in her upper arms When she was dressed up Jo just felt wrong like it was hard to breathe like her skin no longer fit like she d been forced into a costume or a disguise and her mother was always shushing her even when she wasn t especially loud She didn t care about looking pretty and she didn t like dresses Her mother she knew would never understand It s our house Jo s mother was saying her voice rich with satisfaction The American Dream said Jo s dad To Jo the house didn t seem like much of a dream It wasn t a castle with a moat no matter what Bethie had said or even a mansion like the ones in Grosse Pointe that Jo had seen when the family had driven there for a picnic It was just a regular house square shaped and boring red with a triangle shaped roof plopped on top like the one in her Dick and Jane readers on a street of houses that looked just the same In their old neighborhood they d lived in an apartment You could walk up the stairs and smell what everyone was cooking for dinner The sidewalks had bustled with people kids and old men and women people with light skin and dark skin They d sit on their stoops on warm summer nights speaking English or Yiddish or Polish or Italian Here the streets were quiet The air just smelled like air not food the sidewalks were empty and the people she d seen so far all had white skin like they did But maybe in this new place she could make a fresh start Maybe here she could be a good girl Except now she had a problem Her dad had borrowed a camera a boxy rectangular Kodak Duaflex with a stand and a timer The plan was for them all to pose on the steps in front of the house for a picture but Sarah had made her wear tights under their new dresses and the tights had caused Jo s underpants to crawl up the crack of her tushie where they d gotten stuck Jo knew if she pulled them out her mother would see and she d get angry Stop fidgeting she would hiss or A lady doesn t touch her private parts in public except everything itched her so awfully that Jo didn t think she could stand it Things like this never happened to Bethie If Jo hadn t seen it herself she wouldn t have believed that her sister even had a tushie crack The way Bethie behaved you d expect her to be completely smooth down there like one of the ba dolls Bethie loved Jo had dolls too but she got bored with them once she d chopped off their hair or twisted off their heads Jo shifted her weight from side to side hoping it would dislodge her underwear It didn t Her father pulled the keys out of his pocket flipped them in the air and caught them neatly in his hand Let s go ladies His voice was loud and cheerful Bethie and Sarah climbed the stairs and stood in front of the door Sarah peered across the lawn shadowing her eyes with her hand frowning Come on Jo Jo took one step feeling her underwear ride up higher Another step Then another When she couldn t stand it anymore she reached behind her grabbed a handful of pink gingham hooked her thumb underneath the underpants elastic and yanked All she d meant to do was pull her panties back into place but she tugged so vigorously that she tore the skirt away from its bodice The sound of the ripping cloth was the loudest sound in the world Josette Kaufman Sarah s face was turning red Her father look startled and Bethie s face was horrified I m sorry Jo felt her chest start getting tight What s the matter with you Sarah snapped Why can t you be good for once Sarah Ken s voice was quiet but angry Oh sure said Sarah and tossed her head You always take up for her She stopped talking which was good except then she started crying which was bad Jo stood on the lawn dress torn tights askew watching tears cut tracks through her mother s makeup hearing her father s low angry voice wondering if there was something wrong with her why things like this were always happening why she couldn t be good and why her mom couldn t have just let her wear pants the way she d wanted

 

Mrs Everything A Novel Weiner Jennifer Literature Fiction
Publisher: Atria Books June 11 2019
Publication date: June 11 2019
Language: English 

File Name: 978-1491918934.zip
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