Cover Image: The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream

The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book is a little different from the normal books I read, and I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it. I found myself really engaged with the story, however, and I thought the dynamics between the sisters was entertaining and realistic, with the added element of Ginny’s disability and Maggie’s continued caregiving brought some depth to the story. 

Ginny’s antics while Maggie tries to do her best for her are hilarious, and I love the way disability was portrayed in this story. I appreciate that Ginny had just as much character and development as the other characters. 

Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Three very different sisters who both dearly love and deeply resent each other navigate themselves and each other through middle aged crisis after crisis.  The novel is raw, sad, hilarious, and hopeful.

I love it!
Was this review helpful?
As someone who was a caretaker of her parents, both with debilitating illnesses, this book hit a bit harder in some places than others . 

I laughed through the tears as Maggie navigated becoming the primary caregiver to her sister Ginny and tried to work through issues with her other sister, who wasn't really in the picture. 

Maggie's journey was sad, funny, and truly a love story for her relationship with her sisters and immediate family.  

I'm going to buy a copy for my sister!
Was this review helpful?
Maggie Frederick might be the youngest of three sisters, but going against the sibling stereotype, she’s also the most responsible. Her eldest sister, Betsy, conveniently lives on the other side of the country. There she’s seemingly sitting pretty- making a name for herself as a professional surfer and flirting with a Dancing With the Stars stint-all while successfully shirking any familial responsibilities, that is.

Meanwhile their other sister, Ginny, has intellectual disabilities that Maggie has tended to (on some level) all of her adult life. Then one day, Maggie gets a call that the diabetic Ginny is in the ER. Realizing Ginny is no longer capable of living completely on her own, Maggie moves her to be closer to her. Initially Ginny is placed in a care facility, but she quickly overstays her welcome. Before long Maggie makes the difficult decision to hire home care, allowing the fiercely independent Ginny to be as self sufficient as possible.

The complicated sister dynamic is the root of this story, but this book is also a unique blend of humor and heartbreak. Although it’s told solely from Maggie’s perspective, both Ginny, and even to a certain extent, Betsy’s wants and needs shine through. Walking the fine line, writer Jeannie Zusy painfully outlines what it’s like to be the care taker for a mentally challenged sibling, all while managing to inject some much needed laughs to diffuse the situation. After all, they don’t say you laugh so you don’t cry for nothing!

In some ways this book reminded me of the movie Rainman in its descriptive depiction  of the difficult power struggle that can occur when one sibling is aware they have to me the taker and never the giver. The ironic title is not lost on this reader, how its poignant message is whet will really stick with me.
Was this review helpful?
After looking at the GoodReads reviews for this one; I’m definitely in the minority. The plot was too slow for me and I just didn’t find myself reaching for this one.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to get back to reading it as quickly possible!
I was not sure about this book but it's such a good surprise . I love the diversity in representation in it and the authenticity of the characters. None of them is perfect there all a little frustrating but with time and understanding they look more and more lovable.
There are some very touching moments and some very deep one but it's stay an easy and light read. I could have stay in this book for days !!
Was this review helpful?
Maggie's older sister, Ginny, is intellectually disabled, and when she needs care, Maggie moves Ginny to NY to live near her. She becomes a caregiver for Ginny, but Ginny doesn't want Maggie's help-resisting her suggestions at every turn. Maggie is a mess, agonizing over her decisions, her children, her job, her ex-husband, her love life. Maggie means well, but doesn't seem to have a great handle on things. 
Ginny loves sweets but she is diabetic, which increases her risks. She also loves a dog, Rascal, and a baby doll. She is also known to place orders on Amazon, and has an obsession with hot men and sex. 
The story also touches on another sister, Bets, who lives in CA, and isn't keen on the idea of Maggie taking Ginny to NY. 
Some funny moments, but I tired of the mess that Maggie was.  The sweet part was the love the sisters had for each other.
Was this review helpful?
What a wonderful story.  And what a wonderful depiction of the dynamics between 3 sisters, one of which has special needs.  It's hard to know how you would deal with a sibling with special needs and especially after the parents are gone.  I really enjoyed this story and would highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
. . . ᴅɴꜰ 
I tried.  I stopped. 

I got about a quarter of the way through when I realized I was basically skim reading because I was disinterested.  It felt like it was going to be a quirky and fun little read, but it was written almost too causally, too informally, that made its delivery fall flat for me.  It’s not that it was written simply, it was moreso like an internal dialogue, meant to pull me into Maggie’s mindset, but I just wasn’t into it. 

Maybe if I had stuck this one out I would have found it to be a charming folly of events and circumstances, but as it stands, it just wasn’t enough for me.


⧞ As always, thank you to @netgalley, publisher @atria & author for a digital advanced readers copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
This, unfortunately was a DNF for me. I found the beginning too slow, and while the writing was good, I found myself looking for other things to do instead of read, which for me means I need to switch to something else.
Was this review helpful?
I'll start off with saying this wasn't the story I was expecting, but I really enjoyed what it was. I think I went in anticipating it to be more light-hearted, still with the seriousness of the issue at hand, but closer to the playfulness injected within Eleanor Oliphant. That was not there, but what was there was a deeply moving story that had my heart hurting for both sisters. The frustration, the sadness, the helplessness and the glimmers of light. It's a powerful story.
Was this review helpful?
A funny and often touching novel of family life. The story centers on the youngest of three sisters, Maggie who decides the middle sister Ginny is no longer able to live on her own, and brings Ginny to live near her. The family dynamics, and the pets will have you simultaneously laughing and crying.
Was this review helpful?
Wow, this was a book I was meant to read at this point in my life. Maggie, the youngest of three girls, has messed up her marriage, is trying to parent her teenage/college aged sons, and is trying to do the best for her special needs sister while allowing said sister autonomy over her decision making. Adult sister bonds and struggles........the grass always looks greener. Love is complicated. People are complicated. Well written characters. Well rounded characters.
Was this review helpful?
I liked the premise of this story but i couldnt get into this book. The characters were likeable and it fell flat for me.
Was this review helpful?
I do enjoy a story with quirky characters! I definitely had some laughs and I knew it would be a great book when it was compared to some of my other favorite bools. I thought all the different storylines were great too!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.  What a heartfelt story!!  Three sisters- Bets, the uninvolved one, Maggie, the one in charge and Ginny, the special needs one.   As life would have it, nothing ever goes as planned.   I really liked this story a lot and highly recommend!!!
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book! It’s emotional, funny, and a bit chaotic, but totally reading. This was my first read by Jeannie Zusy and it won't be my last. The characters were relatable and you felt like you were there through the whole book. I love when that happens. It just makes it so easy to get drawn in and keeps you wanting more.

Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for allowing me to read this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Maggie gets a call from the ER in Maryland where her older sister lives, the cracks start to appear. Ginny, her sugar-loving and diabetic older sister with intellectual disabilities, has overdosed on strawberry Jell-O. Maggie knows Ginny really can’t live on her own, so she brings her sister and her occasionally vicious dog to live near her in upstate New York. Their other sister, Betsy, is against the idea but as a professional surfer, she is conveniently thousands of miles away.

I struggled with this one. It's slow, it's pretty uneventful. Every single character was unlikeable. I found myself getting very annoyed. I feel like others may find this funny and charming. It's not for me though.

Thank you NetGalley, the author, Atria Books and for the gifted e-book!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books, and Jeannie Zusy for allowing me to read the ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

I requested this book after publication date, so this review is a little late! But, definitely worth waiting for. 

Imagine your well-run life, raising two boys on your own, going along just as you have planned until the day you get the phone call-your challenged older sister has overdosed on Strawberry Jell-O and needs a place for her and her cranky dog to stay until she recovers. Other sister Betsy, surfer, has no desire to take on this challenge and up-end her life. Sound familiar?

So, pack up the van, the sister and her sweets, wheelchair, snarling dog, and head off to an adventure that willl keep you laughing and entertained for a long time!
Was this review helpful?
This book left me very conflicted, mainly because I really wanted to love it.

The complicated relationship between these sisters was definitely interesting to read about, I just wish the format of this book was set up better to support that. This read more of a stream of consciousness then a story with a plot, and that made it very slow at times and sometimes confusing to understand where we were and where the story was going.
Was this review helpful?