Cover Image: The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream

The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream

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Member Reviews

I loved the characters in this book and the relationships between the sisters.  However, I felt like the plot was lacking for me as it just told a story with no definite climax, resolution, etc.  Thanks the NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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Loved this portrayal of a set of sisters with unique challenges and joys in their relationships, as well as a look into the need some of us have to control and make everything okay for everyone else. Three sisters with very different needs and personalities, one of whom is designated “special needs,” work through the complications of being adults without living parents anymore. I particularly liked the fact that the book makes clear that any one person’s view of their family is just that—one view, one perspective among many others. Would have given it a higher rating but it needed a tighter edit. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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4.25/5⭐️

15% in, I almost gave up on this one, but I’m glad I stuck with it. 

This debut novel centers around three sisters (in their 50s), Maggie (youngest), Ginny (middle) and Betsy (oldest). Ginny has some special needs, and after having a serious diabetic episode, Maggie moves her from MD closer to her in NY to oversee her care. Bets is a free-spirit famous surfer who lives in CA, owns a surf shop and rarely visits (or calls). Maggie is separated from her free-wheeling husband (she cheated on him) and has two sons, one in college and one in high school. 

This is a story about caregivers…why/how they do it, how much they give of themselves, how the responsibilities affect their relationship with those they are caring for as well as any other people in their lives, etc. And what’s more, the author is speaking from personal experience. 

I almost gave up on it because in the beginning it felt monotonous, ponderous and a bit disjointed, but I think I just needed to adjust to the author’s writing style. I especially enjoyed the flashback moments from their childhoods and felt it really added a layer of depth to their present lives. As you’d expect, lots of emotions in this one…humor, anger, frustration, guilt, envy, sadness, lots of love, etc. And sometimes I felt frustration myself when characters did not act/react the way I wanted/expected them to, but I feel that’s what the author was aiming for. 

It was fairly predictable, and things were tied up a bit too neatly, but it was definitely an interesting story. 

My thanks to the author, NetGalley and Atria Books for providing the free early arc of The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream for review. The opinions are strictly my own.
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This is a great sister book, showing the relationship of three sisters one of which is special needs and the conflict the other two have regarding her care and the obligation they feel they have toward her as caregivers.  I kind of enjoyed it…it seemed realistic in portraying the conflict of whether the special needs sister was in control of her own life and health vs how her younger sister wanted her life to be.
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This is a story about a woman who struggles with self doubt and constantly worries that she isn’t enough for her family. As a mom myself I relate to that so much, so it had me slightly in my feels. I really enjoyed that the autho touched on the topic of learning disabilities and showing the struggle in it for the person and the family. And the humor to lighten the topic made it easy to flip page to page.
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This book really hits you in the heart! I love Maggie'a character and feel that I would react similarly in certain situations. Ginny is a strong woman who knows ahat she wants. Even if she doesnt always make the right choices for herself. 

These strong women need to find a way to work together to move their lives forward and find themselves again. 

What a great novel with a lot of real emotion within it.
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This book was such a sweet, endearing read!  I giggled and laughed and genuinely cheered for the characters. I loved the relationships in the books and how the sisters ALWAYS came through for each other, often with humor and love.
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This was a quirky, fun story. I loved all the sister dynamics and the growth they experienced. I loved the whole family and how it changed and moved away and back toward each other.
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I really need to start this review by thanking Netgalley for providing me with access to some truly amazing books lately, as I found so many reasons to become obsessed with each book, all of them leaving a great impression on me, so thank you Netgalley!!

Now onto the Frederick sisters. What can I say about these incredible, unintentionally  hilarious, loving (at times) sisters and the slight unorthodox yet undeniably sisterly bond they share? 

A story about self sacrifice, The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream helps to show how one woman’s life changes when she finds herself becoming a caregiver for her older sister with intellectual disabilities. 

I’m a little ashamed to say that this is the first book I’ve ever read that includes a main character with the kind of disabilities that Ginny lives with. I’m not sure if this says more about my reading choices or the state of literature but I’d love to be able to read more books that highlight the lives of those with all different kinds of differences and disabilities. Despite her stubbornness, occasional temper, and her lack of a filter, there were so many things I loved about Ginny. Her sarcastic nature, her love of her dog, her sweet tooth, and her fascination with ordering anything and everything off Amazon had me smiling and laughing throughout the book. 

There were so many laughs in this story, but there were equally plenty of tough, heartbreaking moments where you could see the struggle Maggie faces in not only being the sole caregiver for her sister, but also raising two teenage boys, dealing with her confusing relationship with her soon-to-be-ex, working, dating, and dealing with her other sister living across the country whose support is more or less nonexistent. 

Truly a quirky, precious, and at times shocking, if not slightly mortifying book, I think everyone should give the story of the Frederick sisters a shot. My only complaint was that the chapters were very long and I’m more of a short chapters kind of girl. Preferences aside, it’s well worth the read.
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A good, entertaining read, that I probably won't remember too long. I'll be looking for more books by this author though.
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This was honestly such a cute, charming read about life and sisterhood. I saw some of my own sibling dynamics in there, and it had me actually laughing at times.
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This book is told from the perspective of Maggie, the youngest of the three Frederick sisters. She becomes the involuntary or perhaps voluntary caretaker of her middle sister, Virginia, or Ginny/Gin-Gin after she is hospitalized for becoming septic. The story starts with Maggie driving her into New York from Maryland to stay at a nursing/assisted living home. I'm not sure if it was the authors intent or if it is the nature of a caretaker but this story felt like it jerked you around a lot more than I'd like. Maggie certainly felt like a realistic character but the whole book felt like it sidled up to issues and then they just disappeared.  A few, like Maggie's alcoholism were certainly resolved/addressed by the end of the book. I just didn't have any appreciation for the way a sentence was snuck in about certain topics and then just randomly we're a week ahead in time or something else is going on. It felt jumpy in that sense. 

I did enjoy the story as whole, now that I finished the book. One of the things I appreciated the most were the childhood flashbacks between Ginny and Maggie. I think that helped develop Maggie's growth arc of realizing that yes she does need to take care of her sister but it's not as black and white as Ginny is a (pretty) high functioning adult before this hospitalization. The story explores the need for autonomy within adult care rather well.

It gives a nuanced look at what life is like with a family member with disabilities, and how that might affect you as their sole decision maker/caretaker. I appreciated that none of the characters were unrealistically likeable. You can want to be helpful for your family member but still loathe certain parts of it and feel burdened. If the story could have moved along a bit smoothly instead of hurrying up and tying it in a bow at the end I probably would have enjoyed more.  All in all, 3.5 stars from me.
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Wonderful, sweet, sad, poignant story about two sisters. Full of heart and truly hilarious. Reminded me of two great films of the 90s: Benny & Joon + What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Quirky and inspiring.
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This was a really enjoyable book and I appreciated the representation as well as the family bonding. I loved the humor as well.
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This book was well-written and had great flow. I, unfortunately, was unable to finish it because, for me, it hit a little too close to home. I appreciate the book though and would absolutely recommend the book to people (with a caveat/warning).
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Sweet story about sisters. I enjoyed this lighthearted but also poignant look at 2 sisters, one with special needs who learn that they need each other. Some funny and some sad moments. 3.5 stars. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This book is a wonderfully honest, heart-rending, yet hopeful portrayal of the lives of three sisters as narrated by Maggie. At the start of the book Maggie becomes the unexpected and urgently needed caretaker of her sister, Ginny, who is developmentally delayed and diabetic and at the disapproval of her other sister, Bets.  Her adjustment to this new life and responsibility is a strain on her already bursting at the seams life. As she navigates this life, you glimpse the real life struggles of a loveable yet flawed protagonist
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I was happy to be chosen to receive an ARC reading of this book by Jeannie Zusy. Her sarcasm and humor are right up my alley. I truly enjoyed this book. The majority of the characters are lovely, messy and sassy. You can feel the love, challenges and commitment of each family member and friend. Zusy was great on keeping the story on track. Nothing seemed repetitive. The only let down was that there were a lot of holes left at the end of story. It kind of just ended. I am hoping this is due to the making of a possible part 2 of the Frederick sisters in the future. I would easily read a follow up on how the family’s lives are continuing on. I liked seeing all the different journeys in life. Minor swearing. Mild sexual content.
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I loved the premise of this book!! Maggie, mother of two and recently divorced, ends up caring for her older sister, Ginny.  Ginny is recently retired and has intellectual disabilities that make it hard for her to live alone.  Ginny does NOT want to move to upstate New York, which is unfortunate since that's where Maggie lives.  This is a fun read and moments are laugh out loud funny.
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This book was such a surprise. It crept up on me and had me in tears by the end! This is a book of big, complicated, raw feelings and love. These feelings are illustrated beautifully and I really connected to the story, 

I appreciate that the author didn’t sugarcoat the difficulties caring for a person with special needs. While it was hard and frustrating to read at times, it made me empathize with both sisters deeply - except for Bets, I had a hard time understanding her character and I found her explanation for being absent to not be sufficient or fulfilling.

I thought the supporting characters were a nice touch, the romance was believable and I’m glad she ended up with Bill. However, the pregnancy and her reaction to it struck me as a bit odd... but I suppose that was her breaking point which would be out of character. It was just hard to read. The chapters were incredibly long and it would have been a more pleasant reading experience with shorter chapters, 


Overall really enjoyed and would recommend!
4.5/5
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