Cover Image: The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream

The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this one. I like reading about sister-bonds! I thought both characters were great. This one kept my attention throughout and I was happy while reading!
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A great read from start to finish for me. After a medical scare in Maryland where Ginny has been living, Maggie brings her special needs older sister to live in her upstate New York town. Already in the middle of a separation from her husband, trying to raise two almost college-age sons, and eking out a living as a freelance artist, Maggie becomes even more overwhelmed. No matter what, she is determined to provide for the sister she loves. She faces so many obstacles, mostly centered around the quirky behaviors of Ginny.  Ginny is overweight and diabetic and will not stop eating sugar, drowning her waffles in syrup every morning. Wheelchair bound, she depends on her two feuding hired caretakers to meet her every need, including changing her diapers. 
Though the premise sounds dismal and hopeless, the story of the love between Maggie and Ginny is uplifting and remarkable. The family ties are strong, even with their older sister Betsy who chooses the live the surfer life in California rather than deal with the daily issues faced by Maggie and Ginny. Twists and turns take the reader through the lives on this remarkable, but imperfect family. Though there are tears, there is also laughter in their lives. I found myself laughing so hard that tears were running down my face over Ginny's cell phone escapades as Maggie tried to straighten them out at the Apple store. Wonderful and well-written story based somewhat on the author's own family dynamic. 

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC for me to read and review.
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Thank you so much for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review!  This book was very charming!  It was also quiet quirky.  As the mother of a autistic son, it kinda hit home and I really enjoyed their story!
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This was a very real glimpse into the inner workings of a family, and how everything can change when a family member needs assistance. This book was in turns laugh out loud funny, heartbreaking, and hopeful. I loved being able to follow the journey of the Frederick sisters. This was a lovely read. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for the ARC!
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Written in a narration style, the main character takes the reader on a  journey through her life. This is the story of a wife/mother/sister who gives of herself, struggles with self-doubt, and worries that she's not enough for her family. 
I love that the author pulled from her own family background and created a character who struggles with a learning disability. She did a great job conveying the struggle family members have in caring for someone with disabilities. The book is not all serious reflection though, there is plenty of humor to lighten the topic. 
I definitely recommend you put this book in your TBR for September. Thank you NetGalley and Altria Books for an ARC and opportunity to review this book.
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The book didn't hold my attention. DNF

**************I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.**************************
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What a heartwarming and funny read. If you’re looking for something to lift your spirits, this is it. It’s quirky, heartfelt, funny and original.
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I wanted to like this book but I just couldn’t get into it. I found myself having trouble to getting into the book and it seemed to drag on at times.
Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.
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What a wonderful story about three sisters and their lives. It's heart warming but real. Loved the characters.
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This book was EVERYTHING! It was funny, sad, poignant, heartbreaking, heartwarming and authentic. I loved the characters so much, flaws and all. They were so real and honest, genuine and true to life. They made mistakes but loved each other fiercely and I enjoyed every minute I got to spend with them and being part of their lives. I loved Maggie's inner dialogue as she was sincere with her love for her sister and the rest of the family.

Such a unique take on caring for a sibling with special needs. I loved that it was sensitive to the situation while being honest with how difficult it can be for everyone involved. Although extremely sweet at times it wasn't saccharine or cloying and very realistic. I was thoroughly invested in this family and their lives and enjoyed watching them evolve. You can tell this story was told from the heart and the gut. 

I loved reading the author notes at the end, she mentions she had a brother with special needs and I know that's what made the book so great. This is a complex, compelling and enlightening read and a fabulous debut. I cannot wait to see what Jeannie Zusy comes up with next. All. The. Stars.
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Thanks to the lovely folks at NetGalley for a chance to read an advanced reader's copy.

The characters read real, all the complexities of life and family feel way too real. Two dogs die. Maggie annoyed me for pretty much the whole book. By the end, it wrapped up better than I expected and I kinda liked it. Worth the read.
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Maggie has been the glue to hold everyone together and it's wearing thin.

She's overwhelmed after doing it all while her (newly separated) husband did whatever, her boys grew up, her big sister (Bets) lived it up out west and she had to step in when it became clear her middle sister Ginny could no longer live independently.

This is a huge change for everyone.  Both Maggie and Ginny chafe at the changes but Maggie feels responsible.

Over the course of a few years Maggie faces her own resentment, her frustration with Ginny's choices, her anger at Bets choosing to stay away all while trying to remain a part of her boys' lives, date and deal with her exish husband.

The differing perspectives you only get peeks at as Maggie is the storyteller are enlightening and the love between the sisters is huge.
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I was given the opportunity to read this book on NetGally.
The story is about sisters, their bond and how crazy life can get. I wasn't a huge fan of the story. I just felt like it never really went anywhere, no climax or high points, just seemed very flat line. 
I can say that I absolutely loved the relationship between the three sisters though and how that developed and played out.
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This book was just lovely. Thank you, Net Galley, for entrusting me an advanced copy for my honest opinion. I fell in love with the characters, major and minor. There is not a villain in the bunch, really. It is a reflection of life to say the biggest enemy or roadblock we have each have is ourselves. The writing is light and witty, and though it often delves deep into serious issues, it is done in a reassuring way that makes me hopeful throughout the book. As long as we have each other, we can survive anything. I am grateful to have read this beautifully written book. Bravo!
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All families are imperfect in my opinion. Everyone struggles with something at some time. Luckily, we usually make it through. Will that be what happens for the Frederick sisters?

There are three of these siblings. Ginny is the one who has the most outwardly visible issues. She has some intellectual impairment and also the physical challenge of diabetes. As the book opens, Ginny’s younger sister Maggie has traveled to Maryland in order to move Ginny up to New York. It is felt that Maggie can no longer live on her own. The third sister, Betsy, is a surfer and on the west coast as the novel opens. Not much help there, Maggie concludes.

Will these three come together? Who will teach whom what? What will the reader feel for these characters and who might be a favorite? Read this book to see.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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Thank you for the opportunity to review "The Frederick Sisters are Living the Dream" by Jeannie Zusy. This isn't the sort of title/story I'd usually request through NetGalley, but I think that some of my own recent life events drew me to this, based on description. It is a quick, easy read, and certainly entertaining. Perhaps not entirely my cup of tea for future reads, but that's not the author's fault at all. She did a great job with this. Just not really my type of story. I do appreciate the opportunity to branch out and explore. I am awarding 4 stars for the obvious quality of the work.
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After Maggie's developmentally delayed sister Ginny ends up in the hospital and needs more care, Maggie drives her from her home five hours away to live nearer to Maggie in a rehab facility.  Maggie is juggling her work and her relationships with her sons, her ex, her other sister Bets while trying to settle Ginny and her angry dog into a new life.  It took me a bit to get into this one but it ended up being pretty good.  3 stars.
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I really appreciate what the author is trying to do here. I do think it’s difficult when a blurb of a book mentions that it’s like a book I adored (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine). It makes it a challenging bar to exceed.

The writing style of this novel is stream of consciousness. We hear a steady stream of Maggie’s thoughts with sudden time jumps. It almost reads like a long four-part diary entry. I think it might work better as a diary with dates added, or the writing should be a little tighter if the author wants it to remain a novel.

Then let’s move to disability representation. Ginny is Maggie’s older sister, and we are told Ginny has been intellectually disabled since she was young; she repeated sixth grade, and then she was sent to a special school. Throughout the book, we are exposed to two pieces of evidence of this repeatedly: 1) she soils herself (which is a recent phenomenon) and 2) she can’t spell. That’s it. And for the record, plenty of people do both of these things and aren't intellectually disabled. Ginny wears bright clothes and uses accessories like fanny packs, but I don’t consider these characteristics of someone who is intellectually disabled. Her dialogue doesn’t seem substantially different than your uncle would say at Christmas dinner. Do I give too much latitude as a reader for what I’d consider intellectually disabled? Or is this character unfairly labeled? Nothing she said seemed to be particularly dense, so I had a lot of eyebrow furrowing as I was trying to decipher what the author was trying to do and make me feel because I don’t think I “got” it.

The main character Maggie is a mess, a much bigger mess than her older sister Ginny in many ways. I don’t want to spoil how she’s a mess, but take my word for it. I feel like the whole novel I felt that, but I think the author thought this was supposed to be our grand conclusion even though I already got there by the time I was 10% in the book.

I’m hopeful that some of these nitpicky things will be cleaned up in the published version, as we are still 5 months out from publication. Again, I think the guts of this are good, but I think the execution needs some work.

Thanks to NetGalley for an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Every once in a while you read a book that truly stays with you for a while.  This was one of those books.  
Jeannie Zusy’s story of the Frederick sisters paints the picture of an adult with a disability in a way that few authors can.  GinGin is not always loveable and not always agreeable.  She faces the world with a long list of challenges and yet somehow she strips away all the unimportant and knows what really matters.  Zusy’s characters are broken and searching, but the story is told with incredible humor and care.  
This book made me think about what it is like to be the care-taker of an adult sibling from close by and from far away.  It reminds us of our family roles and how those roles evolve, but never truly change.  This story is about caring, family, and using humor to diffuse difficult times.  You will grow to love these characters and root for their success.  Jeannie Zusy has written a wonderful book!
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This was a longer book, but the story was also told over the span of a few years. I loved that this wasn’t a romance necessarily, but more about the relationship between sisters. There were a lot of characters that I wanted to grow a connection with, but didn’t. BUT I fell in love with the crazy dogs, which makes sense. My biggest issue I think is I like to know the timing of the story, and sometimes you had to guess where you were in the story (timeline wise), which to me made it feel choppy at times. 

I would highly recommend this story to someone who wants a story about family relationships, the good, the bad, the and the ugly.
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