Cover Image: The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream

The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream

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Member Reviews

When Maggie gets the call that her sister has od’d on strawberry jello her whole life gets flipped upside down. The two sisters begin a new life together once Maggie realizes that her diabetic, intellectually disabled sister can no longer live alone. Funny and heartbreaking buckle up for life with Ginny!
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I loved this book.   Heartwarming, heart breaking;  Jeannie Zusy captures the essence of care giving for an adult with issues in a warm and honest view.  I highly recommend it.
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This was a quirky, enjoyable read. Read it in one sitting. Look forward to more by the author. The characters were enjoyable.
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The Frederick Sisters are Living the Dream by Jeannie Zusy takes on the challenges experienced by a family when their intellectually disabled sister needs more care.   An eye-opening look at what it is like for everyone involved in caring for someone who needs extra care.   I enjoyed reading about how each sister was affected, especially the one receiving care.   A very thoughtful and touching tale.
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Wow was that a ride. Lots of stream of consciousness writing and you're 100% in Maggie's head all the time. Her role as caretaker is interesting, and the dynamics between her and Ginny are well written. I actually loved all the supporting cast and how much Ginny also had to come in to her own. This is more in the Eleanor Oliphant camp then Where'd You Go Bernadette; there's cringe moments, confrontational moments but it's incredibly human.
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The characters are real. The family is real. The complexities and dynamics, within the family, some of which will be unrelateable to many (i.e. caring for a special needs family member), tell a saga of reality. Maggie is a strong woman with much on her plate. She maneuvers her life as best she can. Meet Virginia (GinGin), her special needs older sister, who is complex and unruly and wise all wrapped into one big lovable woman. There were some funny moments but mostly the story, of the sisters (there are three) depicts a family, navigating life, while trying to do the best for all concerned, albeit with many bumps in the road. The book is heart warming. It’s not sugar coated. But it’s a realistic account of the struggles, many of which, people encounter in every day life. Read it and be grateful. (
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Thanks to Netgalley and Atria for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC.  What follows is my honest review.

This book was described as humorous but I didn't find the funny.  

Ginny, the disabled sister was the most interesting sister.  While I identified with the caretaking sister, I wasn't particularly drawn to her.  The third sister's selfishness made her largely unlikable.

Perhaps having been a caretaker the book hit too close to home. Whatever the reason, I didn't really care for it.
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This book really pulled at my heart strings. You keep thinking about the characters long after you finish the book. My first to read by this author but definitely not my last! Highly recommend!
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I was not able to finish this book.  I found the writing style difficult and jumpy.  I could not get a clear sense of the characters.  Ginny was in intriguing character but her sister Maggie seemed somewhat flat.  I could not tell if the emphasis was on her ex-husband, her sisters or her sons.  I wanted to like it and it will work for many but not me.
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Thank you #Netgalley for the advanced copy.

This book pulls at your heartstrings, makes you laugh, even made me cry at the end.  We follow Maggie, the youngest sister as she is pulled in to help her older sister Ginny who has special needs.  Their parents have passed away, Ginny, who is in her 50s lived independetly until an accident occurred requiring her to need additional support.  Maggie takes it upon herself to move Ginny closer to her to be able to help support and care for her, much to Ginny's dismay.  We see things from Maggie's perspective, her resentment at times, her need to care for her children, her complicated separation with her husband, her older sister who lives on the other side of the country.  Maggie has a lot going on and Ginny doesn't always make it easy for her.  I think this read showed the good/bad/raw of what caring for another person can look like.
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This emotional book will resonate with anyone who is in a caregiver role. The Frederick Sisters Are Living The Dream is a touching read.
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The title grabbed my attention but the characters captured my interest. Interesting on many levels. How 3 sisters growing up in one house with the same parents have completely different experiences and memories. How jealousy, resentment, and misunderstanding can separate us from family or friends. And by forcing our way through simple but truthful and hard conversations, life gets better.
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Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for an e-ARC of this title in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.  This was the first title to start off 2022, and I picked the perfect book.  We are seeing more books with characters on the spectrum, but I haven't come across those with main characters who are developmentally disabled.  This book is about three sisters, one of whom has many special needs.  One sister is off, living her life on the west coast, but the other has to, in the middle of a divorce, find care for her sister, ensure she is doing well, and continue their relationship.  This book is funny, heartwarming, and real.  I loved it.
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I was granted reading this ARC by Atria Books via NetGalley. The characters are real. The family is real. The complexities and dynamics, within the family, some of which will be unrelateable to many (i.e. caring for a special needs family member), tell a saga of reality. Maggie is a strong woman with much on her plate. She maneuvers her life as best she can. Meet Virginia (GinGin), her special needs older sister, who is complex and unruly and wise all wrapped into one big lovable woman. There were some funny moments but mostly the story, of the sisters (there are three) depicts a family, navigating life, while trying to do the best for all concerned, albeit with many bumps in the road. The book is heart warming. It’s not sugar coated. But it’s a realistic account of the struggles, many of which,  people encounter in every day life. Read it and be grateful.
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Thank you NetGalley and publisher for this ARC publication for an honest review.

The Frederick Sisters are Living the Dream

Jeannie Zusy

Publication: August 2, 2022

Oh, this book! It was just so real…you will become thoroughly invested in the Frederick sisters and their lives. Maggie, the caregiver, Bets, the free-spirited surfer, Ginny, the special needs sister…all of them had so much hidden depth beyond those outward labels. Add the side characters and the back stories, and everyone is just so perfectly fleshed out that you feel like you know all of them. The dynamics and the personal growth from beginning to end of all the characters was brilliant! This would make a great TV series…highly recommend!
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An odd trio of sisters, one with disabilities, one who conveniently lives across the country, and one who is suddenly put in charge of being her sister’s caretaker. Dark humor and sometimes depressing, the sisters relearn the meaning of family.
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A touching and heart tugging story of four hard years in the life of Maggie while she tends her developmentally disabled sister and motherhood of her two adult sons. Realistic characters and life-like plot.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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While billed as humorous, this novel was hard for me to read as a distance-caregiver who is firmly in the sandwich generation. At this point, I am reading to escape the hardships, so reading about them didn't work for me.
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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of this debut novel for this author.  Overall I really enjoyed the story of the Frederick Sisters, which focused most on Maggie and her sister with special needs Ginny.  It was a love story of sorts and truly a testament to the commitment to family.  The only thing I did not like was the style of writing in that there were no chapters just 4 sections.  I tend to like having chapters to set places to stop reading.  Not sure if that will be in the final printed version or if that is just because this is an ARC.  The book was funny and held my interest.  I will recommend.
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The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream is such a complex and compelling family drama!  Yes, there are snippets of humor peppered through the interactions, but there is so much of reality that honestly, it's easy to feel worn down by it all. 
Maggie finds herself caring for Ginny, her older sister with intellectual disabilities and health challenges.  Additionally she is struggling with work, raising sons, a failing marriage and a  strained relationship with her other sister. In short, life is exhausting.  
Ginny's quirky caregivers are a highlight, as they come together with the family to navigate the natural ups and downs of life.  
This is a satisfying peek into the lives of a family, and how a decision made by one member can impact all. The author paints quite a true picture of living with someone who has challenges.  Its complicated. She takes us on this journey in a very real way and you will not be disappointed if you join her. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and the author for this ARC of The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream.
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