The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream
by Jeannie Zusy
Publication Date September 20, 2022
Published by Simon and Schuster
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Genres: Fiction / Family Life / Siblings, Fiction / Humorous / General, Fiction / Women
***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine meets Early Morning Riser with a dash of Where’d You Go, Bernadette in this very funny, occasionally romantic, and surprisingly moving novel about how one woman’s life is turned upside down when she becomes caregiver to her sister with special needs.
Every family has its fault lines, and when 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.
Thus, Maggie’s life as a caretaker begins. It will take all of her dark humor and patience, already spread thin after a separation, raising two boys, freelancing, and starting a dating life, to deal with Ginny’s diapers, sugar addiction, porn habit, and refusal to cooperate. Add two devoted but feuding immigrant aides and a soon-to-be ex-husband who just won’t go away, and you’ve got a story that will leave you laughing through your tears as you wonder who is actually taking care of whom.
Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream by Jeannie Zusy is a look at a woman who is a caretaker to her sister with intellectual disabilities. It’s emotional, funny, and a bit chaotic, but totally worthwhile reading.
Maggie is the youngest of three sisters and lives just outside of New York City with her two almost adult sons. Betsy is the oldest and is living the dream out in California, running a surfing school. Ginny is the middle child and she is diabetic and has intellectual disabilities and lives independently in Maryland where the family grew up.
When Maggie gets a call that her sister, Ginny is in the hospital, she doesn’t hesitate to drop everything and go help her. But, when she gets to Maryland, she realizes that Ginny needs more help than she expected. She decides to bring her to New York where she can live closer. But, Maggie has her own chaotic life. She’s separated from her husband and trying to date while raising two boys and keeping up with her freelance job.
Maggie is far from perfect and makes her own mistakes in her life, but her love for her sister is never in question. I liked how the book demonstrated both the highs and lows of being a caretaker. Ginny was my favorite character. She was always so frank, and her observations of the family were sometimes right on point.
The writing was a stream of consciousness from the main character, Maggie. We all find out how her actions affect others around her at the same time she does. I thought the middle was a bit slow, but it was also full of the frustrations and challenges of caring for an adult with intellectual disabilities and day-to-day family issues.
Overall this is a heartwarming story about the difficulties of being a caretaker, a mother, a wife, and a sister, and still trying to be her own person.
I highly recommend The Frederick Sisters are Living the Dream to anyone who enjoys heartwarming fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Have you read The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream? Does it interest you?
Another emotional sounding read. I am glad that you enjoyed it 🙂
Have a great week!
Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog
Aw…I can see how much she loves her sister through your review. It sounds like such a heartwarming book.
It’s such a sweet story.
This sounds good. There are actually a lot of people who find themselves in the caregiver role. It must be particularly hard to do that while managing to allow the loved one to maintain self-respect and safe independence.
This sounds heartwarming and I already like main character. Amazing review!
I do love a heart warming story, shame it got a bit slow, great review 😊
This sounds like it would be a good read. I’m glad you enjoyed despite its slow middle. 😀
Thank you, Jenni!
This sounds realistic and delightful in all the right ways. Lovely review, Wendy.
Thank you, Kimberly
Being a caretaker is never easy especially when it involves caring for an adult. Glad to see you enjoyed this one. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Nadene
Fab review! I love the sound of this story, so it’s going straight to my wishlist.
I like that it was all about some of the hazards of being a caretaker to an adult.
Sounds like another good one 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!
Thank you, Cindy
This sounds like a heartwarming read. I’m glad you enjoyed it, I’ll be reading this one also.
Oh good. I hope you also enjoy it.
This sounds very intriguing, especially because of the stream of consciousness narration. Excellent review!
Thank you, Tessa
Adding this one right now Wendy. Excellent review. Ginny sounds like a hoot.📚💕
She really is a hoot. I think you’ll enjoy this one, Susan.
Oh, I’m adding this one to my wishlist. It sounds like a book I would enjoy. Great review!
It’s pretty good, especially if you like books about sisters.
Might be a bit too close to home for me.
I can understand that. It’s pretty emotional at times.
Love a good sister bond! Being a caretaker is definitely hard. Great review!
Thank you, Joanna!
This book sounds really interesting. I enjoyed Early Morning Riser so I might give this one a go!
I hope you enjoy it if you get to it.
I love a sisters story!
So do I! Thanks, Carol.