This novel is funny and sweet. Maggie is busy—raising teenage sons, pacifying demanding clients, dealing with her ex-husband, and attempting to have a social life. When she decides her disabled sister Ginny can’t live alone anymore, adding caretaker to her list of duties, it seems like Maggie’s barely keeping her head above water. And while Maggie drowns in responsibilities, her other sister, professional surfer Betsy seems to blithely ride the waves of life. While the story is told from Maggie’s perspective, all the other characters shine through, too. Ginny’s relationships with her sisters, her dog Rascal, her home health aides, and her disability are written with heart and a sense of humor.
—Elizabeth Hardin, Snail Readers Circle
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.
About the Author
Jeannie Zusy has written several full-length plays, screenplays, short stories, and works of fiction. Her work has been performed off-Broadway and beyond and appeared in McSweeney’s. The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream is her first novel.
"A funny and insightful story about caregiving." --Real Simple
"Zusy explores in her powerful debut the complicated dynamics of sisterhood and disability....This admirable story offers an excellent view into the struggles of family caregiving."
— Publishers Weekly
"The Frederick Sisters are Living the Dream is a fresh, tender, insightful story of knotty family relationships, told with wit and zest. The incomparable Ginny, Maggie’s ‘special’ sister, is the beating heart of the story, and Jeannie Zusy’s depiction of her is brimming with love and honesty. Moving, but never sentimental, this is a celebration of families, with all their unique and diverse personalities. A wonderful book!"
— Sarah Haywood, New York Times bestselling author of The Cactus
"The Frederick sisters will have you laughing out loud—often through tears—in this roller coaster ride of a novel that explores what it means to be family. A raw but uplifting story about trying to save people who don’t want to be saved and getting past the shame of our own worst mistakes."
— Tracey Lange, New York Times bestselling author of We Are the Brennans
"Quirky and unpredictable, The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream will make you laugh, then break your heart and put it back together again."
— K.J. Dell'Antonia, New York Times bestselling author of The Chicken Sisters
“Like all of the best comedies, The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream, is not merely funny (though it is very funny), but sad and complex, crushing and uplifting. It reaffirms what we all want so desperately to believe: that kindness matters and love truly does conquer all.”
— Julie Langsdorf, author of White Elephant