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The Frederick sisters are living the dream : a novel
2022
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Diabetic and with intellectual disabilities, Maggie's sister Ginny has landed in the hospital after eating too much Jell-O, and Maggie reasons that she should not be living on her own. So she brings Ginny and her cranky dog to live near her in upstate New York, even as she struggles to deal with parenting, impending divorce, freelancing, dating opportunities, Ginny's feuding home aides, and Ginny's own lack of cooperation. Playwright and short story writer Zusy makes her full-length fiction debut; with a 75,000-copy first printing.
Publishers Weekly Review
Playwright and screenwriter Zusy explores in her powerful debut the complicated dynamics of sisterhood and disability. The title is ironic: Youngest sister Maggie Frederick is struggling to care for her intellectually challenged and volatile middle sister, Ginny, 56, while the oldest, Bets, carries on what seems a perfect life in Southern California. As the story begins, it becomes apparent that Ginny--who's been living on her own in Maryland, but nearly dies from sepsis--needs constant care. After Maggie moves Ginny to a nursing facility near her own home in New York City, chaos reigns, as Ginny resists every rule designed to keep her healthy, and Maggie's marriage begins to fail. As the tensions pile up, it becomes apparent that Bets's life isn't so great--and that Ginny has untapped wisdom. Zusy does a great job capturing Maggie's mixed emotions about becoming a caregiver and the resentment she feels toward Bets after taking on most of the responsibility for Ginny. Zusy notes in her afterword that she herself bore responsibility for an intellectually disabled sibling, which brings a sense of authenticity to every page. This admirable story offers an excellent view into the struggles of family caregiving. Agent: Stephanie Cabot, Susanna Lea Assoc. (Sept.)
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