Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead

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Nora Ephron hated her neck, but Mindy Sherman hated her whole body!

In Mindy’s yoga-obsessed, thirty-is-the-new- wife neighborhood,  every day is a battle between Dunkin’ Donuts, her jaws-of-life-jeans and Beth Diamond, the self-absorbed sancti-mommy next door who looks sixteen from the back. So much for sharing the chores the stores and the occasional mischief to rival Wisteria Lane.

It’s another day, another dilemma until Beth’s marriage becomes fodder on Facebook. Suddenly the Ivy League blonde needs to be “friended” and Mindy is the last mom standing. Together they take on hormones and hunger, family feuds and fidelity and a harrowing journey that spills the truth about an unplanned pregnancy and a miracle that altered their fates forever.

Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead is a hilarious, heart stopping romp over fences and defenses that asks what did you do to deserve living next door to a crazy woman? Sometimes it’s worth finding out.

 

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Hear from readers and reviewers:

“Mindy Sherman is as lovable and funny a hero as any I’ve read in years. I laughed, I cried and loved every minute!” – Valerie Frankel, author of This Is the New Happy

 

“Filled with belly laughs and a great big heart! I loved this smart, saucy take on suburban angst. Every page is a gem!”- Ellen Meister, author of The Smart One

 

From Booklist: Mindy Sherman either has the neighbor from hell, or is the neighbor from hell, depending which side of the Lexus-lined driveway you’re on. While her image-conscious, nutrition-obsessed, high-maintenance neighbor Beth fails to appreciate the intricacies of carpooling, purse parties, and other niceties of life in suburban Long Island, fashion-challenged, grooming-beleaguered Mindy scarfs fast food, juggles credit cards, and lives in stained sweatshirts. Their polar-opposite approaches to life keep Mindy and Beth from being neighborly, much less friendly, until evidence of Beth’s marital difficulties are broadcast on the Internet, and her high-powered executive husband abandons her. Desperate times make for strange bedfellows, forcing a reluctant Beth to rely on Mindy’s down-to-earth practicality and supermom efficiency. As each woman faces an escalating series of family crises, a white-knuckle, life-or-death emergency brings the true meaning of friendship home in unexpected ways. Through a winning blend of hip and humble humor, Rosenberg simultaneously skewers and celebrates the institution of suburban sisterhood.  — Carol Haggas

 

From Publishers Weekly: There’s enough suburban-mom anxiety in Rosenberg’s crackling fourth novel to fuel several ulcers: worrisome in-laws, spoiled-brat kids, a husband with a shrinking income, a new found stepson and a gorgeous neighbor whose nastiness knows no bounds. The nonstop crises in Mindy’s diary of domestic disaster would easily torpedo both credibility and patience if it weren’t for this harangued housewife’s edgy wit and chicken-soup-for-the-soul warmth. (“Buggin’ out?” Mindy fumes at her stepson. “Oh, right. Because with three other kids, a job I hate, and a failing business, I was short of things that pissed me off.”) Though hostile next-door-neighbor Beth Diamond is the presumed Darth Vader in Mindy’s life, it’s clear the pair have more in common than they’d like to admit, and they eventually bond and help each other through domestic troubles. If you enjoy giddy diversions, this chronicle of a long and bumpy suburban ride can be surprisingly sweet and is well worth the trip.

 

“Lucy had Ethel living next door but I want to borrow my sugar from Mindy Sherman. I loved Mindy! Part “Dear Abby,” part “Mr Rogers,” part Bette Midler, what’s not to love? If Mindy was YOUR neighbor, you’d never leave home again.” -Christine O’Hagan, author of The Book of Kehls.

 

“I just finished reading Dear Neighbor Drop Dead and it’s one of my favorite books EVER and I’m not blowing smoke up your a–! I was alternating between laughing and welling up with tears nearly every page. There are so many gems throughout the book, I’m actually sending it to my mother tomorrow by DHL because I had to call her and reads parts and she demanded to read it.” – Helen Breitwieser, literary agent

 

“Heartfelt, wildly funny, and pitch perfect. Rosenberg knows her turf like a Sherpa.” – Leslie Carroll, author of Choosing Sophie

 

“I just had to send you an e-mail concerning your book. I’m on vacation and Finished it late last night. I have never laughed and cried so much while reading a book. Bravo!” – Jennifer Vido, reviewer and columnist,  www.freshfiction.com

 

“Saralee Rosenberg’s latest novel shows that her gift for language and laughs is still spot on. DEAR NEIGHBOR is a story with real characters that live and breathe. You’ll find yourself cheering for Mindy and then unbelievably, cheering for the neighbor she despises. But what Saralee does best is create great chaos with perfect comedic timing. There are some truly hysterical lines in the book that kept me laughing days later. A blast from takeoff to landing.” –  Mira Temkin

 

Who hasn’t wanted to tell a neighbor to drop dead? Saralee Rosenberg has struck gold with Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead, digging deep to get to the real dirt in suburban neighborhoods. It’s so funny and touching, the book should come with a warning label: Keep tissues and Depends handy!” – Susan Kaufman

 

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Reader Emails:

Hi Saralee. I just finished reading “Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead” and thoroughly enjoyed it. The book was outstanding, full of humor and very well written. I almost couldn’t put it down. I have read a good number of them and this is definitely at the top of my list. I look forward to reading more books like this from you in the future. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading. – Felissa Johnson

 

Saralee, I was at my local library in Greenwood, Indiana (nowhere town) looking for something to catch my eye. I saw your title and laughed out loud to a mean look by a ding-dong on the internet (can’t you look up porn at home?) We have lived in our current home for just under 3 years and one of my neighbors is the nosiest person ever! So I had to read this in our sunroom, title facing her house…I enjoyed it so much, that I went out to buy myself a copy and another for my sister to enjoy. You are so funny. I love your sense of humor. I wish YOU were my neighbor! Keep doing what you do. – Julie Reed

 

“Hello Saralee.  I just finished Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead and I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful book it was. I read it in one sitting – not being able to put it down at all. I laughed out loud plenty of times and cried too. All the signs of an excellent book. I can’t wait to read your other books. Thanks for the hours of enjoyment. I will recommend this book to everyone I know. – Kim Hartman

 

To Saralee: I just finished Dear Neighbor and I loved it! I laughed and quoted (out of the book, to my husband – too bad we were on vacation together and I wasn’t with a girlfriend!) and laughed more! I haven’t had the luck to live next door to an awful neighbor, but my friend did – full-time nanny even though all three kids were in school all day, cleaning lady three times a week, thin and angry woman who treated her husband like crap. So I’m sending your book to my girlfriend and she’ll send it on to more. We all love knowing that it’s like this everywhere and that yes, the remedy is girlfriend and a glass or two of Chardonnay. Thanks for a fun time! – Jan Slattery

 

Dear Saralee:  I just finished reading Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead. I loved it and will definitely recommend it to all my friends and family. Your writing is just hilarious. Wish I was as witty. The book had me laughing out loud. Thank you, thank you!  Patricia Laxson

 

Hi Saralee, I rarely write to authors, but after just finishing Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead, I had to write you! My almost 19 year old son bought it for me for Christmas, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this book. You are a smart, entertaining, and funny writer. I am recommending this book for my March Book Club because I loved it so much.Thanks again for writing a great book! Jan Beck

 

Saralee, I just finished DROP DEAD and loved it. I am a mother to 5 boys and am also a nurse. I love your book, because your humor reminds me of me! I am looking forward to getting 2 other books of yours from my sister so I can start to read them. If you ever need any perspectives from a woman/mom who has all boys give me a call….I will be sure to enlighten you!!! And I am not always censored!! Haha.- – Tammy Shearn Millot

 

Hi Saralee, I have to tell you I never email authors but I just finished Dear Neighbour, Drop Dead and just loved it. Mindy was great – I want her to be my neighbor (mine is slightly from Hell, maybe a few streets away). It made me laugh and cry – I need nothing more from a book. So, I just want to say, thanks! I will now look out for your other books. Keep it up! – Bridget Tring

 

Dear Mrs. Rosenberg, Hi! I have read Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead about 3 times! It was both hysterical and heartwarming. The whole book was amazing but the way everything tied in together at the end was truly perfect! I am currently awaiting Claire Voyant to come in from Amazon and I can’t wait to read it! – Kayla Williams.

 

To Saralee. It was beshert that I came across your gifted writing. While recovering from surgery, I needed the escape, the laughs and the wisdom. It has taken many years to see how good can come from bad. Like many of your readers, I feel we know each other. (Who else could relate to being slapped when getting their first period?) Finishing a book is like saying good bye to a good friend, and looking forward to the next reunion. Fortunately, I have only read two of your books so far, so I look forward to our next meeting. On a humorous note, did you consider how difficult it is to carry a book titled DROP DEAD into a doctors office, a nursing home, on an airplane? I loved every word of the book, except the title.  Elana, Miami, FL

 

Saralee, I absolutely LOVE your books, just started DNDD again since I blew threw it so fast the first time, and I DO tell people to get your books!! :-) Can’t wait for the next one, you’re getting better and better…” Nancy Richman

 

Saralee – I just wanted to tell you that I’m sitting in the Delta Sky Lounge in Honolulu & just finished your book.  It was fantastic!!  Truly loved the characters Mindy & Beth.  And loved the fact that it took place in Merrick since I grew up in Bellmore & could relate to so many of your points of interest & behavior patterns. I’m recommending it to all my 5 sisters to read!!! Kathy Zappulla
Hello, We met at McArthur airport last Friday. I was the pregnant one hopping on a plane with my brother to Florida and stopped by your table to buy a book for the flight. Um yea, I could not put it down.  My brother was left to talk to the other person next to him both trips.  I laughed out loud through the entire book and was routing for Robyn the entire time.  I really loved it and can\’t wait to read more of your books.  I already posted a referal on my Facebook page. Thanks for the great read! Best wishes from your new fan: Nicole Pagoulatos

 

Hi, Saralee!  Just finished reading DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD and I loved it!  I’m so sorry it’s over as I could have read about the foibles of Mindy and Beth forever! I grew up in Long Beach, NY so, of course, the setting and the people were truly familiar. I love your wit and I related to so many things in the book. I’m a retired English teacher, now college professor, and will add your book to my list of pure pleasure reads! Thanks for giving me such fun in a book. I’m off to Amazon to see which of your books might be a good follow-up to DEAR NEIGHBOR.–Judi Weissman

 

Hello. I just finished “Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead” and loved it. When I saw the title on my library’s holdings, I knew this had to be New York calling. I grew up surrounded by local versions of Beth and Mindy – creating a very receptive mind for your wonderful storytelling. I love how with all the ensuing chaos, you pulled together a very poignant and inspiring happy ending. And it ends in Portland, OR – my home now for 20+ years.

Thanks for reminding us to keep laughing and to ultimately keep a positive attitude, and for sharing your remarkable talent! Carl Selin, Lake Oswego, OR

 

Just read Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead.  It was wonderful, and the perfect thing I needed at the time! I went to the library and told the librarian I needed cheering up.  She recommended this book, and I am so glad! Thanks for being there, and for sharing your humor with the rest of the world. Wish YOU were my neighbor. – Dianne Loftus

 

I just finished “Dear Neighbor,Drop Dead”, Saralee, it has been a very long time since I have read a book that was this entertaining. I laughed, cried .. and became part of their world. As I got closer to the end of this book, I knew I needed to have another of your books ready to go. I purchased, “Fate and Ms. Fortune” I will put your book up on my FB wall and rave about it.  PLEASE KEEP WRITING! Sincerely, Diana Lutz

 

Happy Wednesday! I just finished your book for my next book club meeting (finished it very quickly I might add)! Many of the members, including myself were excited to read your book.  I reside in what has been deemed a “planned community.”  Crazy neighbor stories resonate with almost all of us. Mindy and Beth may be extreme versions, but I know we can find pieces of them in people in our neighborhoods and our lives. After one too many books with depressing plots and tragedy after tragedy (thank you Jodi Picoult), yours was refreshing.  I look forward to reading other books written by you.Keep on typing! Warmly, Heidi Desjardins

 

I just wanted to send you a quick note to say that I purchased “Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead” because I wanted a new book to read while I recovered from hip surgery. I figured it would help the days of being laid with my gimpy hip go by much faster. Unfortunately, I got so hooked on your book that I read the entire thing in about a day and a half! I really enjoyed your book, and will be looking to find more of your books. Thanks for giving me some laughs and making that day or two go by much better than it would have otherwise! Best wishes, Sasha Lattanzi

 

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From Amazon:

a funny beach read with heart, By Franny Duke

“I knew from the title that this book would be funny, and it was, but what surprised me was how wise and grounded it was. A battle between female neighbors in the ‘burbs — one frumpy and funny and kind if a bit of a martyr; the other thin, bitchy, demanding and snobby — was sometimes a bit over the top, but evolved into a smart and engaging story of two families, one presented with a host of reasons to fall apart (financial troubles, moody teenagers, deaths in the family) that comes together more grounded than ever and the other seemingly perfect and wealthy that is anything but. Rosenberg is a very funny writer (sometimes the wise cracks come a bit too fast and furious) and her protagonist, Mindy (the frumpy, funny, kind one), is completely endearing. She captures the ‘burbs in all of its competitive falseness but instead of just skewering the people as so many “suburban” novels do, she writes with empathy, intelligence and warmth. This is the kind of beach read that you dive into just for fun and end up taking more seriously than you expected.”

 

L’Chayim, By Michelaneous by Michele (Northwoods, Wisconsin) “We all have funny friends who tell great stories. Friends to whom we sometimes say things like, “you should write a book.” I’m so glad author, Saralee Rosenberg, either heard this enough or believed in herself enough to share her humor with us. There’s a laugh on every page of Dear Neighbor Drop Dead. From page one, I felt I had to fasten my seatbelt, as the quick pace and over-the-top characters just cracked me up. It was quite a ride through this Long Island neighborhood full of twists and turns and page-turning gusto.

Although primarily Mindy’s story, this is the tale of Mindy and Beth. Beth is THE neighbor from hell, a first-class beyotch, who puts on the perfect routine and is so mean to everyone–particularly the big-hearted Mindy–she’s easy to loathe. Mindy and Beth are thrown together through a variety of circumstances and their relationship as frenemies develops in unexpected and amusing ways. Every secondary character no matter how important or trivial to the story is beautifully developed and makes this quick read highly enjoyable.

Be prepared to experience the culture of modern Jewish families. You’ll hunger for a New York bagel and smile at the expressions: “It’s never the stuff you worry about that happens, it’s the stuff you don’t see coming that incapacitates you like a Taser. And nothing like five-thousand volts of electricity to get your undivided attention.”

I had to agree with Mindy’s stepson, Aaron, when he proclaims: “I like being Jewish. You guys really know how to party.” To which Mindy, ever the wit, replies: “Next to suffering, it’s what we do best.”

 

Very well done. I look forward to reading Saralee Rosenberg’s other books–including one mentioned in this story, Claire Voyant–particularly when I feel the need to smile.” — Michele Cozzens is the author of It’s Not Your Mother’s Bridge Club.

 

Dear Neighbor, Read THIS! ;-), “Extreme Reader” (NJ, USA)

“I had previously read and greatly enjoyed Saralee Rosenberg’s book Fate and Ms. Fortune. So I looked forward to seeing what this creative mind had come up with this time around. However, even if I hadn’t already experienced any of her books, the title of this one alone would have captured my interest immediately.In “Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead” we meet Mindy Sherman and her next-door neighbor, Beth Diamond. A more unlikely duo may never have been seen. Mindy is your somewhat typical mother. She’s slightly frazzled and often finds herself wishing for more for her family. She loves her husband and her children and she works hard to juggle the daily life of a working mother. Her house may not be immaculate and her shirts may not be designer, but Mindy makes sure that her kids have a good life. Yet she can’t help but eye up the neighbor and her impressive lifestyle. Beth is Mindy’s opposite in all appearances. She’s the perfectly made-up mother that never breaks a nail and always shows up in designer labels. She has a seemingly wonderful life with a successful husband and beautiful children. Beth clearly has it all, including a bad attitude toward anyone she deems is beneath her, which is pretty much everyone.

The only thing these two women have in common is the fact that they both have mean little nicknames for one another and they agree upon their mutual disregard. Mindy’s and Beth’s worlds co-exist next to one another, but only intertwine for carpooling the children to and from school and very little else. The two women soon, however, find themselves being forced together as drama hits both families.This novel is filled with both laughter and tears for the reader as well as the characters. The cast of characters is unique and wonderful, albeit rather quirky in some circumstances. Perhaps it is the quirkiness that makes everyone so relatable and very likeable (even the mean neighbor from you-know-where is rather likeable in her own little way).

Saralee Rosenberg masterfully combines fun and wit with drama and seriousness to bring us a novel that is a real page-turner. As events unfold, Rosenberg throws a curveball or two in order to keep the readers guessing. Who will stay together? Who will split? What will happen next? The pages didn’t turn fast enough for me and I often found myself on the edge of my seat wanting to hug someone or slap someone… sometimes both at once. When an author can make you strongly love, hate or hate-to-love their characters, it’s a winning book in my opinion.

Saralee Rosenberg accomplished this and more with “Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead”. By the end of the tale, I wanted to join the Sherman and Diamond families myself! Closing the book on the last page left me with a bittersweet feeling because I had laughed and worried with the women and I felt as if I was a part of their lives. I hated to say good-bye to both Mindy and Beth and everyone else in their crazy families. Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead is a book that never disappoints from beginning to end. It is a book that I plan on recommending to family and friends, and perhaps even to a few select neighbors.”