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Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead

Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead

4.0 11
by Saralee Rosenberg

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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


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 seventy-year-old miracle that altered their fates forever.

Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead is a hilarious, stirring romp over fences and defenses that begs the question, what did you do to deserve living next door to a crazy woman? Sometimes it's worth finding out.

Editorial Reviews

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 newfound 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. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Through a winning blend of hip and humble humor, Rosenberg simultaneously skewers and celebrates the institution of suburban sisterhood.”

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Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead

Chapter One

Eight Years Later

"Have you seen my Costco card?" Artie brushed and spit. "I could have sworn it was in my wallet."

"It was." Mindy dried her face. "Then I confiscated it."

"I knew it!" His baby browns were on high beam. "What the hell did you do that for?"

"Because normal people who go in for batteries and a roast chicken don't walk out with six cases of Gatorade and a kayak."

"Not just Gatorade. Fierce Grape! You know the kids go crazy for that flavor."

"Fine. But a kayak?"

"It called out to me."

"Hello? I'm your wife. I can prove you once got seasick in a hot tub."

"I was on medication."

"It's not funny, Artie. We are so broke right now."

"You still shouldn't have returned it without asking."

"Hey, you bought it without asking. Besides, I had to get it out of here before you gave it a name. Remember Fluffy Cat?"

"You were just as sad as me when she ran away."

"Whatever." Mindy shrugged. "Just tell me what's so important that you have to get."

"Can't. It's a surprise."

"You want to surprise me?" She swatted him with a towel. Say to me, 'Mindy, honey, I made a big deposit. We get to keep the house for another month."

"Why do you always have to be so negative?"

"Damn! That's right. I was supposed to pop the champagne when our checks bounced."

"I told you that wasn't my fault. It was a bank error. Now can I have my card back?"

"After you tell me what you're up to."

"Okay, but you're ruining my secret.They got in these really nice sheds for the backyard and I thought, wow, perfect birthday gift for Mindy."

"A shed from Costco," Mindy repeated, "for my birthday?"

"Well, technically for both of our birthdays. You promised me one when we moved here, remember? And you're the one who is always complaining about getting all the crap out of the garage. If we had a shed, we'd have a place for the crap."

"Or . . . we could throw out all the crap, skip the shed, and buy me a new dryer."

"Then you'd accuse me of being one of those jerks who buys his wife house gifts."

"A shed isn't a house gift?"

"No, it's for the outside, and I was going to let you pick the color. C'mon. Think about it. In the winter, you wouldn't have to stand out in the freezing cold cleaning off your car."

"I thought that's why we had kids."

"I'm serious. You'll thank me for this. Plus, where else would I put the kayak?"

"Doesn't matter. I returned it."

"That's true. Fortunately, Ira found the same one at his Costco, and you know my brother. Had to brag that he saved me money 'cause the tax is less in Jersey."

"Oh my God. What don't you get, Artie? I don't want a kayak, I don't want a shed. . . ."

"Then what do you want?"

"I want what every woman wants. A massage therapist named Ivan and a closet full of boots."

"Not me." He hugged her. "I just want a shed."

Mindy shoved her cell phone under her pillow, fearing that the constant vibrations would wake the kids. She had hinted to her best friend to please stop text messaging so early in the morning, but when Nadine was bored, everyone had to feel her pain.

did u open the letter? Nadine wrote.

Mindy laughed. She knew her so well.

no 2 scared . . . u do it

y do I hafta do everything

'cause lifesabitch n ur my friend

She lay back down, careful not to land on an arm or a leg. With her luck, she'd end up in Newsday: Merrick Mom Squishes Child to Death. Failed Mediteranean Diet To Blame.

Now that the kids were getting older, she and Artie were trying to crack down on this co-sleeping habit. "C'mon guys. Give us a break. Stay in your own beds!" Only to have their pleas ignored when the eldest translated for the younger two. "They're chill. They full out love us."

So no surprise when Mindy awoke to find body parts dangling in every direction, as if this was the set of a horror flick. But who was she kidding? She felt well rested, and as every parent knew, sleep was the new sex. Besides, nothing pleased her more than pajama scent and taking attendance. All three children were here and blessedly safe.

Eleven-year-old Jamie and her Orphan Annie curls were burrowed under a pillow. A gentle nudge found six-year-old little Ricky lying at the edge of the bed. And when she groped the floor, there was thirteen-year-old Stacie, a former delight now turned premenstrual shrew.

Still, Mindy was not naive. She fretted about the proper age to break up this party, much as she'd agonized over how old the kids should be when they stopped showering with her. Thankfully her mother-in-law, Rhoda, VP General Motives, was happy to second-guess her.

"In the old days families slept together 'cause they had no choice. But you've got a four-bedroom house and the kids are big now. . . . What are you waitin' for? To get knocked unconscious from a kick in the head?"

Artie had his doubts, too. Would their kids grow up thinking orgies were normal?

Mindy drifted off. Maybe the true story of the Sherman family bed could be the inspiration for a book, plus or minus some dramatic license. The saga would begin when a nosy neighbor reported their scandalous sleeping arrangements to the child welfare authorities. Then faster than you could say "bed-in-a-bag," the community would be in an uproar. There would be the requisite death threats, the innocent kids being pummeled at recess, and naturally, the fledgling civil liberties lawyer who took the case to the Supreme Court and won!

Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead. Copyright © by Saralee Rosenberg. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Saralee Rosenberg is the author of A Little Help from Above, Claire Voyant, and Fate and Ms. Fortune. She lives on Long Island (where else?) with her husband and three children.

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Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
24girl More than 1 year ago
I'm sure there are a few people out there that have had experiences with a neighbor who makes you want to put a note in their mailbox that says, "Dear neighbor, drop dead." This is exactly what Mindy Sherman did to her horribly mean neighbor Beth Diamond.

Mindy is an average overweight wife and mom of three who juggles work, carpooling the kids and the stress of just barely managing not to drown in debt while ducking and dodging mean comments from Beth. Beth and her husband seemingly have it all; new cars, a huge immaculate house and two perfect kids. But all is not as it seems... Beth's marriage is about to fall apart at the seams and she has no real friends to turn to. Suddenly she's apologizing for treating Mindy bad in the past and looking for a shoulder to cry on.

Meanwhile Mindy's own family drama is escalating and they've just learned that Mindy's stepson is coming for a visit which eventually turns into a permanent stay. With everything flipping upside down around her, Mindy channels Oprah and Dr. Phil to help make everything right again.

Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead is a funny madcap look into the life of a soccer-mom. Just when you think things might be looking up for Mindy, Beth and their families another bad thing happens and you can't help but laugh. I enjoyed reading this book but the ending was just too "storybook" for me to rate it higher. It¿s a quick two/three day read that I do recommend reading if you have the chance.
risuena More than 1 year ago
As I was reading the first half of the book, I kept thinking "could this family have any more bad things happen"? Although Mindy's family was more realistic and gave me a few laughs, I didn't find them very interesting. I didn't grow attached to any of the characters really. The most engaging was Aaron, and that was probably because his background was the most mysterious. When things started to turn around for Mindy's family, the story became far fetched. It was like going from one bad unlucky extreme to a great fortunate one. I had to force myself to finish the book just because I don't like to leave things halfway. Other topics were mentioned in passing, Mindy's weight and the holocaust survivors, which were never fully developed but could have been quite interesting. Sometimes, I felt there were too many characters and what was really the point of this story again? I vaguely remember the author's stress on family, priorities in life, and relationship efforts, but her delivery of these messages are buried under too much junk.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you think you're having a bad day, week, month you have to read this book! I laughed, cried and shouted sometimes all in the course of one page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I took this to read while on vacation, hanging out by the pool. This was the perfect book for that. I could relate to a few of the characters and as a fan of Desperate Housewives, I could not put it down, reminded me of the show. Very funny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW! Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead is one of the most hilarious and poignant books I have ever read! Saralee Rosenberg has ingeniously coupled her outstanding wit with touching moments of family life and values. The two neighbors, Beth and Mindy, could not be more opposite and yet ironically they share that common bond that draws us inherently to our dearest friends. The incredible humor is a laugh a minute and I mean deep down belly laugh out loud. The softer moments leave you reflecting on your life and famliy and recognizing the importance to doing the right thing even though it might happen at the wrong moment. The characters are so credible that you look over your shoulder to see if Ms. Rosenberg visited your neighborhood while you were sleeping! I have recommended this book to everyone I know. Ms. Rosenberg has also written three other books which are equally hysterical and touching all at once. You will adore Mindy and get mad at Beth only to cheer them on when they come together and experience those unforgettable life moments. For those of us who love our friends, you will relate to this book more than you could know. Oprah, why is this book not on your list yet? Get to it!!!!! Dear Neighbor is a book you will not want to end and yet you cannot stop yourself from reading. Keep up the good work! Please start another book immediately, I need a good laugh!
Guest More than 1 year ago
And poor Mindy has to move next door to one crazy,spoiled and hurtful neighbor. But life has a way of changing and this neighbor gets her come uppance BIG TIME! I laughed, I cried...some parts had me in stiches. Rosenberg is a master scene planner and writes so vividly, you can actually see them taking place. Buy it, read it...pass it on!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I may be one of the few people who did NOT pick up DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD because of the title! I picked it because of the A+ at the bottom right corner of the book, thinking it was like the Oprah stamp of approval... As I started reading, I felt like a ring-side spectator at a boxing match and couldn¿t relate. I get along with my neighbors and it was hard to imagine why Mindy would take so much abuse from Beth. But soon fiction and real life intersected for me in the scene where Mindy is lost on a highway and thinks about her late father. When we are lost in life, there is no GPS. We have to dig down and find our own inner direction and notice things we have ignored. Mindy realized she had to get lost in order for her to find a better road and direction for her life. Saralee Rosenberg is a beautiful weaver of words, threading so many strands with humor and pain love and hate, life and death indulgence and sacrifice, creating a beautiful tapestry of what real life, blemishes and all, needs to truly reflect. Tears of sadness and joy are shed in the reading of this book, and in the end one realizes in life you need both. Ok.. so this book wasn't on Oprah¿s list (yet), but it gets my 5-star rating. Buckle up and enjoy the ride¿ it is LIFE!
Guest More than 1 year ago
DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD is Saralee Rosenberg¿s best book yet. The title of this book is what immediately drew me in, and the characters are what kept me reading. Even though I¿m not a mother, and I don¿t have any insane neighbors, I felt like I could really relate to Mindy, Beth, and their troubled families. The rivalry between the two neighbors is hilarious, and filled with vicious insults that I can¿t wait to try out in real life (just kidding!). On a deeper level, a lot of the sentiments expressed by Saralee are really heartfelt, including a subplot about the Holocaust that really put the petty problems we complain about everyday into perspective. When I wasn¿t laughing, I was crying, and when I wasn¿t crying, I was frantically turning pages to find out what was going to happen next. This is book has everything, and it was pure entertainment from beginning to end. Anyone who is looking for an amazing book to read should run to their nearest bookstore and buy this book immediately!