"How do I want to die? Oh, I don't know. How about a pillow over my face? It will probably be a family member." Thus illustrates the biting candor of Amanda Bailey, the youngest in this poignant, funny, painfully honest story of bitterly divided family. With their father on his deathbed, eight siblings engage in a feud over property and possessions. Born with Down syndrome, Amanda is pulled into a belligerent guardianship dispute. Her favorite sister, Nancy, is immersed in bankruptcy and foreclosure. Just when Nancy needs to support Amanda the most, she is at her most broken. In unexpected ways Amanda lifts her up as no one else can. Set in Michigan's remote and economically depressed Upper Peninsula, The North Side of Down examines some important questions about society, illustrating the paralyzing legal position of people with disabilities and the stigma of the homeless. It shows how two sisters' love for each other transcends loss, grief, and upheaval within a hopelessly dysfunctional family. In the midst of chaos, it is the misfits who manage to shine.
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