Wonderfully Dysfunctional Book Review

The true story of… A woman who laughs at funerals. A gypsy mother who refuses to wear a bra and a father who refuses to leave his first wife. A brother who sleeps under the coffee table and a sister who was kidnapped. A cheating minister, a missing uncle and a feisty, red-headed grandmother who was longing to leave it all.

Buffi always knew her family was unusual, but she was lucky enough to escape that gene. Or was she? Joined by her siblings at the bedside of their dying grandmother, Buffi begins on a journey of self discovery as they recall stories of their youth including juicy family secrets, inappropriate practical jokes, abuse and betrayal. She is on a quest to find Normal but finds herself instead.

It Must be Genetic is about an American family of no particular importance, descendants of the once wealthy and revered Perry clan, but stripped of their family wealth during the Great Depression. It’s full of quirky characters like grandmother Mopsie; a sexy divorced mother of two in the 1950’s who would turn the heads of her conservative neighbors when hosting the best poker parties in town, but who can now be found sleeping her days away in the bed of a nursing home. The story climaxes when Mopsie accidentally reveals a secret that sends her family frantically searching through old documents to find the son she gave up for adoption half a century ago.
It Must be Genetic is about acceptance, forgiveness and the great capacity to love. The story is written from the perspective of a third generation divorced mother, Buffi, who realizes that the very traits that make her family dysfunctional may be the same traits that make it so wonderful. At 64,000 words, it’s paced for a quick-and-easy read.
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Book Review:
There are many times when I feel like some things in my life are not normal. Some of those things are extra-ordinarily exciting while some are extra boring. When I came across the book of Buffi Neal, I felt like I was reading my own story. It felt like I was also taking on a journey on how to find “normal.” I was amazed with how she presented the different challenges we face in life and how we can deal with it. I also love how she shows what being Wonderfully Dysfunctional means.
Another thing I love about this book is that there are many reflections and thoughts to ponder. I was smiling and laughing the whole time I was reading the book. The quotes presented in every chapter are also worth remembering. It was a good way to start a new chapter. What she did made me look forward for every page.
One of the quotes I love was found in Chapter 8, The Passenger: “The only way to control fate is to let fate control you.”
This is the review I posted in Good Reads: What makes this book exceptional is that Buffi Neal starts every chapter with a quote worth-remembering. I love how she perfectly chose the right quote for every chapter :) This is the first book I’ve read with my best friend and as we go along the pages, we find ourselves laughing and smiling because of the different situations in the book. One thing I can’t forget in the book is the line “If you die while you aren’t really living, exactly when did death occur?” Wonderfully Dysfunctional reminds me of how amazing life is, even if there are some imperfections and challenges. It’s worth reading!
Buffi Lynn Neal is a free-spirited mother of two currently living in a small town in Central New Jersey. She earned her Masters of Computer Science from Lehigh University. She also holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in both Mathematics and Physics.

Although Buffi spent twenty years working in the field of Computer Science she longed for the day that she could use her passion for writing to tell the unusual stories of her life.

Who am I? I’m a forgetful, kind-hearted, forty-plus year old mother of two who has great logic skills but spells worse than a fourth grader. I’m afraid of the dark and never shut my eyes in the shower. I bite my nails and peel my sunburn. Actually, I will peel anyone’s sunburn. I would rather stick hot burning embers in my eyes than take out the garbage and I would rather be comfortable than look good. Like my mother and grandmother, I love the beach.

I am much more than I can write and I can write much more than I am.

Buffi is currently working on the second memoir in her “Wonderfully Dysfunctional” series.


Books to come…..

Wonderfully DysfunctionalTM – Breaking the Silence

At the age of nine I met my grandfather for the first time. It had been over twenty five years since my mother saw him. He arrived completely by surprise, bringing gifts for all, and was ready to be a part of our lives. I was the lucky one chosen to take a month trip to Florida with him. During the day it was ice cream, new clothes, and Disney World, and during the night it was something very unnatural. What my family did not know, was Grandpa Jack was a pedophile.

“Breaking the Silence” is part of the “Wonderfully Dysfunctional” Memoir series. It’s the journey of a young girl who loved her grandpa so much that it would take thirty years, four deaths, two lawsuits, many lawyers and doctors before she would Break the Silence and tell her story of love and abuse through the eyes of a child.

buffi neals booksWonderfully DysfunctionalTM – 1982 Out Past Curfew 

It was 1982. I was only fourteen, and it was the year I learned about sex, drugs, love, and friendship. It was the year I became a woman and my mother became a person. It was the year of firsts for many of us; our first real kiss, first drink, first smoke, and first ride in the back of a police car.

We were a poor family living in a middle class neighborhood. The world was exciting and everything was new. I was a sponge soaking up all the good and the bad life had to offer. I learned that the child of an alcoholic has an unmistakable talent for holding their liquor, a teenager has the power to drive their parents to insanity, and if you turn your back on a friend you have turned your back on yourself.

“1982 Out Past Curfew” is part of the “Wonderfully Dysfunctional” Memoir series. It’s about the coming of age, the struggle to understand your sexuality and accept your past. It’s about finding lifelong love and friendship from the most unexpected people. Many life lessons happened after curfew in 1982.

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


  1. That is truly an awesome quote the type to hit you where it hurts and certainly makes you think what your doing !!

  2. Buffi Neal says:

    Thanks for the wonderful review. I’m thrilled that you “get” the quotes – not everyone pays much mind to them. Your review made my day.

  3. Sabrina Dix says:

    I never heard of this before. Very interesting…thanks for sharing.

  4. I’m such a book worm lately and this book will have to be added to my list of “to-reads” on good reads… adding it now actually! :)

  5. Jessica says:

    I love the title Wonderfully Dysfunctional. I didn’t realize it was going to be a series. That’s neat.

  6. Dominique says:

    What a great review, thank you. I’ve been looking for a new book and this looks like the kind of book I need to read right now!

  7. Georgia Beckman says:

    I have read this book & LOVED it!

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