This is Where I Leave You
written by Jonathan Tropper
published by Orion
Did I enjoy this book: I have a love-hate relationship with this book. It seemed just when I was about to throw it across the room in disgust, something mushy and emotional grabbed me and pulled me back into the literary mess that is This is Where I Leave You. The main character who was supposed to be a grown man was written more like a teenage boy. He distracted me from the deep heartfelt dilemmas that were going on in the novel, so instead of getting wrapped up in emotion, I was wrapped up in immature writing. Tropper’s descriptions of characters, especially women, were just too much. Some details are better left for the readers’ imagination.
This is one of those rare cases where I hope the film is better than the book . . . that is if I even want to bother.
“Childhood feels so permanent, like it’s the entire world, and then one day it’s over and you’re shoveling wet dirt onto your father’s coffin, stunned at the impermanence of everything.”
Would I recommend it: Probably not.
About the book – from Goodreads: The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.
Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.
As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant.
This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper’s most accomplished work to date, a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind—whether we like it or not