Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Heather reviews This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Book: This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Published: August 6, 2009/ Dutton Adult
Where I got it: bought at Borders
Why I read this: It was recommended to me by a friend and I was drawn to the colorful cover.
My rating: 4 stars

Summary (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.

My thoughts: I'm embarrassed to say that before I saw this in the bookstore, I had never heard of Jonathan Tropper. However, since this has been on my bookshelf for the last 6 months, I've heard so many good things about him. I'm so glad to have been introduced to such a witty writer who has the ability to have me laughing out loud and then tearing up from one moment to the next. His writing spills onto the pages so easily, I actually struggled to put the book down when the real world was calling.

This Is Where I Leave You is about Judd Foxman and his dysfunctional yet hilarious family. It is his father's dying wish that the family sit Shiva after his passing. Putting the Foxman's together in one house for seven days is a recipe for disaster but they all suck it up and come together to remember their father. This novel chronicles the week that they spend together and all of the drama that is clearly bound to ensue when any large group of people (especially family) is forced to be in such close quarters for longer than 10 minutes. If that wasn't enough, Judd's wife recently left him for his boss and is expecting. Despite all of the complications, the Foxman's survive their week and come out much closer to one another.

I thought I was going to get a quick and lighthearted read out of This Is Where I Leave You, but I ended up with a touching and emotional novel with so many other great elements thrown in. This certainly won't be the last Tropper book that I read! If you've read him before, I would love recommendations on what I should read next by him!

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