Monday, July 29, 2013

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

I picked up This Is Where I Leave You because I heard it was being made into a movie with Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, and Timothy Olphant. I like those actors so I took a look at the book. Not something I usually read (family drama) but decided to take a chance. Funny, poignant, and a little ridiculous, This Is Where I Leave You definitely had my attention.
Mort Foxman dies after a long illness. His dying wish was for his four children and his wife to sit shiva for him as a family. The Foxman children have long tried to keep their visits home short so the prospect of staying in their childhood for seven days isn't anyone's idea of a good time. But they all come, wives, children, and baggage in tow. Judd Foxman is not only mourning his father; he's also mourning the death of his marriage. Wendy Foxman has brought her 3 kids and distant husband with her. But Wendy's teenage romance with their neighbor, Horry, also comes back. Paul Foxman and his wife, Alice, bring their infertility and resentment with them. And Phillips Foxman, the youngest, brings his nearly 50 year old girlfriend and lack of responsibility with him. And of course, Mrs Foxman, the widow, a celebrated parenting guru who attempts to help her children with their issues.
For the most part, This Is Where I Leave You follows Judd. With the demise of his marriage and the death of his father, Judd's going through a lot. Not that his siblings live golden lives but most of them have accept their lots in life. Judd's at an interesting crossroads. No wife, no job, no father, Judd is a little aimless but has the most room for growth. I liked Judd. He's sarcastic and troubled.
This is Where I Leave You is full of schadenfreude. I was laughing at the bad things that happened to this people. But you were supposed to. At first I felt like it was the written version of Arrested Development. But towards the end, I felt sorry for these people. Not all of them deserved the shit that they kept receiving. Overall, I liked it but wouldn't freely recommend it to everyone. If you like seeing people mess up, families continue to hurt each other (physically and emotionally), and be ok with nothing being wrapped up at the end, then you will like This Is Where I Leave You. If not, you might not enjoy it. Others who shared their thoughts on This Is Where I Leave You: Bibliophile By The Sea, Books In The City, Note To Self, and Booking Mama.


  1. This book sounds interesting. I really enjoy the show Arrested Development and when the mood strikes I like complex family novels. Thanks for the the review! I'll get this one from the library.

  2. I've read another of his books and enjoyed it, so this is one that has been on my reading list!


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