Thursday, July 11, 2013
Book Review: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Author: Jonathan Tropper
Enjoyment Rating: **
This book would be rated: R for language, sex, adultery and general misanthropy
Judd Foxman's life is in a shambles. Just a few weeks earlier, he came home to surprise his wife on her birthday and instead got a surprise of his own-- his wife in bed with his boss. Now jobless and wifeless and living in someone's decrepit basement, Judd gets the news that his father has died, and to make matters worse, his dying wish was that the entire family come home and sit shiva for a week. As he's pulling out of town, Jen, the cheating wife shows up and tells him she's pregnant. It seems like life couldn't get much worse.
For most people, spending a week with their parents and siblings might feel like a vacation. But the Foxmans are not most people. Judd's father was extremely blunt. His mother believes in oversharing. And all of the siblings are messed up in their own ways. Over the course of the week, they hop beds, throw punches, and swear a blue streak. While the book was well-written, and Judd's struggle with his concept of himself is really interesting, the book was a bit of a slog. No one in the Foxman home is happy, and it's not just because Dad is dead. These are privileged people who should have everything going for them, but somehow they can't see it. Eventually, it seems like Judd might get a glimpse and start to grow up just a little bit.