by Jonathan Tropper
Plume paperback edition, 2010
The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman clan has congregated in years. There is, however, one conspicuous absence: Judd's wife, Jen, whose affair with his radio- shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the demise of his father and his marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they reluctantly sit shiva-and spend seven days and nights under the same roof. The week quickly spins out of control as longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed and old passions are reawakened. Then Jen delivers the clincher: she's pregnant.
This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper's most accomplished work to date, and a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind-whether we like it or not.
This novel defines the old phrase 'putting the fun in dysfunctional'. I read it early last summer, but never got around to writing a review. This Is Where I Leave You was the perfect pick-me-up after a spring spent reading Richard Yates. There is no alcoholism or mental illness. Instead, we have a family that simply cannot communicate or relate to one another.
I chuckled at these opening lines, then found myself laughing out loud as I continued.
"Dad's dead," Wendy says offhandedly, like its happened before, like it happens every day. It can be grating, this act of hers, to be utterly unfazed at all times, even in the face of tragedy. "He died two hours ago." "How's Mom doing?" "She's Mom, you know? She wanted to know how much to tip the coroner."I purchased the book after reading Sandy's excellent review. Rumor has it there's a movie on the way, too.
Bottom line: This is the funniest novel I've read in years!