Book Review: This Is Where I Leave You

Jonathan Tropper
Dutton, 2009
340 pages


You know how people all have to slow down and stare when they pass a wreck on the highway? That's what reading this book was like.

The story is of Judd Foxman. His father has just died, and he's been asked to come to the family home and sit shiva (that's a Jewish ritual) with his mother and siblings. The problem being that the family is hugely dysfunctional and, traditionally, shiva lasts seven days.

If that were Judd's only problem, his life might not be so bad. After all, he could make it through seven days and be done. BUT. Judd is also dealing with the fact that his wife has been sleeping with his boss. So now they are separated and moving toward divorce, and basically Judd's life is falling apart on all sides.

Sounds like a fun read, right? But the thing is, This Is Where I Leave You is, in fact, a real page-turner. Tropper tempers Judd's sad life with enough humor and interesting characters to lighten the load. It's a worthwhile undertaking, reading this book.

I'd tell you more, but I wouldn't want to give anything away. I can only say that it's well written, witty and touching all at once.

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