Dysfunctional Family Fun At Its Best
My book club chose "This is Where I Leave You" because we were seeking a break from depressing Oprah books, and we also heard that Jonathan Tropper is similar to another author we like, Tom Perotta. What a great choice! We all enjoyed the novel.
This story follows the travails of Judd Foxman, a thirtyish man whose marriage is in shambles. And things get even worse when his father dies, forcing Judd and his crazy siblings to gather together with their cleavage-bearing therapist mother for a seven day shiva. Quite a recipe for conflict.
It all starts when Judd walks in on his wife Jen having sex with his BOSS, and Judd's response (like much of the novel) is hilarious! I loved the evolution of Judd's relationship with his wife, parents, two brothers, and sister.
His ne'er-do-well younger brother Phillip is my favorite character. I knew I was in for a good ride when Phillip arrives late to his father's funeral and instantly refers to the rabbi by his childhood nickname "Boner". The rabbi interrupts the ceremony to say "Stop calling me Boner" and Phillip replies, "Sorry, Boner." Hee hee.
There is a lot of sex going on in this novel, but as my psychologist friend pointed out, sex can be one way people grieve. The characterization is so realistic and complex--I really liked the development of Judd's character in particular. Mr. Tropper is brilliant with the creative metaphors and descriptions.
I highly recommend this novel.