Monday, August 9, 2010

Week 31: This Is Where I Leave You - Jonathan Tropper (352 pages)

This project leads me to many different sources when choosing books. I get recommendations from friends, from websites and from articles. But this book recommendation came from a social networking site - TWITTER. I follow many people on Twitter, athletes, entertainers, musicians and even authors. Favorite author, Judy Blume, raved about this book when she was travelling this summer. She tweeted that this was a truly laugh out loud book that had some weight and depth as well. With such a glowing recommendation from a wonderful author - how could I not pick this one up?

This story is told from the point of view of main character Judd Foxman. He is at a crossroads in his life, his wife is sleeping with his boss and his father has just passed away. If that is not enough to deal with, his father's last request was for the family "sit shiva" (a seven day mourning period that begins immediately after the funeral of a loved one). This was going to put Judd in direct proximity with his three siblings Paul, Phillip and Wendy and his famous mother Hillary - people that he works his hardest to spend as little time as possible. 

Judd is in a dark place and the last place he wants to be is in his mother's home while going through his issues. The book is broken up by days with chapters broken up by hours within those days. The author really evokes the time spent in the shiva situation and you can feel tensions between family members. As you can imagine, going back to your home town - old friends are re-introduced, secrets are revealed and self-discovery is gained.

This could have been a downer of a book, but Tropper is genius at making us laugh at situations we would not traditionally call laughable. Judd is not wholly lovable and I really liked that about the character. He has a sarcasm that borders on the hilarious, but really he is just trying his best to be the best man that he can be. This book follows his journey. 

The language in the book is harsh and their are some surprising situations, but it is so worth the time that you put into it. I highly recommend it. 

1 comment:

  1. This book has been on my list for some time. Now knowing that Judy Blume AND you recommend it, I am going to have to read it. Great review!