Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Tender, sweet, and wickedly funny
Wickedly funny journey of self discovery, This Is Where I Leave You is a week long visit with the family that is the stuff of nightmares. Judd Foxman's walks in on his wife and boss in his bed, ending his decade long marriage, as well as his career. His father has died, and requested his wife and four children sit shiva for seven days. Bruised and broken, he finds himself sitting on the hard shiva chair, in the midst of his snarky family, where secrets surface, rocking his world and making him reevaluate the relationships with his siblings as well redefine the truths that have been the backbone of his life. Jonathan Tropper taps in on the disconnect of our culture, the failure of communication, the selfish quest for self gratification. Everyone is a loser, each one abandoning the hopes and dreams of youth, caught in a cosmic twilight zone of never wanting to grow up. Paul is bitter after losing his chance at professional baseball due to a grievous injury, Wendy yearns for her first love; pinched out when he became disabled, Phillip the overindulged baby of the family refuses to grow up, and lastly Judd mourns the perfect life he lost, refusing to acknowledge it was nothing but an illusion, after all. Throughout the book, the distant siblings bond, learning the blood is indeed thicker than water, and while they may not understand themselves, their family knows and loves them no matter what. This was a marvelous book. Funny, fast moving, and achingly sweet. This is a story about loyalty and love, redemption and forgiveness. Sometimes we need a little help from our loved ones to help ourselves.
Carole P. Roman