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This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan…

This Is Where I Leave You (edition 2009)

by Jonathan Tropper

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Title:This Is Where I Leave You
Authors:Jonathan Tropper
Info:Dutton Adult (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper


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This is the story of four adult children and their mother who are forced to be together after the death of their father/husband. In the Jewish tradition they are "sitting shiva," which means that they stay together in the same house, sit on very low chairs and for seven days, they receive visitors who offer condolences for the deceased. Considering that they have not been together for years and each member is quite dysfunctional in their own way, it is an interesting and often humorous read. Much of the story is told in flashbacks and gives some understanding of how the family got to where they are now. Overall, I think it is a story of family love (and sometimes hate) and understanding in the midst of dysfunction, chaos and new revelations. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
His father's dying wish was that his family sit shiva. Seven days. Devastating and yet riotously funny...a truly laugh out loud funny. Hated to see it end. ( )
  tnociti | Mar 30, 2015 |
This is the first book that I read by Jonathan Tropper but it won't be the last. There were times in this book that I laughed out loud and times that I was very sad. Being from a large family, I identified with some of the struggles that the Foxman family went trough and I thought that the author did a fantastic job with the dynamics of the family. Judd is one of four children in a family with a distant father and a pop psychologist mother. When the family arrives at the father's funeral, they find out that he has requested that the family sit shiva - which means seven days for them all to spend together - along with spouses and children - under one roof. The results alternate between funny and sad. This is a great read and I am planning to read more of this author's books in the future. ( )
  susan0316 | Feb 1, 2015 |
This is the first book I have read by Jonathan Tropper but it won't be the last. I am a fan of the dysfunctional family having grown up in one and continuing the tradition myself. I am also a closeted lover of the light romantic comedy a la Nick Hornby. This book is both.

After the death of their emotionally distant father, 3 brothers and their sister with attendant wives, husbands and significant others arrive at their parents home only to find that that their largely agnostic father has requested that they sit shiva for seven days.

What follows is not only a description of the seven days but flashbacks from Judd,from whose viewpoint the story is told . Nick Hornby has a knack of telling a story from a male point of view that rings true. Jonathan Tropper does too. Judd speaks of his father, his brothers his sister and his mother with a true voice.

There were a couple of times in this book where I just fell out laughing at loud. Some of the passages are so well crafted and hilarious in the telling that they bear reading more than once.

The cover intimates that there may be tears. There were no tears for me but this is a book that as you read, has you reflecting on the truths that Tropper shares. There are no fairy tales. Love comes in a lot of packages and changes sometimes on a daily basis. We aren't all as predictable as others may think us and we are very fallible as human beings.

Spoiler here - for myself, it was apropos (unknowingly) that I started reading this on National Coming Out Day. As a gay woman, it is rare when there is a lesbian storyline, particularly one written by a man, for it to be anything other than caricature or sexual in nature. How refreshing when Judd, sitting on the roof with his sister in the early morning, watches his neighbor Linda, for the second morning in a row, sneaking home to her house.

In a matter of fact way, he and his sister work out the relationship between Linda and his mother. After a row between Linda and Hillary lasting a few days, in front of all the shiva visitors - Linda and Hillary, two 63 year old women, kiss and let everyone know that not only are they together, but that Judd's dying father knew and approved of the relationship. Hillary is a pistol throughout the book and Linda is a steady rock. This was a sweet surprise that I had no hint of when I bought the book.

Not only is the relationship handled masterfully but it is utterly refreshing that it is two older women with lifes experiences between them who are rediscovering love. And they are happy - not melancholy, not ashamed, loving, sexually active and largely accepted by their families.

It took me less than 24 hours to read this book and it was worth every minute. ( )
  ozzieslim | Dec 28, 2014 |
This book is in turns, hilarious, sad, and sometimes heartbreaking. The father of Judd Foxman dies and his mother tells the family that they must sit Shiva for seven days of mourning because it was her father's dying wish. So he reunites with his siblings and family. Old grudges resurface and current problems(Judd's wife is having an affair w. his boss) intersect ( )
  tom471 | Dec 22, 2014 |
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"Dad's dead," says Wendy offhandedly, like it's happened before, like it happens every day.
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Judd Foxman is thrown together with his dysfunctional family when his father dies, while at the same time coping with his wife's infidelity and the end of his marriage.

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