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This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Monday, August 20, 2012

I have had this book on both my Goodreads to-read shelf and my actual bookshelf for quite a while (thanks to Em). I was prompted to pluck it off the shelf by Laineygossip and I’m glad that I did. I do love a good family dramedy so this book was right up my street and now I cannot think why I took so long to finally pick it up.

When we are first introduced to Judd, he has just lost his father to cancer and his wife to his manager. He has also found out that, apparently, his father’s dying wish was for his family to sit shiva. Over the seven days of mourning, Judd clashes with his mother and siblings (all of whom have their own emotional baggage), reconnects with old friends and flames, and attempts to get over his cheating wife who just will not go away (with good reason). On top of all of this, he tries to work through his grief. The combination of these elements produces a tumultuous yet hilarious, touching, and slightly cringeworthy tale.

I have never read a Jonathan Tropper novel but after reading this I immediately bought the Kindle edition of How To Talk To A Widower . I noted that a few other reviewers lamented his cinematic style of writing but as a film and television addict, I connected with his vivid, dialogue heavy prose. I could picture all of the characters and more importantly, for me anyway, I could hear their voices. Therefore, I am not surprised that a film adaptation is in the works. For what it's worth, I pictured Malin Akerman as Jen so hopefully that’s who she’s playing. I'm not too sure about Zac Efron as, presumably, Phillip. I had a Franco- at least a Franco voice- in that role whilst reading. However, the proof will be in the pudding.

Overall, I think this novel successfully conveyed the message that you never know what is around the corner, so take time to take stock and make good with those who mean the most to you, even though life isn't always what we thought it would be. Schmaltzy but true.

★ ★ ★ ★

This Is Where I’ll Leave You music: 

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