This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 6th 2009 by Orion
When the head of the Foxman family dies, his last wish is that his family gather together at home and observe the Jewish tradition of sitting shiva. Stuck together in their childhood home for seven days, each member of the Foxman tribe carries their baggage along with them. But no one knows you like family, and blood is thicker than water.
A dark comedy about family, grief, love, and what holds us together, This is Where I Leave You is a funny but astutely poignant tale of a dysfunctional family, each eccentric member seeking happiness, and none of them managing to achieve it.
Tropper’s writing is elegant and precise, beautiful in his observations and descriptions. Although it wasn’t always my cup of tea, on the whole I enjoyed this novel—especially the writing. Tropper is a master of the simile, each one more clever than the last. Here’s one of my favourites:
Although I appreciated Tropper’s writing and insight, the storyline often left me feeling hollow. Ultimately it ends happily (sort of), but I couldn’t fully enjoy it because I see things differently. I guess I’m just more optimistic! And Tropper doesn’t sugar coat anything: