This Is Where I Leave You

Jonathan Tropper - This Is Where I Leave You

Gathered together to mark the passing of their father are the Foxman Clan. As per the dying wish of Mort Foxman, his entire family is asked to 'sit seven days of Shiva'. Here lies the problem because the siblings don’t hang out. They don’t even particularly like each other, and the person they like even less is their mother. They reluctantly submit and agree to stay together for a week. In the same house. Like a family.

During the seven days of mourning, a range of family dynamics plays out, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. Judd is recovering from a bruised ego from finding his wife in bed with his boss. He has not only separated from his wife but also is jobless and more or less homeless. Judd’s certainly got personal problems, but his siblings aren’t exactly sailing through life either. All in all, they are a bizarre family: the outspoken and strong-willed therapist mother, the angry older brother with whom Judd shares a terrible history, the brainy sister who is closest to Judd, and the cheerful liar, his youngest brother, who is the classically spoiled screwup.

Jonathan Tropper’s “This Is Where I Leave You”, reads like a sit-com and this might be the reason why it has been adapted into a film. Tropper has a knack for making the characters hilarious, concise and relatable and therefore extremely three-dimensional. The novel is neither comedy nor drama but rather it’s an accurate portrayal of a real- life family coming together in a messy, sad and funny way that will make you wince in pain and laugh with joy.