This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

this is where I leave you

This was an absolute breeze to read. It was funny and charming and entertaining. Our protagonist, Judd, has been called back to his childhood home to sit shiva with his family following his father’s death. Shiva is a Jewish tradition of putting up with your family for not just one but seven days following the funeral of an immediate family member. He has a messed up younger brother, a sister bound to an idiot husband and three screaming kids, a sister-in-law desperate to conceive, an eccentric mother, and various friends and family who pass by to add some spice. Judd himself has recently caught his wife cheating on him with his boss. Hilarity ensues.

There is a story here, of the characters and their conflicts and resolution. There is a nice beginning, middle and end. As a story it is fun to read. But it follows a theme of life itself. It centres around a death, but the characters are all generations of the family, from the almost-dead aunts and uncles, to the parents of grown-up kids, the grown-up kids and their spouses, and the kids, and of course, the embryos.

A film has been made of this book and it is due for release this year. I refrained from checking who was cast in the roles until I got to the end of the book, because they never cast as I see them. Sure enough, the actors are nothing like the characters were in my head, but it looks like a good cast, so I look forward to seeing the film.

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