This is Where I Leave You (Book Review)

Judd Foxman’s life isn’t exactly the best at the moment. He wife has been having an affair with his cocky boss. WIth a broken marriage heading towards divorce, he becomes unemployed and starts to live in a basement. Then Judd’s father passes away after fighting cancer. A final wish of Judd’s father is for the entire Foxman family to come together and sit shiva for seven days. Judd and his three other siblings of varying nature return to their childhood home and revisit their lives so far.

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This is Where I Leave You offers a dark but realistic look at the inner workings of a family. Paul, Judd’s older brother, faces a grudge against Judd for a past incident. The youngest sibling, Phillip, still hasn’t figured out how to grow up. Judd’s sister, Wendy, deals with the staleness of her marriage while revisiting an old flame.

Reading this novel may bring up a lot of funny anecdotes one may have about their own family. Jonathan Topper’s writing resonates well in the reader. The novel is full of sentiment, humor and tenderness. Topper writing expresses depressing yet realistic situations with great honesty.

The novel is categorized by many as a dark comedy. It seems to be more than that. Tina Fey’s coined term of it being an “emotional comedy” strikes the right balance of this book is. Must read if you like realism type stories of everyday life.

A film adaption is currently in post-production and scheduled to be released on September 12, 2014. It stars Jason Bateman (as Judd), Tina Fey (as Wendy), Dax Shepard (as Judd’s cocky boss, Wade) and Rose Bryne (as Penny).

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