This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

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The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family-including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister-have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.

Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.

As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant.

This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper’s most accomplished work to date, a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind-whether we like it or not.

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This Is Where I Leave You is the third book by Jonathan Tropper that I’ve read. It’s funny, sad, uncomfortable, poignant, and a really good read. I laughed out loud so many times that my husband came into the room and asked what I was watching on tv. It is an entertaining book and I’m glad I read it. If it was a movie it would be rated R for language and graphic scenes.

How To Talk To A Widower by Jonathan Tropper

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Back of the book: Doug Parker is a widower at age twenty-nine, and in his quiet town that makes him something of a minor celebrity – and the object of sympathy, curiosity, and, in some cases, even unbridled desire. But Doug has more urgent things on his mind, such as his sixteen-year-old stepson, Russ, a once-sweet kid who now is getting into increasingly serious trouble on a daily basis. As Doug starts dipping his toes into the shark-infested waters of the second-time-around dating scene, it isn’t long before his new life is spinning hopelessly out of control, cutting a harrowing and often hilarious swath of sexual missteps and escalating chaos across a suburban landscape.
I wasn’t surprised to read that this book has been optioned for a movie. It read like an entertaining script full of colorful characters such as Doug’s potty-mouthed twin sister who just happens to be separated from her husband and expecting their first child. She moves in with Doug and his stepson. She manages to start Doug on the road to living again. I thought the author did a good job portraying the grief felt by a young husband and son when the wife/mother dies so unexpectedly. This is NOT a tear-filled Terms of Endearment kind of book. There are laugh out loud moments as well as astonishingly poignant ones. I hope the movie comes close to the book.