This is Where I Leave You; Jonathan Tropper
Judd Foxman is the narrator, and the main focus of this poignant, but hilarious novel. When Judd's sister Wendy, calls to say that their father Mort, has died, he is shocked, but even more surprised when she tells him that their father's last wish was for the entire Foxman clan: Paul, Phillip, Judd, Wendy and their mother Hillary, to observe the Jewish mourning custom of sitting Shiva for seven days at the family home. Since their father was an Atheist, it's only natural that the siblings find this request rather odd, but they respect their father's request.
Now the Foxman clan is anything but a close-knit, well-adjusted family. They are all dysfunctional in their own way. Judd, has just caught his wife in bed with his boss. He is not only mourning the loss of his father, but the loss of his wife Jen as well, and in addition, he's obsessed with sex. The mother Hillary, 63, has silicone breasts and dresses like a hooker, but yet she is a writer and author of a successful child-rearing book called, Cradle and All. The other siblings have their own issues as well, and during the seven day mourning period each of the family members address old grudges, resentments, and comes to terms with issues in their own lives.
MY THOUGHTS - Despite serious themes like loss, heartbreak and loneliness, this book is laugh out loud funny. The dialogue is pitch-perfect, and that is what makes this book worth reading. You'll want to read this book in one sitting, but, in my opinion, it is a story that is best read slowly. The interaction between the siblings is almost poetic at times, and you will be apt to miss some of the witty dialogue if you read this one too quickly. I enjoyed this story a lot and chanted "movie coming" as I read. In fact Warner Brothers has asked the author to write the screenplay adaptation.
I do recommend this novel --it's great, but BEWARE : sex and raunchiness runs rampant in this novel. (Rating - 4/5 stars) - Library Copy