“We are thinking about our kids, our lack of kids, about finances and fiancées and soon-to-be ex-wives are having, about loneliness and love and death and Dad, and this constant crowd is like a fog on a dark road; you just keep driving and watch it dissipate in your low beams” (106).
With all families, there are things that make you come together and things that push you apart. In Jonathan Tropper’s novel This Is Where I Leave You, he tells the narrative of Judd Foxman, who is trying to figure out who he is halfway through life while dealing with his father’s death and his newly failing marriage.
After his father’s death, Judd is called to sit shiva for a week at his parent’s home. This includes spending time with the brother that hates him, a sister-in-law that was at one point his girlfriend, the brother that never quite grew up, the worst mother in the world that writes parenting books and every person that ever knew him through his childhood. If that isn’t enough, tack on another old girlfriend, someone trying to hit on his mom and the constant reminder that his wife cheated on him.
Through this, watching everyone else’s life unfold around them, Judd sits back and figures out what path he is on and where he wants to be.
For whatever point of life you are at, you can acknowledge your own fear of the future and of life. Are you really doing it right? Are you living life the way you want to?
Watching Judd Foxman’s whole life dissipate before him not only sends the reader a wake-up call but also calls them to question what roles they’re expected to play. For Judd, many of those roles are about what it means to be a man and what it means to grow up. Through a hilarious catastrophe, this book gives a glimpse into a family of some who try to be mature and some that can’t be. Through such a range of life, Judd attempts to piece together what his life is and what he wants it to be.
Want to read it? Read it on Kindle here.
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Jill Ciampa is a professional writing major studying publishing, technical, and public policy writing. She enjoys spending time reading and watercoloring. She can usually be found watching Netflix, traveling, or trying to get someone to understand her French. Follow her @jillcia on Twitter.