I read this book after seeing the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of this story. The film cast is full of great actors like Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman and Rose Byrne. With an all star cast and a funny looking premise I was keen to see how the book would read.
This is Where I Leave You is a funny and sarcastic view of family and what it means to be a sibling, father, mother, sister, wife and friend. There is all kinds of family drama coming home to roost in this book after the Foxman family patriarch dies after a lengthy battle with cancer. Mother Foxman insists that her four adult children and their partners stay the week to sit shiva for their father. The kids do so reluctantly and so starts the humours and at times heartfelt story.
I liked each character for different reasons and really liked the voice of Judd Foxman who is the main character and narrator. After ten years of marriage, Judd has recently started divorce proceedings with his wife Jen after catching her in an affair. Honestly, I wanted to hate Jen a bit longer and wasn’t quite convinced Judd would have that easy a time forgiving her as he hoped. I won’t go into detail, the ending itself remains hopeful but kind of ambiguous and I liked that. I kind of wanted to make up my own mind about where everyone will go from there.
The book is full of humour and silly family moments, bringing all the kids back to their teenager selves as they interact with each other as siblings would regardless of age. I liked the ‘realness’ of the interactions and thought the relationships were well done. I especially liked the character of Phillip, youngest child and eternal screw up in the eyes of his family. I liked his emotional nature, the way he just said what he thought and always wanted to look on the bright side. I also really liked his brotherly relationship with older brother Judd.
Although this book isn’t a deep look at families and could have maybe done with a bit more depth, it was humourous and engaging and a really fun summer read.
Looking forward to seeing how the film compares.